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“Grosso, not Fino” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Fino Wine Bar - CLOSED

Fino Wine Bar
804 10TH St, Bellingham, WA 98225-6245
(360) 676-9463
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Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Shaw Island, WA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Grosso, not Fino”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2012

Red alert! Fino has morphed into a barely mediocre restaurant. Linens? Gone. The interesting two dollar bread basket? Gone. It's till two dollars but is made up entirely of sliced, sandwich-style grocery "French" bread. The menu? Dumbed down.
It was our server's first day. She knew absolutely nothing about the wine list. She was eager and tried hard but had not been taught how to serve or remove dishes. We said we missed the breadsticks; they brought out some which were gaggingly state. I ordered cioppino. Shrimp? Scallops? Mussels? No! Three miniscule clams, about three tablespoons of over-cooked cod and salmon, and a cup of broth thick as tomato sauce. Propped on the side of the bowl were two more slices of the cold, store-bought bread. Twenty-three dollars. Ghastly! Never again.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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29 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    3
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Bellingham, Washington
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Beautiful view, wonderful food, excellent service.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2012

Fino is a really nice, cozy restaurant in an un-busy area. One evening we watched a small -boat sailing race. The restaurant even provides binoculars at the table. On a chilly evening it's delightful to sit by the fire. The wait staff are attentive and friendly without encroaching on one's privacy. The food is delicious and the wine list is excellent. Portions are small, which was fine with us but might disappoint big eaters.

Visited April 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Exotic cocktail choices and european based wines”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

Happy Hour is a must. The smallish tidbits are free and "chef's choice" but very savory. Fino has excellent service (thanks, Sam) and an incredible view of Bellingham Bay. The cocktail choices were mostly new to us and refreshingly light. The wines, none from the U.S., were well worth the price. Nice quiet place for a pre-dinner experience.

Visited September 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellingham, Washington
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Torn Between Very Good and Excellent”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2012

My wife and I had our 27th anniversary dinner here last night and we were not disappointed. The ambiance is wonderful, the view superb, the seating comfortable, and the food and drink mostly terrific. The wait staff were friendly and accommodating. Personally, I think Fino may currently be Bellingham's overall best restaurant.

We started dinner with fried calamari with a tzatziki sauce and a mixed green salad with with a lemon vinaigrette. The ingredients were of top quality and everything was perfectly cooked/prepared. The tzatziki had too strong a dill taste for me, but that is purely personal preference. Two thumbs up for the starter course.

For our main dishes my wife had a vegetarian platter with a variety of excellently prepared vegetable preparations. No complaints. I had a plate of three sliders: beef, lamb, and house-made sausage. These were memorable, one of the best dishes I've ever had in Bellingham (30 years). The buns they were served on were to die for, warm, soft, melt-in-your-mouth good.

Everything was not perfect, however. We started with cocktails. I ordered a kir and my wife ordered a champagne cocktail. My kir had a distinct off-taste. It tasted like it had sweet vermouth in it. As it turned out, the burgundy wine used was the tail end of a bottle kept over from the day before, and it was not good the second day. This is something the server/bartender should have caught from the get-go. He remade the kir with a newly opened wine, and it turned out to be one of my favorite kirs ever. Night and day. Oddly, the server brought over a wine glass with a sip of the original wine in it. This should never have happened. (The waiter was quite young.)

On the drink upside, I liked my wife's champagne cocktail better than any I've ever had. I've never been a great fan of champagne cocktails, but I would definitely order Fino's.

The other misstep came with the polenta fries that accompanied my sliders. These were not very warm and looked like they had been cooked in the day's last oil and had sat under a "warming" lamp for some time. The texture was not good, and there was little polenta flavor, if any. Considering the care and detail devoted to everything else, this was a quite a shock.

I took home a slice of lemon tart and savored every bite in front of the TV.

Overall, dinner at Fino's was a great experience, one that I hope to have again very soon.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Delicious if a bit pretentious...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2012

The complimentary breakfast was well done, but I did feel the dinner menu a little pretentious and i don't believe it has changed much at all in the last few years either. A fine dining type experience, very rich and complex dishes are offered. Like chilled strawberry and prosecco soup or roasted duck confit. I have had dinner there a couple times now and I'd rather just walk to one of the many Fairhaven restaurants.

Visited April 2012
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