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Fins Fish House and Raw Bar

/ Updated on May 3, 2014
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My first experience with raw oysters was part of a “progressive birthday party” (code for: “Stumbling Up Rehoboth Ave., Eating and Drinking and Muttering ‘Happy Birthday To You'”) here in Rehoboth many years ago. Fins was one of the stops along the way. We had already visited three other places, so my inhibitions (and liver function) were decidedly compromised. Our generous host ordered raw oysters for all, and they were delicious. Fresh, like seawater with no fishy aftertaste, these strange little sliders quickly became a favorite, kicked up with a sprinkle of Tabasco. Fins prides itself on their selection (I counted 34) including such varieties as Buzzard Bay, Rome Point, Lady Chatterly and Tatamagouche. The selection varies regularly. I’ve dined at Fins many times, and other than an encounter with a bad server who has since moved on, I have not had a bad experience. I love to sit by the upstairs front windows and peer down onto Rehoboth Ave. Though Fins’ menu tends to be more predictable than most in Rehoboth, do note that things can change with the seasons. So some of the goodies described below may — or may not — be available.

My favorite appetizer is the hot and crispy Shrimp and Crawfish Spring Rolls, served with a sweet Asian-style dip. They are just as good — if not even a little better — at Fins’ latest installation out on Coastal Highway across from Safeway. But I get them at both locations. Other favorites include Seafood Quesadillas and the cheesy Crab Dip, both with generous portions of seafood. Two salads that stand out are the Chopped Salad (loaded with cheese, cucumbers, corn, bacon, tomatoes…you get the idea) and the Fins House Salad (crispy greens with pine nuts, cranberries, gorgonzola and pine nuts). It’s not quite as big as the Chopped Salad, but has a sweet/nutty taste all its own and works great with one of the huge sandwiches I am about to describe. Check out the other offerings, especially the Tempura Battered Scallops. These will surprise you.

I love sandwiches. And one for which I perpetually pine is an authentic New England Lobster Roll, and Fins comes close to total satisfaction in that department. This overstuffed lobster salad sub lacks the buttered and grilled “Boston” roll that you’d get at a waterside diner in Maine or at Boston’s Faneuil Hall, but the fresh sub roll is an OK stand-in if it’s the only way you can get the tasty lobster salad. And Fins does not skimp on the lobster.

Speaking of sandwiches, my dining companion-of-choice loves the Peacemaker. It’s a fried oyster Po’Boy (lettuce, tomato and a spicy cajun tartar sauce on a crispy roll)…but add bacon. Now what could POSSIBLY be wrong with that? The combination of the crispy oysters with the salty bacon is hard to beat. I sprinkle Tabasco all over it. The Crab Cake Sandwich and the Clam Roll (fried clams done up like the Lobster Roll) have also been met with drooling approval.

If you actually make it to the entrees, you’ll see all the standard fish house goodies. The Peacemaker’s fried oysters also make a nice Fried Oyster Platter. Same thing with the crab cakes. I’ve enjoyed the fish and chips (crunchy beer batter w/fries and slaw) and also the fried Soft Shells. They’re seasonal, but when they have ’em, get ’em. I’ve run out of adjectives to describe a well-fried dish, so please just order them and tell me what you think.

UPDATE: During a recent visit to Fins, one member of our party had the Fins Cioppino; a fish stew loaded with clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops, crabmeat and fresh fish surrounded by a sea of saffron white wine garlic tomato broth. After a detailed interrogation (The Foodie can be a bit annoying at the table) I couldn’t get him to say anything bad about it. The only things left on the plate were the empty shells of the mussels. Another at the table had the shrimp and grits. He pronounced the grits a bit too creamy and buttery, overwhelming the otherwise nicely spiced shrimp. I had a spoonful and I agree. Though Fins’ Shrimp & Grits is certainly OK, there are better in town.

ANOTHER UPDATE TO REPLACE A DELETED ONE: Regular visitors might remember a negative update I posted early in the summer regarding a rude and combative waitress with whom we had the unfortunate opportunity to cross paths. She has since moved herself and the chip on her shoulder to another local restaurant. I’ve already encountered her there (quite to my surprise and disappointment), and I’ve no doubt that she’ll continue to annoy their customers with her rude and intimidating attitude. In celebration of her departure from Fins, I have had several meals there recently, and want to join other oyster lovers in telling you that their oysters on the half shell continue to be great.

Most recently, I ordered the Sampler Platter, and have loved the fresh, seawater taste of the well-shucked little filter-feeders. The Sampler even comes with an instruction manual so you can keep track of the varieties (clockwise, starting at the cocktail sauce).

Enjoy them with one of Andrew Dickinson’s perfect Bloody Marys, complete with an Old Bay-dusted rim, their signature vegetable-infused vodka, a crunchy string bean, a strip of asparagus (if he takes a liking to you) and several massive olives. Pass the Tabasco, please. It’s a meal in itself, and it’s good for ya’ too!

Fins is open seven days, and is almost always busy even in the off-season. So be sure to give them a call to see what’s going on (302) 226-FINS (3467). Their website is cleverly laid out and fun to peruse, so Click Here to check out their menu and get more info. They don’t take reservations, but it’s fun to belly-up to the busy and noisy bar and sip a bit while you wait. You’re at the beach! Plop, relax and order some raw oysters, and don’t forget the Tabasco. (L. (limited–call), D., Bar) Price Range: Moderate +.

