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Mar 7, 2007 03:40 PM

BYO what now?

I'm taking a trip to Philadelphia at the end of the month with a bunch of friends to catch the Red Sox vs. the Phillies. I am excited to try new restaurants in Philly, since I haven't been since I was a kid in South Jersey, and I've gotten some great ideas from this board, but have been a little surprised by all the BYOBs. Sooooo... I just bring my own wine in with me? I sound like a complete yokel, I'm sure, but how exactly does this work?

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  1. That's it, plain and simple. You bring your own wine -- as many bottles as you and your dining companions might need. The waitperson will open it for you, put it on ice, if that's needed, and provide stemware. Some places charge a modest corkage fee, but many don't. Nice, isn't it? More and more, I seek out BYOs when dining out. And there are some pretty fine restaurants that welcome BYO. In fact, the Philly Zagat guide has a section that lists BYOs. Here are a couple of other websites that list BYOs in Philly and the 'burbs.

    1. One minor correction to the above. Some places restrict the number of bottles of wine to 1 per 2 guests.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Chinon00

        Interesting, I haven't run across that one. Who imposes limits?

        1. re: joluvscards

          Small Italian byob near South between the high teens and low twenties. Went there about 1 and a half years ago and the sign on the door said "1 bottle per 2 guests". Some people can get out of hand. I've seen groups in this particular place (and others) bring 8 bottles for like 6 people. These kinda folks are interested in more of a party than in dining IMHO. Now personally I think a bottle per person is a more suitable limit (particularly if you have a red and a white) but some limitation is acceptable.

      2. chinon - i have never encountered that situation. and given that you encountered it once and it was a yr and a half ago , i suggest to the OP that you bring as many bottles as you want/need.

        1. I took my father to a suburban byob a few years ago. He couldn't get over the fact that you could actually bring wine to restaurant. He then had the following bright idea: "hey, I could bring a bottle of scotch here then right?" Like I said some people can get out of hand. There is I guess more of an unspoken etiquette rather than a strict policy however.

          1. i think that the only "rule'" is what should apply in "normal" societal decorum - you can get a little smashed if that's your bag, just don't embarass yourself or the restaurant. If a sip of scotch before or after a meal is pleasing to your Pa, I say bring along a nice little Fifth or a flask (clearly not a 1.5 litre). There are plenty of BYOTequilas around nowadays - and while I haven't brought a scotch or a vodka or a rum to a BYO, I won't say never.

            3 Replies
            1. re: rumdrinks

              I once witnessed a table of 6-8 people shaking martinis at Figs -- with all the fixins'. *rolls eyes* A little decorum/discretion goes a long way.

              1. re: croutonpiggy

                Yeah, I have always interpreted BYOB to mean Bring Your Own Booze, not Bring Your Own Bar.

              2. re: rumdrinks

                I've brought my own pre-mixed margaritas and beer to a local BYO Mexican restaurant. In fact, people regularly bring coolers of their favorite libations to this place in Kennett Square. I doubt that any restaurant would mind if you brought something other than wine.