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- THIS WEEK: December 4 – 10, 2013
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Your one-stop sumptuous spot
Jackson Hole, Wyo.-For me, it is next to impossible to make a trip to New York City without paying a visit to Eataly. The Italian market is almost overwhelming in its offerings and temptations, yet the eclectic wines, house-brewed beers, and deliciously authentic restaurants hold me in their power for what usually ends up being hours.
Alas, living in Jackson, trips to the Big Apple are few and far between, so cravings are fed from afar with Instagram photos, Twitter posts, and lingering memories of a taste or a smell.
No longer. Gavin Fine has taken over the space that used to house the crowd favorite Koshu, and the result is our very own spin on the big city original – a Little Eataly, if you will. I won’t go so far as to say Bin 22 is attempting to replicate the masterpiece, because the Fine Dining team is smart enough to know that task is near unattainable, but what now lives in the little brown wine shop on Broadway evokes an eerily familiar atmosphere of handspun goodies, boundless drinkables, and the sights and sounds of Italy.
And much like the original, what starts out as a stop-in for a bottle of Chianti for date-night or to pick up fresh pasta for a meal with friends can quickly turn into hours of tasting and sipping exciting offerings you may not have tried before.
Items like the Fregola Sarda come to mind, with its cool, refreshing greens and pasta that are deliciously complimented by spicy lamb belly sausage and fennel and made bright by a lemony dressing and salty feta.
Or perhaps something warm and hearty is needed on a cold Jackson day. The Charred Baby Octopus is briny and spicy, nestled in a bed of salty pickled white beans and olives, tender fingerling potatoes, and sweet-heat inducing piquillo peppers.
Looking for a sandwich? Well, they might not be called that on the menu, but the Vitello Tonnato or Housemade Meatball would do nicely. The Vitello Tonnato is a warm, garlicky crostini topped with cold, perfectly pink slices of veal that sit on a luxurious and creamy tonnato sauce–a Mediterranean aioli laced with tuna and garlic, and drizzled with a bright salsa verde.
It may be open-faced, but it’s the best steak sandwich I’ve ever had. And the Housemade Meatball, a six-ounce hunk of juicy pork and beef, is topped with oozy hand-pulled mozzarella, sprinkled with salty Parmesan, and settled in a bowl of a wonderfully deep-flavored tomato sauce. Put a bite of that on the toasted bread slices its served with, and you have quite the classy – and satisfying – meatball sub.
Not to be outdone by its soul-food menu mates, the Foie Gras Torchon stands apart in its deeply deviant sumptuousness. Fatty, silky, and extravagant, the foie is bathed in a sweet, grapey Mojave raisin and port gastrique that only stays on this side of sane when paired with the reality-grounding pickled vegetables.
But come to Bin 22 ready to sin twice, because the real treat is the Chocolate Salami. Sixty-three percent chocolate is combined with dates, figs, walnuts, almonds, and pistachios to create a log of sweet decadence. The dessert is rolled in powdered sugar and wrapped in paper to give that salami effect, but cut off a slice, swipe it through the side of fig preserves and stack it on a sugar-sprinkled cracker, and the bite is so perfectly paired that you might just forget everything else on the menu.