In August, after the two-day, 200-mile RSVP Bike Ride, I finally got to experience Bin 941, a Vancouver, B.C. restaurant that my sons have been raving about for years. It lived up to all the hype and then some. Here’s what I wrote about the experience:
"Since Bin 941, officially dubbed a “Tapas Parlour” doesn’t take reservations, we settled in at the eatery’s bar and celebrated our accomplishment with gin and tonics and the Goat Cheese House-Dried Tomato Salsa appetizer. One taste of the tangy spread, scooped up with outtasite Navajo Fry Bread, and I knew this meal would end up on my Best of 2011 list.
Once seated at our Lilliputian, bare wood table, we opted for “British Columbia Coastal Mussels, Fresh Daily” that were swimming in a sea of spectacularly flavorful coconut milk, lemon zest and garam masala. (Just thinking about this dish again right now is making me crazy.) The mussels were succulent; the hunks of dunked grilled focaccia were lip-smacking good. Forget Seattle, hell, I’d bike from San Diego to Vancouver to eat this dish again. (Photo from ShermansFoodAdventures.com)
Equally impressive were the “Original Tijuana Caesar” with luscious grilled crouton; and the Angus Beef Short Rib that was so tender I thought it might fall apart even before I prodded it with my fork. Served with parsnip puree, mushroom-studded spinach salad and a smooth but spunky peppercorn Cabernet jus, this was a unique take on a ubiquitous dish.
Bin 941 is a weensy place, with no more than 7 or 8 tables along with a dozen or so bar stools. The “décor” is funky; the attitude friendly and no-fuss; the food, fabulous. (Salad & Such average $8; all main Tapatisers are $17.) It’s best to visit with a small group…that way you can order a greater variety of dishes. It's also wise to visit with a fun-loving bunch since this place turns into party-central later in the evening.
We wanted to order more --- fresh Pacific halibut with wild mushroom risotto; crab cakes with burnt orange chipotle sauce; olive-crusted lamb sirloin with potato latke; golden beets with truffled honey glaze. But the portions were large, the flavors intense, so we called it quits, leaving a lot of reasons to visit Bin 941 again."
TOMORROW: AI FIORI, NEW YORK CITY