Best BYOB in Philly area right now? Want to treat retiring dear friend with oenophile husband.
Where would you go?
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Wow, tough start! I assume you'll be bringing your own distinctive wines to satisfy the oenophile. If so, I'd say the preferred BYOB right now is probably Fond, though I haven't yet been. On a personal note, I am a great lover of Melagrano, Pumpkin, Russet, Modo Mio, and Mercato (though a few issues with service there a ways back pushed me away, so it's been a while - perhaps others could weigh in). I would rank them in the following order for myself (with a relevant criteria in parenthesis): Russet (tolerance for a louder room), Melograno (best overall experience among my personal favorites), Pumpkin (intimate), Modo Mio (ability to stuff yourself!, cash only), Mercato (highest potential, hardest to predict). You can see I skew towards Italian. I also like La Viola as a good value, but if you are looking to treat someone it's not a great fit.
I'd go to Bibou. There are a few great BYOBs in the city and Bibou is the greatest. The other ones, in no particular order, are Fond, Will, Kanella, and Koo Zee Doo, but Bibou is in a class by itself, above them. Especially for a special occasion like this, Kanella is a bit too casual and KZD's food is a little too heavy. Fond would probably be my second choice but really, go to Bibou.
As not mentioned yet, l will add Farm & Fisherman.
Excellent food, great setting, great stemware.