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BYO in Philadelphia

Need a recommendation on Philadelphia's best BYO- Preferably French or Italian or New American cuisine-most important is that the food be of high quality.
We are staying in Rittenhouse Square area but have a car.

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    1. re: Buckethead

      Bibou is probably the best but is closed until Sept 7 for vacation. If that's a problem I'd suggest Modo Mio, Kanella, Fond or Little Fish. None are in Rittenhouse; there are plenty of BYOBs in walking distance of there but I think these are better/more consistent. BTW don't drive to Kanella or Fish, parking is pain. Take a cab.

      1. re: barryg

        Agree with barryg (especially on the Modo Mio and Little Fish recommendation). For Rittenhouse Square though, I would recommend Meme. Wonderful food and (although they have a license) they allow byob and don't charge a corkage fee.

        1. re: barryg

          Oopsie! I didn't realize Bibou was on vacation. If your trip will be during that time, I'd recommend Kanella instead, it's easily walkable from Rittenhouse and is one of the city's best BYOs. Meme is good but not quite on the same level as Kanella, Fond (which I love, but not as much as Kanella), or Koo Zee Doo (which is also kind of far from Rittenhouse).

      2. Little Fish and Fond are both excellent choices and BYO, although not in Rittenhouse. Fond's sweetbreads are amazingly delicious.
        If you would rather stay in the Rittenhouse area Melograno is a great Italian BYO that we always enjoy.

        1. Modo Mio, Bibou, Monsu, Koozeedoo.

          1. You didn't say when you would be here. Bibou is wonderful, but because of vacation might not be possible.

            My recommendation would be Matyson, on 19th Street - walking distance from Rittenhouse Square. You can see their menu online - consistently excellent. I would rank Matyson higher than most of the others mentioned.
            Fish, which is also excellent, is not byob.

            8 Replies
            1. re: sylviag

              +1 on matyson if you need a rittenhouse byo

              1. re: InSearchOfTacos

                +2 on Matyson. They are really doing great food, and they usually have a theme tasting menu each week that features some of the fresh ingredients. For example this past week they did a local tomato tasting for $45 dollars. Tastings are only available Mondays through Thursdays.

                Monday, August 1- Thursday, August 4 Featuring
                "Local Tomatoes"

                Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup
                Gruyere, smoked eggplant

                Heirloom Tomatoes & Ahi Tuna
                Cucumber, fennel seed, bottarga

                Fried Green Tomatoes
                Dungeness crab, avocado, bacon

                Braised Lamb Ravioli
                Tomato butter, ratatouille, aged goat cheese

                Tomato-Basil Sorbet

                1. re: cwdonald

                  +3 on Matyson. Never disappoints!

                  1. re: doxiemom

                    thanks for all the helpful suggestions, matyson's was wonderful!

                    1. re: IPcook

                      Thanks for letting us know. Glad it was wonderful!

                2. re: InSearchOfTacos

                  For New American, Matyson is definitely a good bet--consistently delicious and easily walkable from Rittenhouse.

                  For Italian, Modo Mio is terrific, but very small and loud if that is an issue.

                  If you really want French, and it is during the time Bibou is closed, Cochon is a very nice BYO bistro. It isn't quite at the level of some of the others, but sometimes they hit it out of the park, and it is never bad.

                3. re: sylviag

                  Little Fish, Fish's sister restaurant in Queen Village, is a BYOB.

                  1. re: sylviag

                    I agree with my good friend, Sylvia. Matyson and Bibou are the two restaurants we recommend to our out of town visitors for non Italian byos. We dined at Matyson a few weeks ago and it was better than ever. Excellent innovative new american cuisine. Save room for their wonderful desserts.

                  2. I had an excellent dinner at The Farm and the Fisherman. Chef/owner was chef de cuisine at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and his training is evident in the sourcing of ingredients and preparation of food.

                    1. I'll certainly chime in for Matyson or my old stand-by, Bistro la Viola.

                      1. I think Cochon also deserves consideration. It's especially good if you're in the mood for something porky.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: caganer

                          Agreed! For great country-style French and if you love pork, Cochon is great.

                          For Italian around Rittenhouse I say Salento or Melograno.

                          1. re: sockii

                            +1 on both salento and melograno- melograno is nicer/bit more expensive but doesnt take reservations

                            matyson is still my fave in the rittenhouse area

                        2. Hands down, Blackfish in Conshohocken. Better than Bibou, and much much easier to get reservations.

                          It will be a 20-25 minute drive from Rittenhouse, but parking is easy.

                          FWIW, Blackfish is the currently reigning #1 restaurant in the Philly area according to Philly Magazine (Bibou is #3).


                          If I had to pick a place close to Rittenhouse, I'd go with Matyson (short walk). Their Mon-Thur 6 course tasking menu is always a fantastic bargain.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: ftarazu

                            The other thing that is great about Blackfish are their tasting menus. Tuesday's only. 45.00 This week its duck, next week its foie gras. $45 dollars for four courses.

                            1. re: ftarazu

                              Blackfish is excellent... for the burbs. No way is it better than Bibou. Especially no way is it worth driving from Rittenhouse to Conshy to go there when there are numerous better options in walking distance.

                              1. re: Buckethead

                                Regardless of whether its better than Bibou or not, you are right. There is no reason to drive to Conshy for Blackfish given the wonderful list of choices within walking distance. And I also want to know how you get from CC to Conshy in rush hour on the Schuykill in twenty minutes.. Helicopter?

                            2. No one mentioned Bistro 7 in Old City. Maybe not as good as Matyson, Kanella or Blackfish, but a pretty good option if reservations are difficult.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: middleagedfoodie

                                I like Bistro 7 a lot, but usually recommend Fond over it because Fond is slightly cheaper and also a little better in my opinion. But Bistro 7 is very good too, especially if you're in Old City where there aren't a lot of great options (though it's gotten a lot better in the last few years).