Monday, July 28, 2008

Bin 26 Enoteca

As I recently mentioned, Bin 26 Enoteca has been on my short list of restaurants to try, so when I spent some time on Charles Street over the weekend I had to stop by for lunch.

Bin 26 Enoteca has a seasonally driven menu and an extensive wine list with over sixty wines by glass. The menu is designed for snacking and sharing, or a full meal. The restaurant is owned by the brother and sister team of Chef Azita Bina-Seibel and Babak Bina, who also owned the acclaimed restaurant Lala Rokh. The restaurant has an interesting look, a hip and modern look emphasizing a wine decor. It is a casual and comfortable place, looking out onto Charles Street.

They have an extensive and interesting wine list, with many different wines from all over the world. They do not sell wines by the glass in a traditional way. Instead, wine is sold in 100ml, 250ml, or 500ml potions. A normal 5 ounce glass of wine is 150ml. So, you can get less than a usual glass, more of a tasting size. Or you can get a larger glass, about eight ounces, in the 250ml measure. If you just don't want an entire bottle, then get the 500ml size. This might get confusing for some people who are not used to such measurements. I like the 250ml size, especially if I am going to get a single glass with a meal. We had a couple glasses of Rose, a Swiss Gamay and a French Provence Grenache/Syrah blend(about $13/$14 for 250ml). Both were very good though I preferred the French Rose. It had a nice strawberry taste without being sweet.

The lunch menu had appetizers, salads and entrees, a smaller selection than what is available for dinner. We decided to split several dishes between the three of us. There was Salmon atop a salad with a warm bacon vinaigrette, Goat Cheese three ways, Prosuitto, garlic and tomato confites, and Linguini with a Beef Bologonese. Prior to our food arriving, we received a basket of fresh bread, two different types, with a plate of olive oil. The olive oil was plain and very good, though it might have been more interesting with some spices in it.

The Salmon, a good-sized piece, was delicious with an interesting bacon flavor. The salmon was very fresh as were the salad greens. In fact, all of our dishes seemed to have very fresh ingredients. The Prosciutto was very good as were the three different goat cheeses. The goat cheeses were very creamy and flavorful, especially smeared atop the slices of bread. The Linguini seemed to be homemade and was cooked just perfectly. And the Bolognese sauce was absolutely delicious with plenty of meat. I almost could have licked that plate clean.

Service was excellent. The servers were attentive, personable and accomodating. Overall, the restaurant made a good first impression on me. The flavors and freshness of their ingredients were quite appealing. I will definitely return here again, especially to try their more extensive dinner menu. It is well worth a visit.

Bin 26 Enoteca
26 Charles Street (Beacon Hill)
Boston, MA
Phone: 617-723-5939

Bin 26 Enoteca on Urbanspoon

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