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Thoughts on Bina Osteria?

Hi,
I've searched posts and it looks like the general consensus is positive, but many reviews were focused on restaurant week. Has anyone been there lately? Any don't-miss dishes? It's one of the few places that seems to have availability during peak times --maybe a result of the high price point? I know I should be happy that it's not difficult to get into,but I'm wondering if perhaps it's not all it's cracked up to be? Would love to hear some hounds' perspectives --4 of us are supposed to head there tonight.
Thanks.

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  1. My experiences of several visits summed up here, none of them RW:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/616590

    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

    1. Agree with Slim's comments in the other posting - room can feel cold and is VERY loud when things get swinging. With four of you (assuming you want to be able to converse with the other 3) I would ask for a window or a corner if you can get it.
      As for the food, I would say don't miss the cured meats, which the chef does in-house, the "spaghetti alla carbonara" is pretty amazing, and I also had a pasta dish about a month ago with three different color baby beets as the sauce - must have been a special, as it's not on their menu now... Personally, the desserts didn't do much for me; too foamy, too 'interesting'. Stick with the cheese to finish, as they do a good job with the plating & accompaniments.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jdubboston

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/613244

        will def go back if for nothing more than to try the carbonara.

        1. re: jdubboston

          the cured meats, the carbonara and the beef tartare. run don't walk. i love this place.

          plus, they serve pig butter with the bread. :)

        2. I've never been myself, but when people talk about Bina they always bring up the gnocchi. I think it's a hit dish they've got there.

          1. The gnocchi is indeed lovely (the stuff that goes with it keeps changing, currently clams and calamari) and very popular; everyone seemed to be eating it last time I was in. Boston Magazine raves about that dish in the review in the current issue.

            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

            2 Replies
            1. re: MC Slim JB

              right now, if you are a morel fan, the risotto with sweetbreads and morels is outstanding. our group also thought the jonah crab appetizer with caviar was smashing and rated all the pasta dishes we tried an A+. the charcuterie is made in house and the consensus about what we did taste was very positive.

              1. re: MC Slim JB

                Yes. But Corby panned the carbonara, which I thought was lip-smacking delicious. I like the gnocchi. A great deal, actually, but I really thought the carbonara blew it away.

              2. Another rave for food - gnocchi and soups.
                Atmosphere in the room can range from very loud to tomb-like depending on the time and day.

                1. I really like the place..especially the carbonara and steak tartare.

                  The grocery storeis also very good, great assortment of bread, cheese, charcuterie, farm fresh eggs, wine and prepared foods.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: 9lives

                    Thanks everyone. Definitely some positive thoughts here so I'm looking forward to it. It'll be a tough choice though btwn the gnocchi and carbonara. I am a big gnocchi fan (when done right); same with carbonara, so we'll have to see....
                    I did just request a window and had a very nice host/FOH guy tell me that he would "do his best.." So we'll see.

                    1. re: twentyoystahs

                      Update: Delicious food; incredibly attentive service; overall an enjoyable experience.
                      We arrived about 20 minutes late for our 7:30 reservation (I called to let them know we were running late)...the hostess was very nice on the phone, and when we arrived, we were promptly seated at a nice table by the window. Though we never really experienced the loud din that others commented on (the restaurant never seemed more than half full) I can definitely see why folks might like being by the window or in a corner. Good call, hounds.

                      Without a doubt, the gnocchi was the star of the night. The most delicate, light, melt-in-your mouth little morsels of decadence I've experienced in a long time. They were lightly flavored with a lemony-butttery sauce, surrounded by the tiniest ringlets of calamari and clams. There was also supposed to be chorizo though I didn't see any --but I confess I was pilfering off of my DC's plate since she ordered the gnocchi --not me --so it's possible the sausage was there and I just didn't get any. Either way, a fabulous dish and one I'd rush back for anytime.
                      I ordered the carbonara which was also excellent --prepared as it should be, with egg, pancetta, and cheese all ready to be mixed by the diner. No bastardized (i.e Americanized) version with gloppy, heavy cream sauce. I will say that it seemed to be missing just a little something --not as flavorful as I would have liked. I think the pecorino foam is nice for presentation, but i wonder if it compromises the flavor a bit. Perhaps offer me some chunks of pecorino to mix in or some freshly grated cheese on the side. Either way, I did think it was good, but it was really all about that gnocchi last night.
                      Service was excellent --almost verging on over-soliticious if that's possible but I don't think so. Water constantly refilled; plates being cleared as soon as we were finished with courses; food evenly paced. Then the brother/owner came over to talk to us and he was really nice --said he knew we had requested the window and wanted to make sure everything was good, we were happy, etc. It was so nice to see him clearly making such an effort --you can tell he feels really passionate about his place and wants his customers to have a good experience.

                      Overall, I think we were all happy and enjoyed our meals. A good night!