Saturday, May 09, 2009

Wine and cheese tasting at Bin 36 -- Chicago

What better precedes a long evening of music with Leonard Cohen then a dining experience of short courses of cheese, hummus and soup at nearby Bin 36 at 339 North Dearborn in Chicago.

I took the 'el' downtown, walked north over the river, through the shadows of Marina City, and met my husband Carlos, awaiting me at Bin 36 with glass of Stella Artois in hand. Once seated at a relaxing booth, we had fun stretching our free time before the concert with little plates of pleasure.

Many patrons order flights of four red or white wines, which arrive in full-sized wine glasses, each filled with just a sampling of wine. Because I didn't want to get sleepy at the concert -- I heard Cohen keeps going until 11 p.m. -- I chose a tiny glass of 2007 Cabernet/Merlot/Malbec/Pinot Noir blendng called NQN, Picada 15 Tinto, Neuquen from Patagonia, Argentina. It was very good, fruity and dark.

Flights of cheese are also a specialty of the house, served with thin, crisp crostata bread. Since Carlos only likes goat cheese and I prefer cow milk cheese, we again didn't order a flight, but individual cheeses. Flights of sheep cheese are also available.

He loved the Cabra al Vino from Murcia, Spain, which is marinated in a local Jumilla wine. He said the cheese had "walls, floor and architecture. Very round and extremely satisfying." The Bridgewater cow milk cheese that I chose from Zingerman's Dairy in Ann Arbor, Mich., was creamy, mild, with a slight rind and spicy peppercorns throughout. Excellent! We also ordered a side of apricot/fig terrine and a small pot of honey to spread on bread along with the cheese, and it proved a bright, tasty addition.

The bowl of mushroom and walnut soup I ordered teetered between above average and just O.K. Would have preferred a salad. But the generous hummus plate accompanied by soft pita triangles was, according to Carlos "stunning, including the best oil, red onions and tomatoes." Our tab was just a little over $30. By midnight, when we turned in for the night, we still weren't hungry again. ◦


Anonymous said...

It is rather interesting for me to read the blog. Thanks for it. I like such topics and everything connected to this matter. I would like to read a bit more on that blog soon.

Anonymous said...

It was rather interesting for me to read this article. Thank author for it. I like such topics and anything connected to them. I would like to read a bit more soon.

Anonymous said...

Rather interesting blog you've got here. Thanx for it. I like such topics and anything connected to this matter. I definitely want to read more soon.

Anonymous said...

Great story you got here. It would be great to read a bit more concerning this theme. Thank you for posting this info.