Last night, Tom and I ate in the cellar at Bin 36. It was delicious and very reasonably priced. I absolutely love wine, but unfortunately I don’t feel like I am terribly educated with regards to it. Sure, I have some knowledge but not enough to go to a place with 50 wines by the glass and 350 by the bottle and make the best choice. It is nice to have a place where not only do they recommend a pairing on the menu, the server can also offer suggestions as to what will best complement your meal.
I wish I didn’t feel like such a dork taking pictures of my food in public, but I sort of do :) It’s not so bad when you are secluded but when you are surrounded by people and could practically elbow them, well I feel a little strange. So, while this will not be as good as seeing the pics along with the meals, I bring to you our dinner at Bin 36:
We started out with a “Get Your Goat” cheese flight. Yes, cheese flight. In my mind cheese flight=best idea ever. We paired this with none other than the Bin 36–a 2005 Pinot Noir. The flight included:
- Fresh Chevre, Sweet Grass Dairy, Thomasville, GA Oh my! Like soft pillows of sweet, rich & creamy goat cheese clouds. We’ve had fresh Chevre before but not like this.
- Hoja Santa, Mozzarella Company, Dallas, Texas Wrapped in a sassafrass leaf, this cheese is light and airy with hints of lemon, juniper berries, and, of course, sassafrass.
- Mad River Roll , Cypress Grove Chevre, Arcata, CA A ripened log that gets creamier as you reach the center. Like a bag of salted peanuts, that you won’t find at Wrigley. (by far my favorite of the flight; so salty and creamy and just plain delicious)
- Green Peppercorn, Coach Farms, Pine Plains, New York This lovely cheese is sprinkled with briney green peppercorns
Then, I had their soup of the day, which was a pureed asparagus finished off with creme fraiche. I got this with a half-pour of 2005 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Quattro Mani, Abruzzi, Italy. The soup was very good, but it didn’t quite have the richness I wanted/expected from a soup with heavy cream. The wine was great. I typically would order a white to accompany an asparagus dish, but I had the Quattro Mani at the suggestion of the server and I was glad I did. It was a very subtle red, not at all overpowering. Tom decided to go with their asparagus salad with aby arugula, frisee, grapefruit, capra honey go cheese, tarragon-grapefruit vinaigrette.
For dinner, I had:
- Braised Lamb Shank, house preserved lemon & parsley risotto cake, crispy marrow, parsnip & leeks, natural reduction, with a
- 2004 Montepulciano d,Abruzzo, Fattoria Nicodemi, Abruzzo, Italy
They actually had a different lamb dish on special, which sounded even better, but unfortunately they were running low on it as it was part of the chef’s tasting menu (as a side note, the 4-course chef’s menu is a very reasonable $56). Not to worry though, the shank was delicious and fell right off the bone. The risotto cake was great, too.
- Sauteed Monkfish, fennel sausage, beluga lentils, oven dried tomatoes, baby spinach, white wine veal sauce, with a
- 2005 Chardonnay, De Bortoli, “Riverina,” Southeastern Australia
This was an error on our server’s part, as he had actually ordered a 2005 Gruner Veltliner, Laurentz V., “Sophie”, Kamptal, Austria . Oh, well.
I should preface this by saying that we are piggies and always get our own desserts. I had the
Apple Filled Financier, hazelnut croquant, cardamom anglaise, oatmeal stout ice cream.
Tom had the
Coconut Tres Leches Cake, roasted pineapple, passionfruit curd, coconut tapioca, thia basil ice cream.
Dessert was good, not fantastic. The hazelnut croquant, cardamom anglaise and oatmeal stout ice cream were all delicious but I thought the financier was a little bland and a little too dry. Tom’s tres leches cake was great, but a little overpowered by the pineapple and tasted more like a pinapple cake, for that reason.
Overall, we enjoyed a delicious meal at a reasonable price. For the amount of food/wine we received we would have expected to pay more at a downtown establishment. Bin 36 is pretty casual, and very trendy. It’s not at all stuffy and does not have a pompous feel despite their specialty of cheese and wine. I am sure we’ll be back!
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