I have been waiting for Bina to open, as we stay at the Ritz once a month. I am so disappointed. Food and service were awful. I equate the food to WD-50 in New York. Unusual combinations of ingredients. Two of us had chicken marsala (I knew it wasn't typical marsala). It tasted like processed chicken - had to send it back. Then they brought us a pasta with beets - had no flavor. The service was below average. They also tell you that their entrees are "small portions", yet price of a regular entree at a fine restaurant. We eat out all the time and don't mind spending a lot of money for good food. The space and decor were the only redeeming qualities. Will never try it again. What ashame, since that area really needs some great restaurants.
I ate at Bina for the first time last night and was very impressed. The food was very good -- I had the spaghetti corbonara and the crispy suckling pig confit. The service was excellent.
The concept clearly is closer to WD-50 than what Boston is use to; it will be interesting to see if it plays here. In terms of portion size and price, I feel like we've been through this when Clio first opened, and fortunately Clio lovers have discovered that enjoying a wonderful meal does not mean having to engorge oneself. If one is a bigger eater, there is no question that they should order the four course tasting menu, which, for $67, allows one to choose an antipasti, a primi, a secondi and a dessert. That does not strike me as outrageously expensive. In my case, I was quite happy with the smaller portions, especially as I ordered two particularly rich dishes. And while they were tasty enough that I could have eaten twice as much -- and almost certainly would have if the portions were twice as large -- I would have been very sorry if I had, and was quite sated by the quantity I ate. (I did use some of their wonderful, crusty Italian bread to sop up the remaining liquid from the carbonara.)
This is an excellent restaurant that deserves to succeed. It remains to be seen, of course, whether it will in Boston in this economy. Like WD-50 in NY, and like Clio in Boston, not everyone is going to love this place. But everyone who considers him or herself a chowhound really ought to give it a try.
BTW, the market next door was closed when we finished our meal, but they did give us a walk through. It's beautiful, as well; nice to have this option in this area of town.