Although we can enthusiastically recommend chef Anthony Pino’s restaurants in Hoboken, Anthony David’s and Bin 14, be forewarned that parking in Hoboken continues to be a problem. However, when we were invited to try the spring brunch menu at Bin 14, a trattoria and wine bar, I said, “The hell with the parking situation and the double-parked cars, chef Pino’s food is worth the trouble.” Lowell agreed.
Lowell and I first experienced the exceptional cuisine of chef Pino in October of 2002, when we dined at The Dining Room at Anthony David’s, now Anthony David’s. In November of 2008, he opened Bin 14 and while we have had dinner here, as well as snacks and wine from his extensive inventory (there are about 80 wines by the glass, 90 bottles offered and a reserve list), we never had brunch here. The spring brunch menu stands out for some innovative, atypical offerings and twists on old favorites.
While the “Egg in a Hole”—brioche bread, sunny-side-up eggs, Mornay sauce and country ham—had a twist on my childhood favorite, we could not resist ordering the intriguing sounding “2 Eggs and a Meatball” with polenta and pecorino. This dish was appealing with the light perfectly textured meatball, flavorful tomato sauce and creaminess of the polenta, combined with poached eggs, all creating a voluptuous dish that can be eaten any time of day. Another winner was Kilchurn smoked salmon panini, where cured-by-hand, silky salmon with a hat of whipped ricotta was placed on the top of a crispy house-made panini stuffed with cream cheese, tomato and greens. Hand-cut fries or a salad accompanied this dish. Other tempting menu items include prosciutto and mozzarella pizza, which is also available with a whole wheat or gluten-free crust; Angus burger with pancetta, burrata and fries (a play on a burger with bacon and cheese); Maine lobster salad on a brioche roll; and rock shrimp with polenta, pecorino and chiles.
Specialty coffees, and cocktails as well as carafes that serve four, such as Blood Orange with orange Svedka, blood orange juice and Triple Sec are available. A Bloody Mary bar allows patrons a variety of spices and add-ins enabling them to design a drink with the ingredients they love. We are wine drinkers and with so many options we were thrilled when our knowledgeable waiter asked us what type of wine we liked and said he would bring us a taste first. He was on target, and we had the Pundit Syrah from Washington State, which has a striking picture of an owl on the label and Forth Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County.
Bin 14 is open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11AM to 3 PM; dinner daily from 5:30 to 10 PM; brunch Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM to 5 PM.
Watch for the opening of Porter Collins around Labor Day, chef Pino’s newest restaurant, which will be offering modern American dining.
1314 Washington Street
Eggs and a meatball.
Smoked salmon Panini.
Photos courtesy of Lowell Saferstein
Christopher Albrecht is the executive chef at the newly reopened Park & Orchard, 240 Hackensack Street, East Rutherford (201-939-9292). Chef Albrecht has also worked under Top Chef host Tom Colicchio as the executive chef of Craftsteak in the MGM Grand Hotel, opened Craftsteak in Manhattan and worked with the Terra Momo Restaurant Group.
Congratulations to Jonathan Echavarria, a first-time bartender at Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen in Morristown, who won the New Jersey Restaurant & Hospitality Association’s “Mixologist of the Year” Competition for his Gaur-den State Flip; a frothy, vanilla-white cocktail made with Gaur Spice Whiskey, sprinkled with cinnamon and garnished with a star anise. Second place went to William Pasternak of The Dillinger Room in New Brunswick, with a drink called, “Spice Merchant Sour” that included red wine, spiced-vanilla syrup, egg whites and lemon juice and was served in a tall glass. The third-place winner was John Jansma of Restaurant Serenade in Chatham, whose drink, served in a snifter was called “Alone Together,” contained dried juniper berries, Campari, Courvoisier V.S.O.P., orange.
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