BYOBs in Las Vegas?
I live here in Vegas and don't really know of many places that are BYOB. My boyfriend and I have amassed quite the little wine collection and would love to be able to bring it with us. We have been to Gina's Bistro on Durango & Flamingo after a friend told us it is BYOB and it was fantastic. We eat out at least 5 nights a week, and bringing our own booze would seriously help reduce our costs! Any recommendations would be much appreciated! We live on the Southwest side, but definitely willing to travel :-)
I love this type of discussion! More restaurants should be open to it and surprisingly, there are some restaurants you would never even assume that do have corkage. Although I do not have a very extensive list I can tell you of my experiences. Also, you should ALWAYS call 1st before assuming.
1st and foremost is Picasso (I believe that all the Bellagio restaurants may have a corkage policy...however you need to check). I have been bringing bottles there forever and have never had better service than at Picasso. It is a steep price at $40 a bottle BUT I have never been charged. Tipping generously over the years certainly plays into that but more so is the fact that we are personable and friendly when bringing our wines. And we do not bring everyday generic wines. Also, try to scan a wine list before you arrive as bringing a bottle that is on their list is, IMHO, a basic NONO.
The Steak House in Circus Circus. Great policy (I think it's $15, but check) and ok stemware.
DB Brassiere in Wynn. Great stemware, great service, and I think $25.
Capital Grill. Great stemware and service. Corkage was waived as we were a table of 10 and all bottles were unique and we poured tastes for sommelier and waiter (this happens more than you think).
Lotus of Siam. I cant be sure but I think they waived the corkage when we poured wine for waiter and chefs. I do not recommend bringing your own wine here though as the wines that LOS serves is top notch and as cheap as they get. We just brought 1 bottle of very old Riesling that we wanted to share.
Delmonico's. Great stemware and decent service, albeit bit stuffy. I think the price was $25 a bottle and there is a limit. However VERY under whelmed with the place as the food, IMHO, is mediocre.
I suggest you make a list of places that you would like to try and then phone ahead. You would be surprised, especially in this economy, how many places will be willing to "bend the rules" and allow you to bring your own wine. But be smart. Don't bring a bottle of Kendall Jackson just to be cheap. Make sure they know you appreciate and love wine. Nothing turns off a staff more than when people are unappreciative of corkage. Not to mention, it ruins it for us all!
I agree absolutely with LVI. We often eat out, and have a unique wine collection. And corkage has always been waived, particularly if we offer a taste. The high fees quoted are to prevent exactly what LVI says....don't bring a cheap bottle of wine or something that will already be on their list.
Thanks for the suggestions LVI. I totally agree with you about not bringing a bottle that the restaurant offers--we have been on a shiraz kick lately and most places only offer a couple, so we have been buying our own and enjoying at home. We definitely are wine lovers and I'm not interested in bringing cheap bottles--we can save those to drink at home:-) I will be sure to offer a taste to the sommelier/waiter...I would have never known that was allowed, so I appreciate the tip! I've been meaning to try Picasso and DB at the Wynn, so It's great to know bringing our own wine is an option!
re: tear it up
My pleasure. If you go to Picasso, Robert is the sommelier there and he is as knowledgeable as he is fantastic. As for the shiraz, I love the wine even though, like merlot, it has been over produced and some of the ones on the market now are more like cough syrup than they are shiraz! But the good thing about them is that given the current economic malaise we are all experiencing I have never seen prices so low! If you are not already on Wine Exchange's (in California) email list try taking a look at it. They get some really great shiraz's and recently there have been some outstanding offers. Cheers!
Todd's Unique on Sunset Road in Henderson has a no corkage fee policy on Wednesday nights, but make sure you make advance reservations.
The Mix Zone Cafe on W. Charleston near Rancho allows you to bring a bottle in, but I am not sure if there is a corkage fee or not. Given the menu prices, I would be very surprised to find them charging more a few dollars. You can save a few more dollars by purchasing a restaurant.com gift certificate though the $35 minimum purchase requirement would be hard to reach if there is only two of you dining.
I believe the Redwood Bar and Gill in the California still only charges a $5 corkage fee and also offers a very nicely priced porterhouse special.