Binb 14 is a railroad style bistro and wine bar located in uptown Hoboken. They specialize in wine (the wine bar part) and small plates. From a gluten free perspective, you already know you will at least be able to drink something since they carry a lot of wines. That’s always a plus. But what you may not have known, is that this place is a GOLD MINE for gluten free food. Things like calamari, chicken wings, eggplant parm and whatever other dishes your sophisticated palette desires are made naturally gluten free here. They use chickpea flour for anything requiring flour. Plus nothing with gluten touches the deep fryer. HUGE WIN.
I’ve been coming here randomly for years. But in the past I would never order anything on the menu because the only mention of gluten free was a pizza option. Didn’t seem trusty so I would just drink with my friends while they ate. But over this past summer, my girlfriend and I randomly dined here when that they just so happened to change to a new menu that night. Big surprises. EVERYTHING was labeled gluten free, minus the meatballs or had a gluten free alternative. I was very skeptical at first (which is why I have a “menu honesty” section in my reviews). But the waiter assured me that they just went through extensive training and taste testing to launch the new menu and that I would be very safe as a celiac. They weren’t wrong.
I’ve been giving very high ratings to restaurants lately and I promise I’m not some rookie reviewer or being dishonest. Nor am I being paid. But the food here is really that good. I’ve eaten a lot of dishes here and have always had that “holy hell this is amazing” look on my face. The small plates will get you too. You think you’re being low calorie or healthy but NO, you (at least I) end up ordering 5 small plates instead of the recommended 2 just because you know everything is so good yet has such small portions. I’ve had waiters give me the “Are you sure you want all this” look many times. No embarrassment here though. I’d order the whole menu if my stomach could handle it.
For this particular review, I ordered a bunch of dishes. For appetizer, my girlfriend and I shared three bruschetta’s. They offer these in both gluten and gluten free options. The gluten free cracker bread they use is fantastic and unlike any other gf bread I’ve seen. The three we ordered were: 1. Tuna Tartare with capers, jalapeno & scallions, 2. Wild Mushroom with pecorino & truffle oil (my favorite), and 3. Crab with avocado and old bay shoestrings. Every bite is mouthwatering.
For the main course, I ordered way too many plates for myself. But you truly only live once. I ordered 4 plates which were: 1. Pecorino fries, 2. Chicken wings, 3. Eggplant parm wedges and 4. Crispy calamari. Yea, you read all of that right. Naturally gluten free right out of the kitchen. The fries are some of the best fries I’ve had. Who ever thought to put pecorino cheese on fries was a genius and deserves a big medal. The eggplant parm wedges are really good too and smothered in fresh mozzarella, just like grandma would make it. The calamari is what you come here for though. It is seasoned so well and tastes so good that it doesn’t even need sauce. Bin 14 doesn’t even give it to you because they know how freaking good it is. Very bold move but well respected. The wings on the other hand aren’t the best I’ve had and I probably won’t order them again. Much better stuff on the menu.
They have gluten free vodka, lots of tequila options and of course, too much wine. They allow you to taste the wine before you order it which is cool. Makes you feel fancy like you are wearing an expensive watch or something. The wines are always really good but go figure, it is a wine bar. The margharita’s are always top notch also. Great drinks.
As I mentioned earlier, the servers are very well trained. They know the menu inside and out and are very understanding of gluten allergies. So far, that is what my experience has been. One time, the server had a runner bring out the food and they gave me a pizza with regular crust. I didn’t realize it but she came sprinting over before I even had time to lay a hand on it and took it away from me. She went back to the kitchen to straighten it out. Mistakes happen, I get that. But this could have ended very badly if I ate that too quickly or if she wasn’t in the right spot.
The servers are obviously really good and well trained but maybe sometimes they trust the kitchen too much or don’t communicate well enough with them? I’m not sure where the breakdown was. But either way, I’ve been very happy with every other experience I’ve had with them which is why the score is still really high.
Menu Honesty (9.5)
This is an elegant menu so I’m not expecting a ton of disclaimers or labeling. They train their servers well and the service is meant to be intimate so you can rely on them more then the menu. With that said, the menu does label items gluten free, and non-gluten free, very clearly but in a unique way. See the pictures to understand what I mean. I’d be very happy if all restaurants decided to implement this system of labeling.
Did I Get Sick (NO)
Ever since they changed their menu, I’ve never gotten sick. Not once. I’ll make sure to update this if I ever do but so far so good. The only risk area I see is the pizza. I could see mistakes being made there or cross contamination possibly occurring since they use a shared oven. They assured me that it isn’t possible with how they handle it, separate tray and all, but that is the only real risk I see. The kitchen and staff clearly understand gluten allergies as they have adopted their whole menu and practice to accommodate it. But always be your own advocate if you have celiacs disease. I for one will always keep eating here until I’m proven wrong and my gut wants to lock me in my bathroom.
If you are a gluten free eater that is stopping in Hoboken or actually living here like I do, do yourself a favor and go to Bin 14. Like I initially said, this place is a GOLD MINE for gluten free eaters. The food is incredibly tasty, service is amazing, menu options are vast and just everything about this place will make you happy. HIGHLY recommended. Thank me later.