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Finjan Bar & Grille

The "chicken steak," a grilled, boneless breast served with aromatic basmati rice and a fresh Israeli vegetable salad, was another main course that we thought could use some adjustment. The chicken was flavored with lemon and spices, but it also tasted chemically tenderized, a practice often used in lieu of pounding to disguise the grade of the poultry. On the other hand, a ten-ounce beef steak napped with green-peppercorn sauce had been simply grilled without interference, or so it appeared, and the succulent meat was neither too soft nor tough. And there was no question about the quality of the tilapia main course. The mild fillet had been doused with a tangy mushroom, tomato, and caper sauce and was partnered by an assortment of vegetables and a dish of couscous.

Belolo already has plans for some improvements. Hookahs, from which guests can smoke flavored tobacco, are on the way. Our server admitted that the assorted-baklava platter from which we'd ordered had originated in a local bakery, but she said the proprietors would soon begin baking their own. (They currently make a delicate apple strudel on the premises.) Plans for the courtyard in back of the restaurant, which has an Arabian Nights atmosphere, are top-secret, but since Belolo was chuckling when he told me this, I'm thinking some belly dancers or other live entertainment may be in the cards.

Exotic delights from the kitchen of Finjan
Joel Stahl
Exotic delights from the kitchen of Finjan

Location Info

Map

Finjan Bar and Grille

220 Clematis St.
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Category: Restaurant >

Region: West Palm Beach

Details

Lunch and dinner Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. till midnight; Thursday through Saturday till 2 a.m. Dinner Sunday from 4 p.m. till midnight.
330 Clematis St., West Palm Beach, 561-655-5757

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One area where Finjan doesn't need any work is presentation: Plates were carefully designed, with geometrically sliced cucumbers and tomatoes forming patterns. Such attention to detail warrants the $15 to $20 price tags for main courses, and it also can be seen in the sophisticated room décor. The restaurant was scheduled to open last September, but the designer wasn't satisfied with the products she could get in the States. So she wound up importing the blond wood­and-metal tables and metal chairs from Belgium, where Belolo has another Middle Eastern -- or is it Mediterranean? -- restaurant. The hand-detailed cement floor, an intriguingly swirled rust color, took six different finishes to achieve the desired effect, and the long, open bar, which is lit from underneath the counter, required another few months. All in all the restaurant has an airy but upscale feel. It's an ideal fit for Clematis Street, where many eateries have opened their doors but only a few have survived.

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