By Tes Silverman
If you’re looking for a place that serves Mediterranean-inspired small plates, great wines and an intimate setting, the place to dine is Bin 56 in Huntington village.
Owned and operated by Daniel Pedesich since 2012, with the help of manager, Aldo Machado, Bin 56 is a wine bar that offers an eclectic menu and a wine selection that can compete with any five-star restaurant. The setting is cozy and comfortable, with couches and small tables fit for intimate dining.
For bigger parties, there is a long table that could be used communally or reserved for special occasions. While the space is small, the menu is extensive and can feed any diner even in the late hours.
To start you on your journey of international small plates, diners can order one ($9), two ($15), three ($20), five ($30) or seven ($39) choices from the meat and cheese plates and have them paired with suggested wines. Cheeses like goat gouda and Zigljen (sheep/cow) and charcuterie such as beef salami and Slavonian-style kulen (pork sausage) are great to pair with a bottle of Malvasia’s Kabaj Rebula ($100) from Brda, Slovenia. The goat gouda is semi-firm in texture with a mild and vaguely sweet flavor, while the Zigljen is firm with a smooth and spicy flavor.
The beef salami is air-dried with a firm texture, while the kulen is dense and spicy from paprika and garlic.
In addition to the cheese and charcuterie, the platter is served with crostini and Dalmatian fig spread. While fig spreads can be very sweet, this fig spread isn’t quite as sweet and goes well in smoothing out the spicy flavor of the Zigljen cheese. The different textures and complex flavors from the cheeses and meats are highlighted with the pairing of the richly textured and cidery flavors of the Kabaj Rebula.
If dining on cheeses and charcuterie isn’t enough, Chef Bruno Oliveira will surely delight you with his culinary creations such as the Fuzi (bowtie pasta, wild Istrian black truffle, shrimp, Parmesan cream) or the grilled bratwurst (pretzel roll, red cabbage, beer horseradish mustard), both $16, and pan-seared scallops with sweet potato espuma ($15).
The bowtie pasta and shrimps were perfectly cooked, and while the Parmesan cream can be heavy, the black truffle, with its garlicky and musky aroma, cuts through the heaviness and highlights the dish, not the cream. Paired with the Malvasia ($12 glass/$46 bottle) from Istria, Croatia, this white wine with its crisp and fresh taste cuts through the heaviness of the pasta dish.
The grilled bratwurst inside a pretzel roll is a hearty, grown-up version of a hot dog, complete with the red cabbage and horseradish mustard that goes so well together. Paired with the Syrocco ($13/$51) from Morocco, a fruity, medium-bodied dry red wine that brings out the juiciness of the bratwurst while cutting through the acidity and pungency of the horseradish mustard.
Of the three small plates that can be classified as entrees, the pan-seared scallops is the lightest. The scallops were perfectly seared and served with a sweet potato foam to make it a playful experience. Pairing this scallop dish with the Kabaj Rebula is the perfect wine to complement the lightness of this small plate.
For diners who would like to end their meal with some interesting desserts, you can’t go wrong with the poached fresh fig ($12) or the homemade pumpkin ice cream with fresh berries and caramel sauce ($10).
The poached fig has an unusual combination of fig with rose wine and orange zest that results in a very creative and delicious dessert. If you’re inclined to find a wine to go with this dessert, it is the Welschriesling ($14/$55) from Burgenland, Austria. While some Rieslings can be very sweet, this dessert wine, with flavors of apricot, honey and winter spice, is mildly sweet, which allows the fig to be the main focus of the dessert and not an afterthought.
Lest one thinks that a small space like Bin 56 would not have the capacity to offer more than wines, diners will be pleased to learn that craft cocktails, beer and Boylan’s craft soda are offered, as well to go with one’s meal.
Pedisich prides himself in providing diners a menu that could rival any other wine and tapas bar. “I want my diners to come away feeling like they had a culinary experience, not just a meal,” he said. “I put a lot of time into selecting wines for the list, and I choose only those that have a special or unique character to them. The same goes for the food with the goal of providing our customers with a menu that they would probably have to go into Manhattan to experience.”
56 Stewart Ave.
Cuisine: Tapas/Wine bar
Hours: Monday-closed; Tuesday-Thursday, 5 p.m.-12 a.m.; Friday, 5 p.m.-2 a.m.; Saturday, 12 p.m.-2 a.m.; Sunday-closed