Finka — a funky spelling of the Spanish word for "farm" — made a splash when it opened in early July in far west Miami-Dade as a stylish gastropub with an Asian and South American flair. There's a ten-drink cocktail list created by Bar Lab, the duo behind hipster hideaway Broken Shaker, alongside a barrage of eclectic-sounding dishes pulled from a pantry filled with homemade kimchee, ají amarillo, and vaca frita. Now the place buzzes at all hours. During a recent Saturday afternoon, nearly all of Finka's 230 seats were filled. Waiters wearing canvas aprons and carrying cast-iron dishes squeezed through the crowd. Older couples sporting guayaberas and colorful sweatsuits sat quietly munching ham and codfish croquetas. Young families gathered at light-beige banquettes while screaming children downed bowls of macaroni and cheese peppered with juicy shredded carne asada.Finka's roots grow from the hallowed ground of Cuban Miami restaurant royalty. Owner Eileen Andrade's grandparents, Raul and Amelia Garcia, opened the Little Havana landmark restaurant Islas Canarias in 1977 after emigrating from Cuba. Raul and Amelia's daughter, Nancy, Eileen's mother, opened two other Islas Canarias locations in West Dade in 1987 and 2007. Santiago, Eileen's uncle, still oversees the Little Havana spot that started it all. Eileen was 10 when she began working in her parents' restaurants, but she avoided them as a teenager. After a short stint in fashion school, she returned, working almost every job — from manager to line cook — at the family's restaurant at SW 137th Avenue and Coral Way. Inspired by one of Islas' Peruvian chefs and a two-month stint in Korea, she and her brother started the Cubancube food truck, which launched in 2011 and shuttered early this year. To see how this first-time restaurant owner's spot is faring read the full review of Finka Table & Tap, now posted on Short Order.
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