We arrived right around noon on a Sunday to find a fairly busy restaurant. I was glad to see the place pretty busy. There were two large parties of a dozen or more there, as well as quite a few smaller groups. The place seemed festive and alive. We were promptly greeted and seated. I was happy to find that our waiter was Dimitris, the efficient and pleasant young man that waited on us for lunch a few weeks back. We quickly had our drink orders taken, a Bellini and a Mimosa--the first one is free at Sunday Brunch--can't beat that price!
We were only sitting a few minutes when some warm Banana Muffins were placed before us--what a nice treat. Oh, and not only did they look good, they were wonderful. They were moist and rich and heavy with good taste. The top of the muffin peeled right off and had a rich and caramely flavor--it was reminiscent of a gooey fudgy brownie in consistency. It was a very good muffin, no doubt.
I was hungry and so had big eyes. We started with a side of the Fried Ripe Tomatoes--three slices of ripe tomatoes had been pamesan and peppercorn breaded and deep fried, then placed on a bit of chipotle aioli. I would have liked just a bit more of the aioli, but the dish was excellent. I was surprise that the tomatoes could be so good and not be overly mushy as you'd expect from a ripe tomato.
Being hungry, I ordered another side, and this one was quite a surprise to me: Biscuit N Gravy. Now, that may sound somewhat ordinary to you, and I love my biscuits n gravy. But this was not ordinary. I thought I made the sausage gravy ever, but I see I have some serious competiton here. Actually, i must cede victory, because this sausage gravy was the best I've ever had. It was velvety and creamy and rich, and was exceptionally well-seasoned. I think I could have poured it in a glass and drank it, it was that good. Outstanding! The biscuits were good too, but the real star was the gravy.
My friend Tommy ordered the Country Fried Chicken--a boneless chicken breast that had been nicely and lightly breaded and fried, then topped with some sausage gravy (how can you go wrong with that combination). It was served with some Breakfast potatoes and some fruit. The chicken itself was extraordinarily tender and juicy. The breading was light and crispy. It was absolutely excellent. Tommy managed to finish the whole thing.
Of note on both our plates were the breakfast potatoes--chunks of potatoes that were well cooked, yet crispy on the outside, but not greasy. I am not sure how they were prepared, but they had a great flavor. Tender and just a bit crispy, nicely seasoned, they were wonderful.
For my main selection, I chose the Country Benny. A buttered biscuit was topped with a sausage patty and a slice of tomato, then a fried egg (over easy) and finally sausage gravy--and there were two of these on the plate. It was fantastic. Wow, what a boatload of flavor. Of course, the sausage gravy was killer, but all the flavors really went well together. This was a killer breakfast item. Fortunately I was hungry and ordered a lot, so i had some of this to take home for later--I polished it off that same night. It was accompanied by the same breakfast potatoes and a bit of fruit.
During the course of our meal I noticed Chef/Owner Autumn in the dining room, assisting guest, and checking up on people She came by our table a few times to make sure we had everything we needed. Towards the end of our meal, now that we'd had the food and dined anonymously, I gave her my card and asked if I could meet Chef Alex. He came out and was extremely gracious. We had a nice little chat about the food and the restaurant and how it all came to be, and we also got to meet their little daugter, Bella--this place is truly a family affair. Through the whole course of our meal, or service (thank Dimitris and the rest) was very thorough, prompt, and attentive. But the real star was the food. This was my third time eating at Finesse and each time has been a great experience. I think that if they stay on the same course, good things are coming their way. I know I'll be back and would be happy to take guests here for a special occasion--or just for a good meal. There are a lot of good places to eat in Lake Mary, but Finesse is among the very best of them. I highly recommend them yet again!