Off-season Specials & Hours

Specials & Moods change quickly. Always call a restaurant first.

pp = per person.
BOGO = buy one, get one.
Bloody = bloody mary.
domestics = American-made beers (e.g., Bud).
imports = foreign beers (e.g., Heineken).
Rails = non call-brand alcohol.
Prix Fixe = one set price.
Mains = entrees.
Margs = margaritas.
Chix = chicken.
AYCE = all you can eat.
Lite = Miller Lite
drafts = draught beer.
Early Birds = arrive before a certain time.
Apps = Appetizers.
bottles = beer in a bottle.
à la carte = order off the menu (no prix fixe).
crafts = micro/artisanal brews (e.g., Old Leghumper Lager)

234 Rehoboth Ave.
(302) 226-3467

New Years Eve reservs booking now. Limited seating!

Sunday
Happy Hour 11:30-6
4-9 Sunday Funday food specials!
Football-themed specials
Monday
Happy Hour at the bar 4-6
4-9 "Revenge of the Prices!" with menu pricing from 2007
Tuesday
Happy Hour at the bar 4-6
4-9 half-price fish board with choice of sauce and 2 sides
Wednesday
Happy Hour at the bar 4-6
4-9 Oystermania! Buck a Shuck!
Discounts on other oyster dishes
Thursday
Happy Hour at the bar 4-6
nightly dinner specials
Friday
Happy Hour at the bar: open 'til 6.
nightly dinner specials
Saturday
Open at 11:30
daily lunch and dinner specials
The Rehoboth Foodie

About the Author

"My goal is to promote Rehoboth Beach dining while remaining honest and impartial. I don’t gush unless a place deserves it, and I don’t pull punches, either. With so many good places to eat around here, it just doesn’t make sense to waste the calories — or the money — on anything less." View all articles written by The Rehoboth Foodie

Add Your Comment
  1. Sam says:

    These comments are for the Fins on Route 1. I had the Halibut and it had no flavor. I wasn’t even sure it was Halibut. A year ago at the Fins Downtown I had a delicious Halibut that was a thick white fish with herbs on top. It was so good. I was expecting the same at the new Fins. What I got was a thinner darker fish the was all breaded. I was very unhappy and did not finish it. I did take it home and was going to try to eat it the next day. It smelled horrible that I got rid of it. The seafood bake, another diner ordered, was so small for the price and not that tasty. Another diner had the Lemon Herb chicken. It was a dry piece of grilled chicken with a tiny cup of watery garlic sauce on the side. I plan to go back to the Fins Downtown to see if their Chef is better. I won’t go back to the new Fins after this dining experience. I had taken my family there and was extremely disappointed. The only decent meal was the Salmon. It was cooked well and tasty.

  2. fightingbluehen says:

    Fresh oysters. Extensive selection of local and northern types. The shuckers will throw away any sub par oysters they encounter. Served with cocktail and mignonette sauce. I recommend bellying up to the oyster bar. Great atmosphere.

  3. Lynda says:

    Oysters are the BEST AROUND!!!!

  4. Tina Kaufman says:

    Fabulous!! Had the fried oyster dinner with shoestring potatoes and mac and cheese. I could eat those fried oysters till the cows come home. They need to punch up the flavor on the mac and cheese but otherwise…FABULOUS!!!!

  5. Marylou McFadden says:

    I’ll keep this short since I have posted 2 other comments previously.my husband and I went to fins in February 2012,in 2 days we ate there 3 times and ate over 100 oysters ! need I say more!

  6. mary lou m says:

    wrote a comment a few weeks ago before my trip to rehoboth,well i just returned and the happy hour at fins was the best ever. this time we brought our 2 adult daughters and son-in-law with us, got 2 of them HOOKED on raw oysters, we atayed for 2 hours. the best place for oysters, so good and fresh tasting and the bartenders are friendly and the drink specials are good. definitly a fun and delicious place.

  7. mary lou m says:

    my husband and i love fins ,i’ve written reviews on other web sites because this is our absolute favorite place to eat in rehoboth.we have come for th weekend from nj just to get the oysters, the oyster stew and the fried oysters. one weekend we ate here 3 times,we are such foodies and love to dine out but we rarely go to other restaurants in the area .the happy hour is fantastic,the price for fresh fresh oysters and steamed shrimp cant be beat. ionly have one negative comment,maybe twice we have had a waitr or waitress that wasnot up to par, i think they could do a better job training all of their wait staff,but overall we always have a pleasant experience there.we are actually going to rehoboth labor day week this year and my mouth is watering just writing this comment.

  8. tim and anna says:

    We eat regularly at Fin’s — 3 times a week, at least — so we have much to say about the food there, but for today let’s start with the service: the entire staff is warm and welcoming, but you can’t go wrong with Chris, Josh, Katie or Andrew behind the bar. They will bend over backwards to make you feel at home. Mike, the GM, is accessible and WILL resolve your problem if you have one — we never have — but we suggest people ask to speak with him if they have an issues with the service. Great place, great staff.

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