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Fino means fine tapas and wine

Be prepared for a unique dining experience at Fino Wine and Tapas, the elegant new eatery on Bell Boulevard in Bayside that raises the bar for restaurants throughout the borough.

The subdued elegance and tasteful simplicity of the décor are but hints of the pleasurable aromas, tastes and textures to follow.

Executive chef John Cicinelli has woven his 20 years of experience, beginning with an apprenticeship in Lyon, France under Michelin three-star master chef Paul Bocuse, into a menu that is truly Spanish with French and Italian influences.

Tapa is intended to be a taste of something special – enough to satisfy, but not sate the appetite. They do it right at Fino, thanks to Cicinelli’s time in San Sebastian, in Spain’s Basque country.

Regular wine tastings are held at Fino – the staff plays an integral role in tasting and selecting wines. The list of over 120 superior selections from around the world is selected for what they add to the menu, not what is popular.

Wines are carefully chosen to compliment the food. Take advantage of the choices and your server’s training, as we did.

Our first tapas were Carciofo alla Romana, pan-seared artichoke hearts in olive oil and pancetta, and Crocchette de Pollo y Jamon – panko-breaded chicken croquettes with Serrano ham, with a roasted garlic aioli.

These were outstanding. The artichoke hearts were smoky, yet had that special sweet aftertaste; the croquettes crisp and stuffed with moist, shredded thigh meat, accented by both the Serrano ham and the sweet, aromatic aioli.

Next came Cozzi e Chorizo in Brodetto, a pot of Mussels and chorizo sausage in a rich wine broth, and Empanadas de Camaron – a shrimp turnover in puff pastry.

We spent so much time raving over the succulent, grit-free mussels, the sausage (they make all their sausage in-house) and the perfection of the wine sauce that we almost ignored the empanadas.

No worries- the shrimps, nestled in their flaky shells, were still warm and savory.

Respect anyone who can pick the right red to go with chicken and shellfish. Server Peter brought a Ramon Bilbao Rioja that was flavorful and fruity and an excellent Clos de Siete Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina – round and full-bodied, that stood up to the shellfish yet supported the delicate flavors of the shrimp.

We ordered rare, tender Costillas Cortas Asadas la Salsa Verde, grilled short ribs with a savory green sauce; also a creamy Risotto con Porcini, perfectly executed arboreal rice with mushrooms, made with chicken stock and flavored with truffle oil and shaved parmesano reggiano.

Of course, with beef it was time for a white – D’Altamira, an albariño from Rias Baixas in Spain – and I was so glad I left the selections to the experts.

Then came the virtual Spanish national dish – Paella a la Valenciana – a pot of chicken and seafood in rice for two that was some of the best I ever had, complimented by another surprise – another white wine, La Privada from Mendoza, Argentina.

The firm, creamy, citrus-accented flan on a vanilla wafer and their Pot de Crème, rich but not heavy chocolate mousse flavored with hazelnut, were two of the best desserts in recent memory. Both the espresso and regular coffee were excellent.

Added to regular events and wine tastings at Fino, starting in April they’ll serve lunch. You may find yourself going back again and again – that’s Fino.

Fino Wine & Tapas

39-13 Bell Boulevard

Bayside, NY 11361

Phone: 718-229-1330

Fax: 718-229-0035

www.finowinetapas.com

Monday through Wednesday 4:30 – 11:30 p.m.

Thursday through Saturday 4:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.

Sunday 4:30 – 10:30 p.m.

Private party hours can be arraigned.

MasterCard, Visa, American Express accepted

Muni meter parking Monday-Saturday until 7 p.m.

Valet parking Friday and Saturday evening

Q13, Q31 stop at Bell Boulevard and 40th Avenue

Q12 to Northern and Bell Boulevards

L.I.R.R. Port Washington line to Bayside
Fino Wine & Tapas
39-13 Bell Boulevard
Bayside, NY

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