There are moments when all the right factors come together to create a little neighborhood spot that is greater than the sum of its parts. The recently opened Bin 1884 Cheese Bar in Platt Park is a perfect example. Although the space next door to the Empty Bottle never really took off as the Reserve List, the latest concept fits seamlessly.
When the Empty Bottle owners Theresa Scamperino and husband Bradford Minich partnered with food and wine aficionados Debbie Carroll and Diane Byrne, they came up with a recipe for the ideal neighborhood venue: a gourmet cheese shop with top-notch wine pairings and a tiny but innovative small plates menu. The new space, now known as Bin 1884, (named for the street number and a nod to the wine cellar) draws foodies and oenophiles with a strong list of fresh, boutique cheeses, soups, salads, antipasti, and special dishes such as Raclette (pictured), paired with a robust and interesting collection of approachable vintages.
The cheese, alone, is a draw. There's aged Buttermilk Bleu Affinee drizzled with honey, or the creamy Barely Buzzed cheese with notes of butterscotch and caramel and a dusting of espresso and lavender. The small plates menu is equally delicious with ever-changing dishes such as an ultra-thin crust personal pizza with arugula, prosciutto, pesto, and asiago; gourmet grilled cheese with pancetta and Italian Fontina; cheesy gougères; or a satisfying Ploughman’s lunch (visualize a personal-size cheese and salumi plate bolstered with a small salad).
Tip: Need ideas for dinner at home? The Empty Bottle’s outstanding tasting notes suggest great entrées with every bottle of wine in the shop.
1884 S. Pearl St., 303-284-0784
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