Vino’s & Fukuyama Pasta & Sushi
806 N. Main St.
3 to 10pm, Monday-Thursday. 3pm-1am, Friday. 5pm-1am, Saturday. Closed on Sunday.
Find them on Facebook under “Vino’s and Fukuyama Pasta & Sushi.”
Carryout available. Happy Hour/All You Can Eat Sushi Monday through Friday, 3-5 pm with dinner rolls for $18.95, or All You Can Eat Sushi from 5-9 pm for $21.95.
Vino’s & Fukuyama Pasta & Sushi has no doubt caused a few double takes, presenting an unusual pairing of Italian and Japanese food. But truth be told, it works nicely together – and the sushi is mouthwatering.
Chef and Owner Chris Carrete opened the restaurant in Findlay on Dec. 22, to bring back Italian food, which had previously been enjoyed at that location, and to mix things up with sushi. Carrete said his sushi is more West Coast style, flavored with more sauces and vegetables.
“We do traditional sushi as well,” Carrete said. “But we like to mix it up a little bit. I also make all of my own sauces, and they’re unique to us. I opened (in Findlay) because I feel like people are used to the same old thing. I wanted to bring something different.”
Just in case you were wondering, “Fukuyama” means “happy mountain” and, in Japan, the rose symbol on their sign stands for the young helping the old and the old guiding the young.
Rock and roll, and rolls
I enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere in the restaurant. Carrete invited our kids, much to their delight, to have a look inside the counter at the fish and quail eggs used in the sushi. For a while classic rock was playing, and was replaced by 80s music, my favorite. He hopes to eventually host live bands and karaoke to add to the fun.
Fukuyama offers more than 100 sushi rolls and combinations to choose from, organized on the menu as Nigiri rolls, Vegetable Maki Sushi rolls, Tempura Maki sushi rolls, Maki sushi rolls, Specialty rolls and Dinner Only rolls. There are also Japanese appetizers, soups and salads.
Being ardent sushi fans, my husband and I wasted no time ordering several types to share. Our careful selections were: Tuna Roll, Spicy Tuna with avocado; Philly Roll with salmon, green onion and cream cheese; King Kong, with tempura (fried) shrimp, krab, cream cheese and teriyaki sauce; and Rainbow roll with tuna, salmon, yellowtail, albacore, shrimp, tobiko, krab, avocado and cucumber.
They were all wonderful. I especially enjoyed the deep-fried King Kong Roll as something new. The breading’s light crunch gave way to a flavorful and creamy inside. I loved the mix of the delicate fish with the cream cheese and teriyaki sauce.
The Rainbow Roll was delightful as well, hosting a variety of taste combinations and alluring in its presentation. It was topped with tobiko, or flying fish eggs, which I have found is one of my favorite sushi ingredients because of its subtle flavor and supple texture.
Finally, one of my all-time favorite sushi types is anything similar to the Philly Roll. Carrete’s addition of green onion added a wonderful flavor to the roll. The spicy tuna was also delicious, and my husband enjoyed all of the sushi right along with me.
Compliments from the kids
We convinced our 9-year-old son to try a tuna roll the last time we ate sushi and, to our amazement, he actually asked for us to order them here. He happily ate a few along with his chicken tenders and fries and enjoyed it all tremendously. He has become quite the food critic and offered this assessment:
“This chicken is amazing,” he beamed. “This chicken is the best ever, the fries are the best. This is my favorite place now. The ranch is so good too.” (The ranch dressing is made in-house.)
My 6-year-old daughter, who had the same meal minus the tuna roll, also found her dinner quite exciting. When I came back to the table from talking to Carrete, she ripped a bite from her chicken and pretty much flung it at me on the table, insisting that I taste it. I agree, it was good.
The Italian menu, which is not the former Vino’s menu, offers six pasta choices, eleven sandwiches, soups, salads, several appetizers and some sides. We will have to come back and somehow resist the sushi to try some of these delicious looking selections, like the Soft Shell Crab sandwich – fried crispy and placed on their own sweet Cole slaw, red onions and miso basil sauce on an Italian roll. Or the Seared Ahi Tuna sandwich – sweet Cole slaw with wasabi cream, avocado and red onions on an Italian roll.
The restaurant also has a full-service bar with all kinds of fun drinks and specialty cocktails, beers (including my favorite Kirin Ichiban which declares “brewed for good times” on the label), wines and Sangria.
Vino’s & Fukuyama is a nice two-for-one addition to the Findlay restaurant scene. The Italian offerings look great, and we know the sushi and chicken tenders are first-rate, Carrete and his staff were very friendly and helpful, and you can’t go wrong with 80s music.
The Short Course
To avoid wait Call for a reservation or avoid their busiest times (5:30pm to 7:30pm on Friday and Saturday nights).
Noise level Moderate (music playing).
Bathroom amenities Clean and adequate.
High chairs Yes, and booster seats.
Got Milk? Yes.
Kid’s menu? No, but they have your standard chicken tenders, fries and spaghetti, and can make child-size portions. Your server will be happy to help.
Food allergy concerns? Many people write their allergies right on their sushi order sheets. Talk to your server or the chef – they will do what they can to accommodate.