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What I Ate: July 17, 2010 (Nordstrom Cafe Bistro, FINO)

Posted 18 July, 2010 at 9:42pm by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food, What I Ate)

Lunch: We had lunch at Nordstrom Cafe Bistro where we split two salads. I started with their Warm Asian Glazed Chicken Salad which had a well-balanced sweet dressing and tender chicken.
Cafe Bistro - Warm Asian Glazed Chicken Salad

The other salad we ate was a Cilantro Lime Shrimp which was also nicely prepared except for the fact that the shrimp was from the Gulf (and both Tina and I dislike the strong bromine flavor of Gulf shrimp).
Cafe Bistro - Cilantro Lime Shrimp

After our salads, we were still a little hungry, so we decided to try their White Chocolate Bread Pudding which was excellent. The edges were nicely crisped; the whipped cream wonderfully rich and just sweet enough to complement the bread pudding.
Cafe Bistro - White Chocolate Bread Pudding

Dinner: We had dinner at FINO (2905 San Gabriel Street #200, Austin, TX‎ - (512) 474-2908‎) for the first time tonight. I had some photograph color issues due to the mixed lighting from the sunlight streaming in from outside mixed with the interior lighting.

Piquillo Peppers stuffed with Lump Crab - I really enjoyed these stuffed peppers (not spicy) which were served cold. The sweetness of the peppers and the crab was excellent. Tina felt a little additional salt would have made it better.
FINO - Piquillo Peppers stuffed with Lump Crab

Heirloom Tomatoes & Arugula - a simple dish with simple ingredients, but extremely flavorful when done properly. FINO lightly dressed the salad and used a fine salt that dissolved into the dressing so it was perfectly seasoned. Several different flavorful tomatoes were presented with each tasting a little different.
FINO - Heirloom Tomatoes & Arugula

Richardson Farms Pork Belly & Crispy Egg - The pork belly could have been more tender, but the flavor was very good. Served with grilled onions in a sherry vinegar sauce, the pork belly matched well with the poached egg breaded in panko and fried. The egg was something new that we hadn't had prepared in this manner before and I have to say, it's an incredible way to eat an egg.
FINO - Richardson Farms Pork Belly & Crispy Egg

Roasted Vegetable Escalivada - we weren't a fan of this roasted vegetable (peppers, squash, and onions) dish served on toasted bread with a pile of mild Garroxta goat cheese. It could have just been personal preference.
FINO - Roasted Vegetable Escalivada

FINO Paella for 2 - we had them add chorizo and fried eggs to this very good paella. The plentiful seafood blended well with flavorful rice, but the lemon aioli can be a bit tart if the paella isn't well mixed, so be sure to do a good job blending the rice at the table.
FINO - FINO Paella for 2

Gianduja Chocolate Semifreddo - The sweet and salty frozen custard was excellent. That saltiness is key - making this different (and better) than other chocolate frozen desserts. The hazelnut crumbs added a nice crunch and complimentary flavor to the dessert.
FINO - Gianduja Chocolate Semifreddo

Yogurt Panna Cotta - Served in the mold with an apricot granita on top and baklava on the side, this was a very pleasant solid yogurt. Great flavor, excellent nutty baklava, but not as good of a dessert as the semifreddo.
FINO - Yogurt Panna Cotta

4 comments to What I Ate: July 17, 2010 (Nordstrom Cafe Bistro, FINO)

Nate @ House of Annie, July 18th, 2010 at 9:53 pm:

  • wow, that bread pudding looks divine! And the deep-fried poached egg…what an interesting concept of contrasting textures.

Scott, July 19th, 2010 at 5:29 pm:

  • Whever I read about what you've had at the Bistro, I am reminded that the mall I work in only has the Classic Cafe. :-p

Michael Chu, July 19th, 2010 at 11:31 pm:

  • Oh, what's available at the Classic Cafe?

Scott, July 20th, 2010 at 6:27 am:

  • It's a scaled-down version of the Bistro. I guess Nordstrom's has like 7 restaurant concepts (if you include the coffee bars).