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Need BYO Recommend For Group Dinner In North Jersey

Dave Lazar Jan 9, 2012 06:25 AM

I've tried many BYO's in North Jersey and am looking to expand the roster. We have a "Diner's Club" of 5 couples that go out once every 2 months and it's my turn to pick the next restaurant.

I would greatly appreciate if Chowhounds would chime in with their favorites.


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  1. Bosmer RE: Dave Lazar Jan 9, 2012 06:52 AM

    Picnic the Restaurant
    14-25 Plaza Road North
    Fair Lawn, NJ 07410
    (201) 796-2700

    There is a liquor store a store or two away too.

    1. Angelina RE: Dave Lazar Jan 9, 2012 07:27 AM

      Lorena's is an absolute fav of mine and many on the board! (In Maplewood and a great wine store across the street!)


      1. Curlz RE: Dave Lazar Jan 9, 2012 08:01 AM

        Stamna Greek Taverna on Broad Street in Bloomfield (border of Montclair, easy off the GSP) is GREAT with a big group. Make the res and ask to sit in the back room. BYO, insanely good and even more insanely inexpensive, and a really fun spot to boot!

        2 Replies
        1. re: Curlz
          njfoodie611 RE: Curlz Jan 12, 2012 03:38 PM

          I agree Lorena's is pretty good. I recently had a really good experience in Caldwell at Rose Mediterranean its BYOB and can get wine delivered from across the street, just please stay away from Montclair haunts Culinariane (which is not inventive) and Fascinos (which used to be good but went down hill). Scalini Fedeli in Chatham is BYOB during the week but will be rude if you are under 50 (they think anyone under 50 doesnt have money and doesnt know food)

          Curlz- if you like Greek try Varka in Ramsey

          1. re: njfoodie611
            Angelina RE: njfoodie611 Jan 16, 2012 07:28 AM

            njfoodie..I LOVE Varka! too bad it is so far from us!!

        2. m
          mocozeke RE: Dave Lazar Jan 15, 2012 08:48 AM

          Il Momdo Vecchio in Madison is great choice for byob and will do a tasting menu for groups.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mocozeke
            scarlet knight RE: mocozeke Jan 17, 2012 08:19 AM

            We like Il Mondo, but when we go it is very loud. Do you find that to be a problem?

          2. briansnat RE: Dave Lazar Jan 17, 2012 01:31 PM

            For a reasonably priced place there is Cafe L'Amore in Oakland. Solid all around. Not sure if they take reservations for large groups though, you might have to call and find out.

            On the more expensive side there is the Saddle River Inn in Upper Saddle River. Great food and prices to match. But you save a good chunk with the BYOB.

            1 Reply
            1. re: briansnat
              scarlet knight RE: briansnat Jan 17, 2012 03:02 PM

              We had a nice time at St. eve's in Allendale, near Ridgewood.

            2. s
              scarlet knight RE: Dave Lazar Jan 17, 2012 03:04 PM

              In Montclair, for something different, we ate at Costanera (Peruvian) and Tuptim (Thai). Liked them both.

              1. ttoommyy RE: Dave Lazar Jan 18, 2012 06:24 AM

                We recently went to the Mambo Tea House (don't let the name throw you) in Rutherford and had a great Cuban/Asian fusion meal. And...they make a wonderful sangria from your BYOB wine if you want them to. They also make mojitos if you bring a bottle of rum. Nice atmosphere with good food.


                8 Replies
                1. re: ttoommyy
                  fourunder RE: ttoommyy Jan 18, 2012 07:28 AM

                  They also make mojitos if you bring a bottle of rum.

                  Technically, it's against the law to bring spirits into a BYOB, and I would imagine adding any liquor to your wine in making sangria is also suspect......you should keep the secret to yourself and edit this if you see it ....as not to bring attention to the authorities.

                  : 0)

                  1. re: fourunder
                    ttoommyy RE: fourunder Jan 18, 2012 08:54 AM

                    Thy advertise it on their site. Many restaurants in Hoboken do the same and they also advertise it.

                    From the Mambo Tea House web site:

                    "Like all restaurants in Rutherford, we are a BYOB. We do, however, provide the mixes to convert your bottle into Sangria, Mojito, and Pina Colada."

