Cafe Panificio & Bin 26

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Hi, I'm Tina!

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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Well, guys, I had some camera issues last night… which was especially a letdown because the restaurant that we dined at deserved some nice photos. My camera got dropped at the Santa Pub Crawl a few weeks ago, and it hasn’t been the same since, so I dropped it off at Best Buy yesterday morning to be fixed. I have an old camera that doesn’t take great quality pictures, but it works. However, I didn’t realize just how fuzzy and grainy the photos come out. I didn’t remember it being THAT bad! If I had realized this before we were out and about on our date, I would have taken our “fancy camera” instead. Oh well, not a big deal, right? I was planning to make the best of it until my camera battery died! GAH! Darn it! Luckily, Mal had his iPhone with him, so I used its camera to take the last few pictures of dinner. So, the whole point of me telling you guys all of this is because the photos in the post (and in the coming days) are less than stellar. Please bear with me! 🙂

Date Night

“Date night is great night!”  —Mal, last night at dinner

Our date night started with a leisurely stroll through Beacon Hill. The weather was chilly, so we popped into a bunch of cute, little boutiques and shops to stay warm. Our plan was to relax and chat over a cup of coffee before dinner, so we visited the Panificio Bakery & Cafe.

At the cafe, I ordered a cafe au lait to which I added sugar and a sprinkle of chocolate powder. Mmmm… warm and delicious! 

We stayed at the cafe for about an hour before heading to Bin 26 for dinner. We stopped in a few more shops on the way, but it was just too cold for me! We ended up being an hour early for our reservation, so Mal and I sat at the bar and sipped wine. 

The decor at Bin 26 was interesting, but in a fun way! It has a modern feel with funky wine-theme additions throughout the restaurant– from a wine cork coat rack to wine label wallpaper to the bathroom ceiling, which was completely covered with hanging, empty wine bottles. The low lighting was really cool too– perfect for a romantic “date night” or a special occasion.

Cork Coat Rack…

Bathroom Ceiling…

Wine Label Wallpaper (in background) and lots of wine bottles…

At the bar, Mal picked a small tasting of an Italian Pinot Noir for us (left photo). We liked it, but it didn’t knock our socks off. It was too “fruity” and sweet. I picked a French Grenache, which was divine (right photo)! It was dry, full-bodied, a tad spicy with hints of berry and chocolate. Mal and I shared a larger pour for this wine, which we later took with us to our table for dinner. 

With our wine (and as an appetizer), Mal and I ordered a couple of selections of cheese: Taleggio di Malgo and a Spanish sheep’s milk cheese, which was a lot like Manchego. Both were served with a fig chutney, whole walnuts, and red grapes. We liked them both, but the Spanish cheese was very strong-tasting (yum!), and especially delicious when paired with a full-bodied red wine.

With our cheese selections, we also snacked on some fresh French bread with olive oil.

Happy girl!! I look weird in this photo, but I wanted to show you guys my new top from Old Navy! I love bargains! :mrgreen:

After hanging out at the bar for over an hour, it was finally time for dinner. I was semi-full from cheese, bread, and wine, so I ordered a light appetizer for my entree: Roasted Golden and Red Beets and Endive Salad. I love beets, but they are such a pain to make, which is why I often order beet dishes from restaurants! 🙂

Surprisingly, I was on the fence about dessert last night. I wasn’t stuffed to the gills, but I was satisfied. A dessert special caught Mr. Mal’s attention, and I am not one to turn down dessert, so we shared an piece of almond cake with vanilla sorbet, and topped with candied figs, cranberries, and apricots. Unfortunately, the dessert was just okay. The cake was dry and bland… it reminded me of one of those flavorless Costo muffins. Ewwww! For this reason, I only ate a few bites. 

Minus the dessert, the dining experience at Bin 26 was fantastic!!! Love this place! I know I will be back soon, but next time with my good camera!

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