Finca has been garnering a lot of attention lately, and with good reason. It is the second venture of Scott Evans, the creator of the wildly successful restaurant, Pago.
Scott decided to open a Spanish tapas restaurant, and recruited the help of executive chef Phelix Gardner, who spent his childhood in Spain and went on to work at The Grand America and Wild Grape.
Tapas are gaining popularity in SLC, helped along by tapas pioneers Cafe Madrid, Pipa, Meditrina, and Eva (oh, and I forgot about Martine! Thanks for the reminder, Zach). These little three-bite dishes are perfectly tailored for a group of adventurous individuals to try a bunch of different flavors.
Finca is located in a brand-new building located on the corner of 1300 S 1100 E, directly to the east of Liberty Heights Fresh. The space is bright and cheery, with huge southwest-facing windows that bring in tons of natural light. Initially Finca got a bad rap for being extremely loud. They’ve managed to solve some of that issue by adding acoustic panels throughout the cieling. But during our visit we still found it to be a bit too loud to carry on a comfortable conversation. Decoration is minimal, and it’s a shame that they had to hide the bar behind a Zion curtain. Although well-designed, the Zion curtain still looks odd.
We had a large group (9 of us), and one of our more daring dining companions decided to order the entire tapas menu. There were some definite hits.
Boquerones-crostada topped with chevre and anchovy
Tortilla Espanola-wonderfully eggy with a lovely romesco sauce
Croquettas-creamy and fried to perfection
Albondigas-really nice, unique flavor to these meatballs
Mejillones-perfectly tender mussels in a deliciously salty broth
Pork Belly-this was our last plate, and it was the perfect way to finish off. Tender, rich, and topped with a nice BBQ-like sauce
Papas y Aioli-perfectly cooked and crispy, these aoili-topped morsels hit the spot for a hearty dish
The shishito peppers dish was simply prepared and presented, and had just the slightest amount of kick
There was also a flatbread/pizza-style dish that I really liked
The olive plate was a hit as well, providing us with a selection of three different olives
We had a cheese plate, which gave us a small, but varied selection of local cheeses (Snowy Mountain), blue cheese that I can’t remember the name of, champagne grapes, and membrillo. Do yourself a favor and put a slice of the membrillo on a crostada and top it will some blue cheese. It was amazing. But for the $13 or $15 that we paid for it, I would probably suggest passing this one up.
There were a number of salads—none of them too memorable except the strawberry and beet salad that everyone seemed to enjoy.
I apologize for the lack of photos. It was dark in there, and I dislike posting blurry, grainy photos of food as much as you dislike looking at them. I guess that means I have a good excuse to go back during the day.
Finca is delicious. I’m glad I finally had a chance to check it out. While it will definitely fall into my “special occasion” restaurant category (with water to drink, plus tip I paid $30 for myself), I can’t wait to find an occasion to celebrate.
Friday night counts as an occasion, right?