                    1. re: ttoommyy
                      fourunder RE: ttoommyy Jan 18, 2012 09:10 AM

                      duly noted.....and hence, I would have no problem reporting them and others, as it's illegal to do so. In fact, it's even against the rules to even mention you are BYOB in a advertisement

                      B.Y.O.B. (BRING YOUR OWN BOTTLE)
                      CAN “B.Y.O.B.” BE ADVERTISED?
                      Under no circumstances may any “B.Y.O.B.” (Bring Your Own Bottle) be advertised in any fashion by an
                      unlicensed restaurant or other public place where food or beverages are sold to the general public. A person
                      who is found guilty of violating this prohibition is considered a disorderly person. By definition (N.J.S.A.
                      2C:33-27), B.Y.O.B. prohibits sales of alcohol and relates to unlicensed premises. Accordingly, questions
                      relating to B.Y.O.B. are generally not within the purview of the ABC and should be directed to appropriate
                      local law enforcement officials..

                      BTW...for the record, I am a owner of a NJ Liquor License.

                      1. re: fourunder
                        ttoommyy RE: fourunder Jan 18, 2012 11:12 AM

                        "duly noted.....and hence, I would have no problem reporting them and others, as it's illegal to do so. In fact, it's even against the rules to even mention you are BYOB in a advertisement"

                        Funny, just about every BYOB in Hoboken advertises that they are a BYOB and many have been open for years. Guess it's one of those laws that is not enforced much. Oh well.

                        1. re: ttoommyy
                          fourunder RE: ttoommyy Jan 18, 2012 11:19 AM

                          It should also be noted that my first post was intended to to keep them from fines being levied against them, or hamper your future visits and enjoyment.....for the record, I have no plans to report them or anyone else.

                          The point contention is holders of liquor licenses pay a lot of money to purchase one. Insurance, inventory and labor add to the overhead. It's not fair to them when others circumvent the rules which are meant to protect the license holders..

                          1. re: fourunder
                            ttoommyy RE: fourunder Jan 18, 2012 11:24 AM

                            It's not fair to musicians to pirate recorded music but people do it every minute of every day. I might even venture to say that maybe even you have some pirated music on your iPod at this very minute? Perhaps from a play list you got from a friend? And if not, I bet someone you know and respect does.

                            I just checked the web sites of BYOBs that I go to in Hoboken, and all of them made mention of BYOB on their menus and even went on to mention bringing bottled spirits so they can mix your favorite cocktails. How can these places advertise on their web sites and stay in business? As a former business owner I respect you stance; I'm just curious as to how so many restaurants can advertise BYOB and not get shut down.

                            1. re: ttoommyy
                              fourunder RE: ttoommyy Jan 18, 2012 11:32 AM

                              First....don't own an iPod or MP3....never even owned a CD...and restaurants play music they do not pay royalties for.....but I can definitely admit to bringing in spirits to restaurants for my own enjoyment in the past.....

                              1. re: ttoommyy
                                tommy RE: ttoommyy Jan 18, 2012 01:38 PM

                                Hoboken operates above the law. Or below it, depending on your perspective. :-)

                  2. m
                    mcglo RE: Dave Lazar Feb 1, 2012 10:34 AM

                    what restaurant did you end up choosing?
                    I have a group of 8 old friends that we were looking to find a new place to go to as well.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: mcglo
                      Dave Lazar RE: mcglo Feb 1, 2012 11:01 AM

                      We decided on Stamna Greek Taverna in Bloomfield. The food was actually excellent. The service was rather uneven. They always seemed to be on the verge of losing control, but managed to keep a semblance of order. We had to wait nearly 30 min for our table despite a reservation. As long as your group is fairly patient, you should be OK.

                      1. re: Dave Lazar
                        Curlz RE: Dave Lazar Feb 4, 2012 06:40 AM

                        SO glad you enjoyed the food at Stamna, Dave! It really is one of my favorites (going this coming week, in fact). You are absolutely right about the service and the waiting, but I always chalk it up to the fact that it really is a local taverna, and friends in the know tell me they're doing it the authentic way--so I guess that's part of it. Waiting for a res is just tough in the cold/bad weather...otherwise, standing around out front chatting isn't so bad--as long as you know that's a possibility.

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