For 15 years, BIN 36 was a mainstay in the River North area of Chicago. We knew the sign, knew the menu had lots of delicious items, and most importantly, knew the amazing wine program it offered.
When I worked on the other side of the river, Bin 36 was where we took clients for a nice lunch. Fast forward to a few months ago, Bin 36 is now at 161 N Jefferson, right in the heart of the busy West Loop neighborhood that’s filled with awesome restaurants and bars. It fits in so perfectly in the neighborhood that you’d think it’s been there all along.
Friday night was date night and we picked Bin 36. I was eager to check out the new space and updated menu. The vibe is very comfortable, yet modern and airy. It was quite busy, and there was a private party of 20 going on too. Because of the awesome wine program, Bin 36 is a great pick for larger groups. There were tables of girlfriends catching up on a Friday night, families having dinner together, Chicago execs stretching out happy hour perhaps, and lots of date nights like ours.
Now, on to the food & wine! I could not decide what to drink! The cocktails sounded awesome (hello, single-drip sangria!), of course the wine list is extensive… where to start? Lucky for me, the wine list also offers flights based on wine categories. While I do like the occasional glass of Malbec or Pinot, I’m mostly a white wine kinda lady.
I chose to do the flight of whites called “SUPER COOL WHITES”. The cost for four 2.5oz pours – $15.73. Yes, please! Each of the flights is super affordable, and they don’t skimp on the pours. It’s a great way to try new wines. You don’t have to go with a flight either. You can order any of the wines in 2.5oz pours. So basically… you can create your own flight should you choose to. I went the easy route because I knew I’d enjoy each of the wines in the “Super Cool Whites” flight – Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand), Vermentino (Italy), Chardonnay (France), Chardonnay (California). Each was lovely, with the Chardonnay (California) being the heaviest of the four.. My favorite was probably the Vermentino and it was new to me. I’d definitely order it next time.
My boyfriend had the “BIN AT THE BEACH” cocktail (Old New Orleans Spiced Rum, Lime, Pineapple, Fruitlab
Hibiscus). Super refreshing and easy to drink. It’s an awesome summer cocktail, and would be perfect for a sunny day on the patio.
After perusing the menu, we decided on a few items to start with: BLISTERED SHISHITO PEPPERS & BRESAOLA with a Parsley/Lemon/Parmesan salad garnish. Both were good, but we really loved the combo of the salted beef with the lemony salad.
Entrees were tricky. We really couldn’t decide, but of course narrowed it down to the meat dishes because we are shameless carnivores. That said, the boyfriend went with the 12OZ HOUSE-AGED RIBEYE with Lobster, Potato Hash, Pickled Beans, Warm Carrot Vinaigrette, all topped with a sunny-side up Duck Egg. Can we say indulgent? Chef Shane said they ran a similar dish as a Mother’s Day special, and because it was a huge hit, decided to add it to the summer menu. Good call.
I chose the BRAISED LAMB NECK with Candied Vidalia onions, baby carrots, English pea puree. While the accoutrements were good, the lamb neck was definitely the star of the dish. It was braised until super tender, and just delicious. I loved the lamb, but I stole a few pieces of the boyfriend’s ribeye and lobster 🙂
To close out our meal, we had some coffee and the CARAMELIZED BANANA TART. This tart… thankfully the boyfriend took his half because I probably could’ve devoured the entire thing by myself within a minute. SO good!
Towards the end of our meal, we got to chat with the new Owner, Enoch, who was stopping by each table to greet customers. Really nice guy, and definitely interested in making customers happy with their BIN 36 experience.
THEN! Just yesterday the restaurant posted that they would be starting Brunch service. Chicagoans love brunching, and brunching on the BIN 36 patio is definitely going to be a must-do this summer. Add it to your list now.