We recently spoke with Big Fin Seafood Kitchen’s Partner Philippe Villain and General Manager Michael Venutolo about their plans for the restaurant in 2021 as well as changes they have seen the past year since COVID began for their industry. (We also recently spoke with Big Fin’s new executive chef Eric Enrique here).

Interview with Big Fin Owner Philippe Villain 

Tasty Chomps: What are your operational/business goals for Big Fin Seafood Kitchen in 2021?

Continue our total dedication to our local guests , delivering even more value for money and elevated experiences . Our new menu and culinary innovation makes several jumps upward without raising prices , our focus to further elevate service and hospitality will all enable us to continue to hold our long running title of Best Seafood in Orlando . I also look forward to the return of travel and conventions .

What are some lessons you have learned during 2020?

Instead of retreating backwards – find new bold ways to jump forward to meet and exceed guest expectations. Continue to innovate new ways to deliver more value and quality without raising prices . As always ; cherish your valued staff .

 What are some personal resolutions you have for 2021?

Further think of ways to protect the business and our team members who depend on us . We expect a partial recovery in 2021 but not full until 2022  – dedicated to growing our business and creating opportunities !

Big Fin GM Michael Venutolo

What are some things you have noticed change this year in the front of the house?

The overall volume of business. The pandemic changed everyone’s approach to going out. We have seen an increase in guests dining out as the year has progressed but there are a good portion of guests that are not yet comfortable going and dining in at any restaurant. We appreciate the guests that have helped support us since March and to the guests not quite ready to dine out…we look forward to having you dine with us when you feel comfortable.

What are some things new guests to Big Fin can expect when they come to dine at the restaurant?

An approachable upscale atmosphere, the freshest seafood in Orlando and an elevated level of hospitality.

How does Big Fin stand out from other restaurants on Restaurant Row in your mind?

The quality of food we serve, our service as well as our price points. Every other fine dining establishment in our area is not somewhere that guests can realistically visit that often as they are paying $100+ per person…you can get a phenomenal meal at Big Fin and our average cost is $65.

What are some lessons you have learned during 2020?

How to adapt quickly to changing environments. Covid threw everyone a curveball and it really brought to light the “adapt or die” mentality. We did not offer curbside prior to the pandemic and quickly had to pivot and adjust our focus on that. And even after we were allowed to reopen…adapting to new sanitation standards, seating protocols, etc.

What are some personal resolutions you have for 2021?

I always have a personal resolution to expand my knowledge in some way or form. This year I hope to receive my Sommelier certification which will be both personally and professionally beneficial. Aside from that I am looking forward to what our newly established team at Big Fin can accomplish by elevating ourselves from our competition in 2021.