The Finch, Clinton Hill

We had dinner last weekend with some friends at The Finch in Clinton Hill.  Built in a 120-year old Brownstone, on the bottom floor, the Finch, a one-star Michelin restaurant unassumingly presides.  I loved the restaurant the second I walked in….and liked it even more when I read the menu.  The place feels warm, new and old at the same time.  The kitchen and bar are wide open. Bulbs of light with brass holders make the rooms glow.  First thing that went through my head was, this is the type of restaurants you used to find in Manhattan…and I miss them terribly.

The menu isn’t big but big enough with 6 small plates and 6 large plates and 3 items for the table.  Each dish is creative yet balanced.  The chef, Gabe McMackin, who has been in the kitchen at Stone Barns, Roberta’s and Gramercy Tavern, and experience says it all.

We shared only two things for the group.  Light crispy Lemon Pecorino Arancini’s that were piping hot.

And Japanese Yams with lemon mayonnaise, a hint of licorice and pickled fresno peppers.  I am really into the white Japanese sweet potatoes these days particularly with bit of spice.

I had the Maitake Mushrooms with Smoked Ricotta & Arugula on Toast.  Lightly sauteed mushrooms over a dense crispy toast that had been spread with a smoked ricotta and then topped with arugula.  Could be shared.  Delicious.

I just got a bite of the Baby Lacinato Kale with Smoked Ricotta, Pistachios & Balsamic.  I love how this salad was presented.  Each leaf had a splash of the ricotta, pistachio and balsamic over it.  This is a huge winner.

Had a taste of this too, Beets and Burrata with Roasted Treviso & Pine Nut Brittle.  Adding pine nut brittle giving the beets and burrata a shot of sweet and crunch that was delicious.

There were three kinds of pasta on the menu and all of them looked amazing.  I opted for scallops but a few at the table for the pasta; the one with buckwheat Cavatelli and Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts & Pumpkin Seeds sounds amazing.  Bay Scallops with a mixture of mushrooms and a puree of greens.  A warm crunchy salad with warm little scallops inside.

I would go back and order this one.  Short Rib Steak with Pommes Anna & Tardivo.  The steak was so flavorful.

Desserts were also a bonus.  Buttermilk Panna Cotta Tart with Kabocha Squash…I wish I didn’t have to share.

Chocolate Cake with Pine Nuts & Rosemary.  This dessert kind of defines the restaurant.  This mixture of rosemary with something sweet is a combination that is so simple yet works for perfectly.

We had one of the cheeses available that come with a sliced apple and a brittle.

My photos weren’t the best so I will have to reshoot next time because I am definitely going back.  I wish there were more places like the Finch down the street from you.