- COSMIC CAFE: No. 1 Sweetie
- MUSIC BOX: Bright Lights and Sounds
- GET OUT: Adventures on the Mend
- THE BUZZ: Budgeting in a Bust Cycle
- FEATURE: The Creative Conundrum
- CREATIVE PEAKS: Of Clay We are Created
- WELL, THAT HAPPENED: Trading the Hole for the Unknown
- FEATURE: Labor Pains
- MUSIX BOX: Wild for John Wayne’s World
- CREATIVE PEAKS: Stage Savoir-Faire
FEED ME! Koshu who? Hello Bin22
JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Housemade meatball ($8), will you marry me?
Spanish baked egg ($12), I hope this doesn’t freak you out coming so early in our relationship, but I love you.
And vitello tonnato ($9), I tried my best not to like you – after all, you only exist because baby cows die – but we were fated from the start. I might have more recently fallen in love with the Spanish baked egg, but you were my first on Bin22’s menu.
Like most foodies in the valley, I mourned the closure of Koshu in 2011. The intimate, Asian-inspired restaurant hidden in the back of what was then called Broadway Bottles had a vibe and menu unlike anywhere else in the valley.
But, since my first meal at Bin22, which opened last winter in the former Koshu space, I’ve been over the loss of Koshu. Coming up on a year of eating regularly at Bin22, I have yet to experience a single dish that was anything but stellar. I’m 99 percent certain I’ve had every single item on Bin22’s frequently changing menu with the exception of items added when I took a two-month hiatus this summer while off in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
Perhaps the best part of Bin22’s menu is that it is available all day. You could spend $9 on a lunch sandwich at Pearl Street Market. Yes, it would be a good sandwich, but you could also get the gloriously gooey meatball topped with housemade mozzarella I want to marry. It’s the size of my fist and comes swimming in a sea of San Marzano tomato sauce and accented with basil leaves.
Other standouts include a Prosciutto and Peach Salad ($9), which includes arugula tossed with a healthy serving of pistachios, thin-sliced peaches, prosciutto, and fig balsamic.
I consider myself a bit of a chorizo stuffed date connoisseur. Wrapped in smoked pancetta and set atop a heavy drizzle of piquillo vinaigrette, its Technicolor hue is matched in intensity only by its tastiness. Bin22’s, priced at $10, are among the best I’ve had.
The vitello tonnato is Bin22’s take on a classic Italian dish that pairs cold veal with a creamy tuna-flavored sauce. Its version includes herb-rubbed veal, sliced gossamer-thin, layered atop crostini, and drizzled with salsa verde. The herb-rubbed veal is most excellent in taste and the salsa verde perfectly balanced.
Bin22 calls its menu items “small plates,” but I can be fully satisfied with only one. But rarely do I show that kind of restraint. More often I suggest to my group that we get two per person. The best way to sample the menu is to go with a group of three or four, as long as they’re into sharing.
Saving the best for last, Bin22 restaurant is attached to Bin22 Bottle Shop. In the restaurant, you can buy two- and four-ounce pours of wines, all of which the bottle shop carries. Get a two-ounce pour to see if you like something and then buy a bottle, which is sold at a liquor-store price.
Also in the same building is a bit of a market, selling some of Bin22’s housemade cheeses and salumi, tomato sauces, and, because Bin22 is part of the Fine Dining Group, some housemade pastas and pizza dough from Osteria.
The details of Bin22’s off-season specials were not yet decided at press time, but expect a special of some kind – maybe three small plates for $15 – to start this week.
Binn22 restaurant open 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mon. to Sat.; 3 to 10 p.m. Sun. 200 W. Broadway, 739-9463; bin22jacksonhole.com.