Hugs and thank yous to everyone who commented on my last post. Your comments mean so much to me and I am so happy I am able to share these pieces of my life with you. For those of you who took my cookie conundrum to heart and linked or emailed me better recipes — THANKS! I have a lot to choose from now and am keeping my fingers crossed that the next batch of cookies I bake will be a success.
What happens when Eating Bender and Eating Bird Food collide?
You get Bender + Bird Food…Eating, of course I can hear crickets chirping…
Corny humor aside, some eating definitely did take place tonight when Miss Brittany made an appearance in Chicago! Brittany and I have been emailing back and forth for over a year now — it’s true, Google archives don’t lie — and she is absolutely as kind and genuine as she is on her blog.
When I found out she was going to be in town for a few hours after I got off of work, I jumped at the chance to meet up for dinner. After searching for restaurants near where she was, I suggested Bin 36. I had heard good things — particularly about the wine — and it seemed like the right place for foodies.
I was a little late getting out of work, but Brittany was patient enough to wait for me and when I got there, I was greeted by a very comfortable atmosphere, including a tree of wine corks!
We sat down to a menu that had a slogan embodying everything I so dearly uphold 😉
Drink wine. Live well. Have fun.
I could never get tired of repeating that.
Brittany and I decided we were in the mood to share. We started by ordering the Bin 36 flight of wines, which came with chardonnay, cabernet, merlot and shiraz.
The best part was that we each got to enjoy our favorites. I took the chardonnay and the merlot, while Brittany stuck with the cabernet and shiraz. Perfect!
The chardonnay was described as one that “wears its’ oak like a peek-a-boo negligee; clean & fresh with generous ripe fruit – with nothing to hide.” I don’t know about all of that, but I do know that it was plenty sweet and I enjoyed it The merlot was not just any merlot. It was “merlot with an attitude!” I enjoyed this pour as well, described as “built with firm structure and a core of mocha scented dark fruit and minerals.”
For our dinner, Brittany and I decided to share the Garlic and Tomato Hummus. We also each got a Bin 36 Market Salad. While we were waiting, I snacked on one of the breadsticks on the table.
Our food came out promptly, and Brittany and I both commented on the fact that the Garlic and Tomato Hummus could easily have filled an entire container of Sabra.
But who am I to complain? Especially when it’s served with a generous helping of warm pita bread.
As much as I wanted to like it, however, I have to admit that the garlic was a bit too intense for my taste buds. I feel as though I’m exuding garlic from every pore right now!
Hoping that the Bin 36 Market Salad would help make up for it, I quickly dug in. The little breaded portion on the side is actually warm goat cheese.
At first, I wasn’t too impressed by this, either. The description on the menu says it contains “organic mixed greens, warm hazelnut crusted goat cheese, fresh grapes, and verjus vinaigrette.” I was expecting the goat cheese and the grapes to be more heavily integrated, but it was mostly organic mixed greens. When you’re paying $9 for a salad — thanks, Chicago – you do not want to pay for a mixed green salad you could make yourself at home for roughly 50 cents.
I will say, however, that the salad did grow on me. I started to add a small portion of goat cheese to each bite, which really did help it take on a new flavor.
Brittany and I easily gabbed for well over an hour about anything and everything. When we had finished with our dishes, we succumbed to the call for the dessert menu.
As you can see, there were a lot of interesting desserts to choose from. Sweet potato donuts? Milk chocolate ice cream sandwich? Everything sounded so complex it was tough to choose. Eventually, our devotion to all things pumpkin(g) won out and we went with the Crispy Brioche. The description says, “ pumpkin zabaglione, pumpkin seed nougatine, pear sorbet.” If your curious like I was, you can read the description about what zabaglione is by clicking here.
This was definitely a dessert — very, very sweet. The sugar overwhelmed the pumpkin flavor and overall, I wasn’t too impressed with this one either. (Side note: I’m sorry I suggested a bummer restaurant, Brittany!) I did think that the pear sorbet was good — wish it wasn’t in one tiny corner of the square — and the zabaglione in the middle was also quite flavorful. It reminded me a bit of creme brulee with a hard tart crust. I normally like creme brulee, but not so much in this case. Que sera sera!
Although the food wasn’t as good as I was hoping, the company was fantastic and I can’t wait for Brittany’s next visit to Chicago. I hope it’s sooner rather than later!
- Clean, clean, clean!
- Write, write, write!
- Pick up much needed groceries/supplies
- Watch the Northwestern v. Wisconsin game — Go Cats!!
- See New Moon — YES!!
- Visit my new cousin Cameron (yes, he has an adorable name now!)
What are your plans for the weekend?