With a name like Fin & Pearl, it’s no surprise that the newest TomKats restaurant quickly became synonymous with seafood. You will, of course, find seafood on the menu, but you might be surprised to discover a non-seafood selection as well. “We have a diverse entree selection to accommodate both land and sea lovers,” Executive Chef Matt Farley explains. “We would hate for folks to miss out on our incredible seafood offerings just because their friends or family don’t care for seafood.” The land and sea options play off each other, and although seemingly disconnected at first glance, the variety offers a cohesive menu of rich, layered dishes, each with a distinct flavor profile.

Welcome to Fin & Pearl! Image: Fin & Pearl

Fin & Pearl Goes Beyond the Sea

Inside the 7,800-square-foot restaurant, the dining room seats 204 patrons while the bar seats 15 and the patio seats 36. The space is bright and open, making it welcoming any time of day.

Mermaids are there to great you!

Mermaids are there to greet you!

Few of Nashville’s eateries are executing three full meals a day — and few are doing it with as much flavor as Fin & Pearl. The doors open at 8:30 a.m. each weekday to eager breakfast goers (and 10 a.m. on the weekends for brunch). “Most people wouldn’t expect a seafood restaurant to serve breakfast, but we have traditional breakfast dishes on our menu, as well as unique seafood options,” Chef Matt shares.

During breakfast, we ordered three of the 11 dishes on the menu, one of which is seafood-centric: #hash, lobster and crab omelet, and homemade granola, paired with a glass of wine, mimosa and a Bloody Mary.

The pepita granola was a light and refreshing choice with tangy yogurt and fresh fruit. Although our server swore up and down he would pay $20 for the dish, we were happy to enjoy it for $9. Runner-up of breakfast favorites was the lobster and crab omelet. There is no denying that a fluffy omelet stuffed with butter-poached crab and lobster and house ricotta, topped with a silky béarnaise and served alongside a heaping portion of extra crispy potatoes is decadent. If you crave seafood for breakfast, go for the omelet. The richness of the dish was welcomed after the granola, but the star of the plate was the potatoes. Forks kept coming back for more.

It was the #hash that dominated the conversation of the table, though. House fennel lamb sausage, root vegetables, kale, apples, fingerling potatoes, sunny eggs and herb hollandaise came together in an unexpected way. The pungent sausage brought a complex flavor to the dish that was complemented by the tartness of the apples and creaminess of the hollandaise — a real crowd-pleaser.

Breakfast items are plentiful, so you’ll have lots of choices between traditional breakfast dishes and brunch-y items (savory and sweet).

Fin & Pearl Goes Beyond the Sea

For a lighter option, try the house granola with greek yogurt, seasonal fruit, pepitas and local honey.

Fin & Pearl Goes Beyond the Sea

A hearty omelet, with toast and house potatoes, is a delicious way to start your day! You will find the lobster and crab omelet on the breakfast and brunch menus.

Fin & Pearl Goes Beyond the Sea

The butter-poached lobster and crab meat match the richness of the béarnaise, creating a cohesiveness in the dish.

Fin & Pearl Goes Beyond the Sea

Also served for breakfast and brunch, the #hash is a deviation from the seafood selection — and that is a departure you should take!

Chef Matt is a longtime member of the TomKats family, the restaurant group run by Tom Morales. He is currently the executive chef who oversees The Southern Steak & Oyster, Acme Feed & Seed and Fin & Pearl. With Chef Matt as the skipper of the ship, Fin & Pearl opened their doors just seven months ago with commitment to sustainability.

“We work with small, private purveyors who uphold sustainable and traceable practices,” he shares. “Through our partnerships, we know exactly where in the ocean the fish was caught (to avoid over fishing), the name of the fisherman and the boat — even what kind of bait was used. It’s important to us that we help sustain ocean life, so that it can continue to sustain us. We’re committed to maintaining our sustainable efforts in a way that doesn’t compromise on quality.” It is this commitment to sourcing the freshest fish in the most sustainable manner that gives Fin & Pearl its strong seafood focus.

In addition to seafood items on the main breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner menus, you will find oysters on the ocean bar menu, along with ceviche of the day, seasonal crab, lobster, shrimp, poke and caviar. The selection of cold oysters rotates regularly, but they can always be topped three ways: Caribbean, Red Sea and mer sea, while the Blue Point oysters are served hot scampi style or as a BLT (bacon, roasted tomato, “miracle whip,” bread crumbs and micro celery). Head oyster shucker Juan Moore can walk you through the selection with ease. “If you want to get schooled in oysters, belly up to the bar,” Chef Matt challenges us. “Getting one-on-one time with our oyster shuckers is a treat. They’re engaging, knowledgable and friendly.”

Fin & Pearl Goes Beyond the Sea

Next came a round of oysters — a remise en bouche, if you will — with a cucumber, St. Germaine, lemon, mint and champagne mignonette.

Step up to the fresh seafood bar! Image: Fin & Pearl

Fin & Pearl’s offerings run the gamut, but seafood selections seem to reign supreme on the lunch and dinner menus. You can get your seafood blackened, grilled, fried, tucked in a taco or tossed with squid-ink fettuccine. We opted for the tucked, tossed and grilled, in addition to a farmer’s plate (to which you can add fish for just $5). Affordable lunch specials are offered every day, with the highlights being a half-soup/half-sandwich combo and a rotating fresh catch.

The lunch menu resembles that of the dinner menu, although sandwiches are only served at lunch, and dinner brings even more seafood to the table.

Fin & Pearl Goes Beyond the Sea

During our visit, the farmer’s plate featured a potato cake, charred bitter greens, asparagus, apple compote and creme fraiche. Remember, you can add fish for $5, making this a hearty lunch.

Fin & Pearl Goes Beyond the Sea

A glass of wine seemed necessary!

Fin & Pearl Goes Beyond the Sea

The braised and grilled octopus is served atop buttermilk white bean purée and celery olive tapenade salad. The octopus was the ideal texture, and the blacked tentacles enhanced the flavor.

Fin & Pearl Goes Beyond the Sea

The squid ink pasta is tossed with caramelized andouille sausage, juicy shrimp, oven tomato, lemon and Parmesan (a perfect mix of land and sea).

Fin & Pearl Goes Beyond the Sea

An avocado aioli and habanero slaw finishes the shrimp tacos. The aioli provides a welcomed creaminess, and the cabbage offers the perfect dash of acidity. With a side of black beans and rice with queso fresco, this is a filling dish.

Fin & Pearl is located at 211 12th Ave. S., Nashville, TN 37203. Hours are Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Depending on the time of day, you can choose from their breakfast, brunch, lunch, ocean bar, appetizers and salads, happy hour, midday, dinner and dessert menus. Learn more at (615) 577-6688.

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