Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bina Alimentaria

In these difficult economic times, who would start a new business, especially a high-end restaurant? Azita Bina-Seibel and her brother, Babak Bina, are the successful owners of Lala Rokh and Bin 26 Enoteca (Bin 26 being of one my favorite restaurants). They have taken a big risk by recently opening a new, high-end restaurant, BiNA Osteria, as well as a food shop, BiNA Alimentari, in the Theater District. This is a gamble that I think is going to pay off for them.

Though I have not tried their restaurant yet, I have read some very positive reviews and will try to stop by there soon. But I recently stopped by their Alimentari for a sandwich. The Alimentari is a European-style shop offering specialty European goods, house-made breads and pastries, gelati, pastas, cured meats, cheeses, fresh produce, prepared meals, and a selection of artisanal wines and beers from all over the world. They have an interesting selection of gourmet items, sure to appeal to cooks looking for something different. Their wines also appear less common, not the brands you see everywhere else, and they are worth looking over.
They have an excellent selection of cheese from all over the world. Prices seem comparable to other similar gourmet cheese shops. Below, you can see the case for their cured meats and prepared foods, a good variety of items. Everything looked very fresh and appetizing.

They sell a number of sandwiches which you can buy to go or to eat there. The menu appears to change regularly, depending on what is fresh or in season. Sandwiches generally range from $7-$11 and are usually served on a toasted baguette with arugula, cracked pepper and olive oil. They are prepared fresh when you order. Sandwiches vary from items such as Pork Confit to Veggie, and from Proscuitto & Mozzarella to Chicken Salad. There are also prepared foods that you can order to eat, including mini-calzones and pasta dishes.

The shop is open seven days a week, Monday-Friday from 8am-9pm, Saturday from 10am-8pm and Sunday from 10am-6pm. Thus you can stop by for lunch or dinner on any day you wish.

Above, below the large windows, you can see the counter where you can sit and eat while you are there. The windows look out onto Washington Street so you can people watch while you eat. A nice place to relax and have a sandwich. There are not a lot of stools though, so if it gets crowded, you might not find a seat.

I began with a mini-calzone ($2.50) which contained pork bolognese and parmesan cheese. The type of calzone varies each day, dependent on what the cook decides to make. The calzone had a nice crunchy exterior and the inside was a dry, spicy mix of meat and sauce. I was expecting a bit moister of an interior, though it was tasty.

I then chose the Veal Buffalo Meatball sandwich ($11). This is essentially meat from a baby buffalo, which I had never had before, and it certainly resembled veal to me. The meatballs were crushed atop the bread with a very light sauce. The bread was warm and fresh, a good choice for the sandwich. There was plenty of meat inside the sandwich, and it was tender, flavorful and even a bit sweet. It certainly was not what I imagined it might be, but it was a very pleasant surprise. It was quite delicious and I highly recommend it. I could easily picture all the myriad ways you could prepare a plate of veal buffalo cutlets.

Service was excellent and all of the staff made sure that all my needs were met. I will be returning here again and it is a shop that is well worth checking out. Go for lunch or dinner, buy a sandwich and watch the people on Washington Street. And while your sandwich is being prepared, check out the rest of the items for sale.

Bina Alimentari
571 Washington St.
Boston, MA
Phone: 617-357-0888

BiNa Alimentaria on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

JacquelineC said...

Interested to hear your view of the wine selection, haven't seen it yet, myself. Also they have a pastry chef on site so there are some wonderful treats there, too. Got a great deal (surprisingly) on some risotto rice, too. I think it's the kind of place where prices are mostly premium, but there's an occasional deal.

Nice to have the option in the neighborhood!