Early last week I met up with a girlfriend for dinner at Bin 941 on Davie Street. We had been talking about going to this tapas restaurant for months, literally, and our plans just never seemed to come together until then. Both of us had been craving a revisit of Bin 941 for ages, based on our prior dinners there years before (my girlfriend was even having dreams about eating the salsa).
Well, it was a Monday night, so it was perfect to find the restaurant to not have a wait, especially since we decided to arrive at a fairly early 6:30 sitting (they don’t take reservations). We managed to even snag one of the intimate and cozy window seat booths for our meal – perfect for a romantic dinner date (but it also worked for our evening of catch up). Although I’ve heard people say that Bin 941 can be a bit too loud to enjoy conversation in, we didn’t experience this during dinner that night (although it could also be as a result of sitting in the corner window seats).
We both settled in with a glass of wine (I went for the Kettle Valley Pinot Gris, while she went for the Piping Shrize Shiraz), and then perused the small tapas and salads and such menus to make our selections for the night. It turns out that our eyes were larger than our stomachs, as we never made it to dessert, and I was happier than usual to take a walk to work things off a bit on the way home.
First off (surprise, surprise), we started with the Goat Cheese and house dried Tomato Salsa, that comes with a side of deliciously warm, salty, and soft Navajo fry bread. I could have honestly been content to just eat that bread all night on it’s own, with my glasses of wine. The salsa isn’t a traditional one, and is more similar to a sun-dried tomato texture and flavour, although with a little more moisture still remaining in the mix.
We wanted to make sure to have a good variety of dishes for the evening, so after our vegetarian starter, we continued with the Beef Tenderloin Wellington, with creamy mashed potatoes and a grainy mustard masala sauce. The meat was tender and moist, and we got to the point where we practically licked the plate clean – a definite sign that the dish went over well with us both!
Next we munched on the Crab Cakes, with burnt orange chipotle sauce, bok choy, cucumber salsa, and topped with tobiko. Perfect for sharing in half, the crispy shell surrounding each piece added some great texture to the hot and soft filling.
Finally, we ate the Duck Breast, with fingerling potato hash, truffle, haricot vert, and port cranberry jus. I am a huge fan of duck when it is cooked just right, and it mixed really well with the sauce. Although we’d managed to eat a lot of potato already in the last dish, we finished off all of the truffled ones in this as well.
Overall, Bin 941 is a classic Vancouver staple, which I’m sure will stay around for many years to come. Owned and run by Chef Gord Martin for over ten years now, along with Bin 942 on Broadway, the restaurants embrace the use of local British Columbian products and sustainable seafood.
Open for dinner and late night seven days a week, it’s perfect for sharing food with friends and lingering over a glass of wine (or two).