Chicago’s Bin 36 Enters New, Cheese-Centric Era

Steak tartare is one of many new offerings on the revamped menu at Bin 36.

by Jennifer Olvera

Earning a following that hasn’t waned, Chicago’s decade-old Bin 36 entered a new era. After closing for a few days for a quick face-lift, the menu changed.

Just like its down-to-earth wine program, Bin’s new cheese selection takes a 101 approach. Themed cheese classes will begin in April, and they’ll mimic the approach of Wine Director Brian Duncan’s take on vino education. Expanded and affordable, the cheese program continues to focus on small producers from the world over—including those from lesser-known American farmers.

The bulk of the menu is now sparked with artisanal cheese dishes (naturally with suggested wine pairings). Ones we’re excited to try include the basket of Parmesan gougères with truffle honey, mac and cheese made extra-indulgent with sharp “bandage”-wrapped cheddar and house-made ricotta gnocchi with English peas and asparagus.

Roast Côte de Boeuf for two comes with duck-fat fries, while a slow-roasted, brown sugar-cured pork loin chop befriends Gorgonzola polenta.

We’ll place bets no one will want to share the smoky blue cheese soufflé with sauternes syrup—even though in theory it’s for two. Desserts sound good as well, from the lemon soufflé glace with blood orange cotton candy and grapefruit leather to butterscotch panna cotta.

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Bin 36 on Urbanspoon