World Cup fever has taken hold of a Huntington hot-spot known for inventive small plates and a selection of wines by the glass that’s second to none.
At Bin 56, located – where else? – at 56 Stewart Ave. in Huntington village – a string of miniature flags, representing each of the 32 nations that qualified for this World Cup, hangs on the awning, and will remain there until the Cup concludes. Last Friday, two much larger flags – one was Croatia, the other, Brazil – were hanging outside the front door.
You see, owner Daniel Pedisich’s roots are in the Dalmatian coast of Croatia, and his head chef, Bruno Oliveira, hails from Brazil and came to this country at age 13. Last Friday, Bruno got the upper hand, when Brazil topped Croatia.
Rivalries aside, the two men have come together to create a most impressive array of small plates and high-end wines for patrons to savor.
A veteran of the wine importing business who focused on boutique wine bars in the city, Pedisich snapped the place up in mid-2012 from the Reststar Group, graduating from patron to proprietor.
At Bin 56, they focus on a global array of small plates and wines by the glass, highlighting boutique, small production selections with a focus on Central European wines. Since they retain a lot of their wine-making culture and don’t export as much, they put out a more authentic project, Pedisich explains. A Vinotemp wine-preservation system makes it feasible to sell those higher-end, lower-volume wines by the glass.
While a truly global outlook reigns, the duo’s Croatian and Brazilian backgrounds do emerge on the menu – see the fork-tender, sumptuous Cevapi ($12,) Croatian-style mixed beef, lamb and pork sausages served with eggplant and red pepper Ajvar, fries and salad, as a prime example. Pair it with a bold, acidic glass of Austrian Juris Zeigelt ($12/$44) and you’ve got a one-two punch to be proud of.
Pedisich and Oliveira started us off with a decadent array of cheese and meats (choose 7 for $30; 5 for $25; 3 for $18; 2 for $14; and $8 a la carte), featuring Guinness-infused, smoky Irish Porter Cheddar; flavorful British Sage Derby; semi-firm, creamy and piquant Manchego sheep’s milk, and a spicy-salty, firm Croatian Paski Sir sheep’s milk.
Moving to the meats, thin-sliced, black pepper and paprika-cured lamb prosciutto was a tender, flavorful favorite; and of course, you can’t go wrong with the classic prosciutto. Slavonian-style Kulen, cured with paprika and garlic, was another hit. Don’t miss out on the thick, slightly tart Dalmatian fig spread.
Onto the “warm and lush” small plates – that’s the hot stuff. Sesame-crusted tuna ($13) is a nutty treat, with each morsel accompanied by a sweet clover honey dollop. Panko-crusted Crispy Calamari ($13) is a little spicy and a little sweet, but just delightful thanks to a chipotle and honey-clover aioli.
Beef sliders ($12) benefit from a treatment of sautéed shitake mushrooms and Wisconsin cheddar on a brioche bun, while Cocas, or the Spanish-style flatbread pizza of the day, is a favorite.
At a loss with a group? Order up “The Mix” ($116), and you’ll get their top 10 small plates for the month, a perfect order for a group of three to four.
We’re confident that, like a spectator at the World Cup, we’ll have plenty to cheer about at Bin 56 all year long.
56 Stewart Ave.