Writing this week’s review was especially fun. After first taking in both Bin 152 and Enoteca anonymously, I then had the chance to talk to the owners of both at length. It was quickly clear that Patrick and Fanny Panella of Bin 152 and Ken Vedrinski of Enoteca are passionate about what they do, and that can mean a lot in terms of their success.
With my other reviews for the City Paper, tasting and thinking about a restaurant’s food and service has been the main focus. But with these two spots which are more focused on wine and limited food which the owners have mostly curated (cheese and charcuterie), not cooked, and that are also pretty much known for their service, there was more room to learn about the patrons themselves, their motivations and goals.
I took away from these reviews that when a restaurant has owners there every day running the place both as a labor of love and of financial security, there’s an authenticity there. These two jewels on neighborhood “frontiers” at either end of King Street are probably taking on a little bit more risk (especially in Vedrinski’s case), and potentially higher return than they would elsewhere, making their knowledge and dedication all the more important, and interesting to write about.