Wine Down Wednesday in the West Loop

Bin 36 Photo: Amanda Elliott

To the trendy person you set out to be, happy wine and cheese day to you.

Bin 36 Ambiance:

Among the earthy tones, the layers of wine bottles, and the black framed landscapes, you feel that you have escaped to a vineyard.

In April, Bin 36 (161 North Jefferson Street) joined the elite, al fresco, and elevated, yet reasonable eateries in the West Loop area. The new location suits this restaurant, which has been serving Chicago wine lovers for over 15 years.

Patrons can select between al fresco dining, a semi-private main seating with overhanging curtains, private dining in the back, or a seat at the secluded bar area near the front of the restaurant.

While casual, Bin 36 has a semi-secluded vibe. Each patron has a rich and attentive experience, much like Bin 36’s artisanal, global cheeses and copious wine selection.

Discounted Wine Flights:

There is a wide selection of over 50 wines offered by the glass—not simply the bottle—and for a new consumer, it can be a bit overwhelming.

On Wednesday’s, Bin 36 offers a discounted wine flight at $12 compared to flights ranging upwards of $20. I experienced my first wine flight (pictured below) at Bin 36. Here, the restaurant not only serves, but informs.

Spanish Wine Flight at Bin 36 in West Loop Photo: Amanda Elliott

Fine Cheeses and Appetizers:

While wine is a stand alone, cheeses and other pairings are welcomed.

My friend and I had a cheese platter and fresh brussel sprouts. The cheese platter arrives on an elegant, large tile complete with crackers and fresh jam. The spread can easily be split between two people for dinner.

There are several cheese platters to choose from.

I will  forewarn you, the menu is hard to sift through. There are legends and various menus, which are in large part due to the personalized offerings and the plentiful selection.

I ordered the best in class cheese platter, the “Globetrotters”. The sampling included two Spanish cheeses, the Bufalet and Flor de Esgueva.  The Spanish cheeses paired nicely with an Italian, sharp cheese, Pecorino Toscano and a crusted, lavendar—yes, lavender cheese from Utah, Barely Buzzed.

This month, Bin 36 is making preparations to unveil a new fall menu.

Bin 36 Brussel Sprouts Photo: Amanda Elliott Cheese Platter for Wine Wednesday at Bin 36 Photo: Amanda Elliott

The Chef & New Owner:

With the move to the West Loop, came new ownership. Beginning in 2015, previously the Director of Beverages, Enoch Shully, became the new owner. He greeted each table with an anecdote and a warm smile.

Like the owner, Chef Shane Graybeal, is warm and welcoming (and talented). He joins Bin 36 this year from Washington, D.C., where he was an Exec Sous Chef at Firefly-Kimpton, an environmentally, conscious, hotel restaurant which offers seasonal American dishes, for the past four years.

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