David Cooper, owner of Finn’s Restaurant, on the waterfront in downtown Victoria.

David Cooper, owner of Finn’s Restaurant, on the waterfront in downtown Victoria.

Restaurant’s staff-centred approach yields delicious rewards for diners

Victorians have a new favourite in Finn’s

What a year it’s been for Finn’s, on Victoria’s Inner Harbour!

Built by Roderick Finlayson – the “Fin” in Finn’s – the fieldstone and brick heritage building offers a distinctly Victorian experience, with an inviting ambience featuring brick-lined walls and yes, some of the best views in town.

Upscale casual, “people will find excellent, fresh local seafood as well as pork chops, steak and chicken, plus more casual fare, including fish and chips with house-made tartar sauce and handmade artisan pizzas,” says restaurateur David Cooper. “We emphasize fresh and in-house.”

Finn’s opened on Canada Day last year across from Bastion Square, after renovating the kitchen and patio.

“But more than anything we’ve invested in people,” Cooper says.

In addition to a level of employee benefits not often seen in the industry, Finn’s has also created an extensive training program for those wanting to make cooking their career.

“We want to create a place where there’s a genuine career for people wanting to enter cooking.”

Heading up that initiative is respected executive chef Richard Luttman, overseeing a team of exceptional chefs. A company-funded apprenticeship program supports those wanting to join those Red Seal ranks, along with employee awards recognizing excellence.

The front of the house is also key. “In the same way we’re dedicated to great food, we’re very serious about customer service,” Cooper reflects. “We print our promise to customers at the bottom of every menu. If your experience with us falls short of expectation in any way, just let us know and we’ll make it right.”

It’s been a winning combination for customers. Finn’s enjoys rave reviews – 4 1/2 stars on TripAdvisor and Yelp – and earned a 2018 Open Table Diner’s Choice Award.

Finn’s favourites: 5 to try

  1. Steam bowls: “One thing the thing people are really responding well to is our fresh steam bowls of local mussels and clams,” Cooper says. Try the popular Haida Gwaii or Clayoquot Sound bowls, or the yummy vegetarian version.
  2. Perfectly cooked pork: Carnivores will love the 14-ounce double thick pork chop – charred on the outside and perfectly cooked inside – something diners typically wouldn’t prepare at home.
  3. Fresh from the sea: Finn’s British-style fish and chips – prepared from haddock in a traditional craft beer batter – has earned high praise. There’s also oysters, plus wild sockeye salmon, ling cod, halibut and sushi-grade ahi tuna, all sustainably caught.
  4. Artisan Pizzas: Crafted from scratch with the freshest ingredients, choose from Vegetariano, Bianca (white sauce and blue crab) and Gamberi (shrimp, smoked bacon and caramelized balsamic onion).
  5. Refreshing refreshments: From the bar, Finn’s serves a great selection of BC VQA wines, but places special emphasis on its cocktail and beer lists. “We’re big proponents of classic cocktails – served strong and ice cold,” Cooper says, pointing to their “Barely Legal Martini,” featuring three ounces shaken table-side and served ice-cold. From the taps, “we have a great selection of local craft brews and other brands.”

Visit Finn’s at 1208 Wharf St., on the harbour across from Bastion Square, or check them out online at finnsvictoria.com.

 

Savour the Finn’s wild prawn tacos, made using hand-peeled wild prawns.

Savour the Finn’s wild prawn tacos, made using hand-peeled wild prawns.

The fresh local halibut feature from Finn’s is a menu highlight.

The fresh local halibut feature from Finn’s is a menu highlight.

Seafood steam bowls are a Finn’s favourite.

Seafood steam bowls are a Finn’s favourite.