Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bin 22 on a Saturday Night

My evening was spent at Bin 22 in Carytown, drinking, grazing and enjoying the never-ending promenade of people outside. I hadn't bothered to make plans with anyone for my Saturday night and by about 8:30, I was starting to think it was time to eat. I had missed the recent Matthew Broadbent wine dinner at Bin 22 because of a music show, so I decided that it should be my destination.

When I arrived, the place was empty, but the music was good and Interpol was blaring. I was pleased to see that owner Greg now offers wine by the quartino and settled in with a South African Cabernet Sauvignon. My intent was to to eat a little something, but my taste buds weren't screaming for anything in particular, so I began with the roasted red pepper and tomato soup.

For me, tomato soup means Halloween because, growing up, my mom always made tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for our pre-trick or treating meal. I suppose she purposely planned a light meal knowing we'd over indulge on candy later. Tonight's soup bore no resemblance to the can of Campbell's we ate dressed in costume. This was a thick and rich soup initially tasting of pure fresh tomato and ending with that lovely roasted red pepper taste on the end. The basil and Parmesan on top were a nice touch.

I followed that with the Pepper and Sea Salt Toasts with Artichoke Hearts and Goat Cheese Spread. The oil-brushed bread had just enough salt and pepper on its crust to complement the savory spread. I finished just over half of the creamy goodness and had to quit.

Taking a break to enjoy more wine, I noticed a couple come in and lay claim to the couch. They were being very cozy, lots of PDAs, so I focused on my wine and my reading. Not long after, another couple arrived and asked to sit on the patio. The waitress and I agreed that temperatures in the mid-fifties would be a tad brisk for us, but she let them sit outside anyway. Turns out he was wearing a leather jacket and she was wearing a ski jacket, thus making outdoor sitting more tolerable, if a bit awkward for the business of drinking and eating.

I decided that I was too full for dessert but couldn't resist ordering the Ginger Snap Cookies with Butter Pecan Ice Cream. The bowl was over-sized, the ice cream was full of big chunks of pecan and the cookies, well, they were ginger snaps. I'm one of those people who could eat half a bag of ginger snaps without even thinking about it; that ginger taste is addictive and always leaves me reaching for another. I did what I could with the dessert and finally threw in the towel. I had more than taken care of my hunger.

Greg and I chatted for a while and then it was time to leave the affectionate couple to each other and the outside couple to their shivering and walk Carytown. I saw people I knew, but no one I wanted PDAs from or to shiver with, but I had sated my hunger and enjoyed watching the parade of humanity outside the restaurant, so Bin 22 had scored on both counts.

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