Bin 479 Wine Bar and Restaurant, SturbridgeBin 479 is on the right side of Route 20 after you pass Old Sturbridge Village, if you're coming from the highway. It's important to note that you'll see the sign before a building - but that the restaurant is actually AFTER the building. The building you see is an antique store. It's not a big deal if you park in the antique store's lot and walk across the front of it to the wine bar. It's easy to remember the address - it's 479 Main Street.
The building is on the small side - there's a narrow entrance which leads into the bar/lounge area, and then a divider separates that from the restaurant area with 10-15 tables in it. The few tables in the bar/lounge area are actually ideal. The bar is quite quiet, and the lounge is made up of large, squarish comfy leather chairs. They even have jazz duos playing there some evenings, which makes for a lovely dining experience. The walls are cream colored with wood beams, and there is art-themed imagery for decoration. Even the divider between the two rooms is filled with wine bottles, crystal decanters and a few empty magnums of Dom Perignon.
They have a number of wines by the glass here, including sparkling wines. Usually I wouldn't risk a single glass of sparkling wine as it's likely to be flat, but we had 2 glasses here and they were fresh and bubbly. The chairs are hard wood, and the tables have white linen on them. I liked the candle holders, black wroght iron in almost a mission style. For appetizers we had fois gras and shrimp cocktail. The fois gras was built in a tower on peanut butter toast - this was very lovely but difficult to actually eat. The shrimp cocktail had the shrimp stuck into a goblet. They were HUGE and I only ate 2 of them. I do have to ask - why do they leave the tails on? It's not like you eat the tails or that they make a good handle. I vote that all tails get removed BEFORE serving.
The bread served was pretty ordinary - just a white Italian bread in slices. This was perhaps the only "ordinary note" in the meal and I was a bit surprised. The herb butter was tasty.
The main course was served on HUGE square ceramic plates which pretty much took up the entire table. This was a bit much for the smallish table size. I hate filet mignon, my mom had shrimp. The filet said it came with asparagus which was a big reason that I ordered it. I take back my bread comment - this was also a disappointment. Instead of really coming with an asparagus side, it came with FOUR, yes four, asparagus sticks. They were HUGE sticks and were laid out in a four-square pattern beneath the steak. They were incredibly soggy, mushy and tasteless. Somehow they were stringy at the same time. I was pretty disappointed. The steak was good. I took a lot of the steak home for my boyfriend, and he enjoyed it. At $34 for the dish, I hope he did!
On to dessert. We were given dessert menus but not wine menus even though on the dessert menu it said "check page X of the wine menu for pairings". OK we asked for and got a wine menu. There were 4 wines on that page - 2 red, 2 white - but no ports or other what I would consider "dessert wines". So we asked for the PORT menu and got that. It had a selection of ports and also all 3 levels of Grand Marnier which I consider a great bonus. I got the warm chocolate cake and a Warre vintage port. It said that it would take 20 minutes for the warm cake to be ready, which was quite fine as the jazz duo was now in full swing and quite fun to listen to. When the dessert came out it was quite tasty, chocolatey and rich, and I easily finished the whole thing, enjoying it with my port.
This is NOT cheap - the wine by the glass can easily be $9-$15 per glass, and the dishes are also pricey. That being said, the placed filled up as we ate, which is pretty impressive for Sturbridge in the winter. People really liked the ambiance, the live music, and the fine wine. I really liked the items on the port menu and can easily imagine coming here for evening drinks, sitting in those leather chairs and just enjoying myself immensely.
Well recommended if you have the money to spend.
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