Sunday, March 22, 2009

Wine and dine, on a dime

Boston's Winter Restaurant Week presents the perfect opportunity for a fine dine, on a dime. Week Two (out of two) began today and goes through Friday.

The wine at Bin 26 Enoteca (26 Charles St., Beacon Hill) certainly isn't $26/bottle-- as it is at Ivy Restaurant (49 Temple Place, Downtown Crossing)-- but during Boston's Winter Restaurant Week, a steal like such is easy to find at this enoteca (according to Bin 26's web site, "En-oh-TECK-a, a common term used mostly in Italy, refers to a place where one can find simple foods to accompany the wines served there").

3 courses, $33.09/person, for dinner at most of Boston's finest restaurants. This steal sure did swing at Bin 26. I started with a calamari salad (usually $13), the monkfish with almond butter (usually $26), and fresh handmade sorbet (usually $8). My $33 meal was not only a $47 value, but a delectable and satisfying high-quality meal with a close friend. The atmosphere was relaxing and intimate, and diners are surrounded with wine-corked walls and unique bottles; the bathroom's ceiling is decorated with upside down wine glasses, and the walls following there, paper-mached with bottle labels.

Choose your restaurants carefully, however. At some digs, such as KO Prime (90 Trement St., Beacon Hill) and Top of the Hub (Top of the Prudential Center, Back Bay), it's an obvious bargain; but for, let's say, sushi, or for tapas-- at Toro (1704 Washington St., South End) or example-- going with the usual menu may be a wiser (and more FRUGAL!) option.

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