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Best BYOB restaurants in Philly 'TODAY'...

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I'll be returning for a weekend of culinary delights and am very aware that in the restaurant business things change constantly, so I ask 'again' what do you consider the best BYOB for 3 days/nights of eating well? I've been to Bibou [worst service ever, no thanks] and they treated us like they did us a favor, Melograna [enjoyed], and a few others that I cannot recall their names at the moment. What do you think?
- NYer that enjoys Philly

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  1. Check out Cochon, Koo Zee Doo, Kanella and Will.

    1 Reply
    1. re: barryg

      For 3 BYO dinners, excluding Bibou, I'd do Will, Kanella, and Koo Zee Doo.

    2. Cochon was great, I couldn't recall name.

      1. Matyson continues to be one of Philly's best BYOBs.

        1. It's a real shame you had a terrible experience at bibou. I've been over a dozen times with the opposite experience but if I were in your shoes I'd probably scratch it off my list too.

          Cochon is great and so is Kanella. Went to Matyson for years but stopped when bibou opened.

          We definitely want to try Will so if you go write a review.

          1. I'm surprised you weren't treated well at Bibou. Every time I've been, they were wonderful. In any case, my byob choices would be: Littlefish, Will and Modo Mio.

            1. Sorry to ruffle feathers for you Bibou fans [that's why I went] but when the hostess is having a bad day she should not share it with her customers. I'm in the biz and the without knocking the restaurant in all the threads/blogs I'm old fashion and think I should just not spend my money there. Everyone has a bad day but they shouldn't be punished so severely and have it affect their business, unless it is repetitive.

              Thanks for all your help.

              2 Replies
              1. re: a81

                Understandable a81. I was just surprised. No feathers ruffled here.

                1. Fond, which is wonderful, is byob during the week. There is a corkage charge on weekends - I don't know what it is.
                  Best foie gras I've had.

                  Tre Scalini on Passyunk Ave in South Philly. Get their veal filets or chop, pastas. Also L'Angolo in South Philly - small, cozy place.

                  In center city, Branzino. Also Matyson.

                  If you have a car, Fuji in Haddonfield. Great.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: sylviag

                    Sylvia, I didn't know that about Fond. Do you know if it is going to stay that way? Thanks.

                    1. re: JanR

                      Bistrot la Minette in a heartbeat.

                        1. re: barryg

                          Barryg: Are you saying that Bistrot la Minette is NOT a BYOB or were you responding to someone else' post?
                          Our group of friends always brings our favorite wines and expects a small corkage fee.

                          1. re: arepo

                            Well ok; if we include restaurants with corkage fees then dozens of other restaurants become a possibility. There are many excellent BYOBs with no license and no corkage fee so I guess it depends on OP's expectations. Probably should at least tell OP that the restaurant has corkage since the places he has been and every recommended place so far have no fee.

                        2. re: arepo

                          IIRC the corkage at Minette is $35. Not cheap, but better than the 300-400% markup on their wines.

                          1. re: george2

                            Took the family for Christmas brunch and their house pour was nice and at $22 for a 750L pitcher a very fair price.

                        3. re: JanR

                          Jan, I don't know. We were there last week and were told this when I called to ask.
                          They have moved - close to their last location - and the noise level was much better. We had stayed away after hearing that the noise was impossible.
                          We had a wonderful dinner; we were very impressed with the food and the service. We ordered cocktails which were excellent. It's now high on our list.

                      1. 'I' believe that a BYOB restaurant and a restaurant that charges a corkage fees are two different things

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: a81

                          Agreed. A byob restaurant does not have a liquor license. That said, it's good to know which restaurants will allow corkage. I would want to know how high the fee is though.

                          1. re: JanR

                            doesn't a BYOB have a BYOB license? i get that they can't legally sell alcohol, but my understanding is that a restaurant without a BYOB license can't let you drink alcohol on the premises.
                            Anyway, it is nice to know which restaurants with full liquor licenses let you bring your own wine, but I woudn't consider them BYOs. I also think you can charge a corkage fee and be a BYO. I feel like you can have a decent sense of how everythign balances out. if a place is already a ripoff, not having a corkage fee won't change that.

                            1. re: Bob Loblaw

                              In PA no license is required to allow BYOB.

                          2. re: a81

                            Disagree. Many BYOs charge a corkag fee. A restaurant with a liquor license that permits BYOS win may on average charge higher ornate fees, but many BYOs charge rather hefty fees to cover cost of stemware.

                            1. re: cwdonald

                              Still, a byob restaurant is a restaurant that does not have a liquor license. I would not designate a restaurant with a license that allows byob with a corkage fee as a byob (as barryg correctly pointed out re Bistrot la Minette). Also, I know that some byob's charge corkage fees but I have not run into many in Philadelphia and when I have the fee was quite low. Where have you encountered a hefty corkage fee at a byob?

                              1. re: JanR

                                I dislike the term because many BYOs charge corkage fees. I certainly did not want to call a restaurant with a license a BYO. Corkage fee just does not describe the restaurant well. A restaurant with a license is not required to charge a fee if it does not want to. Likewise a BYO may but does not have to charge a corkage fee. I guess I am hoping we could come up with a more descriptive term.

                              2. re: cwdonald

                                I've never been charged corkage at a BYOB in the city, unless it's at a place that has a liquor license but still allows BYOB (which I don't consider to be a BYOB). Only in the burbs.

                                1. re: cwdonald

                                  I've been to all the byo's listed here and then some and can think of only a few with nominal ($2-5) corkage fees to cover stemware breakage. It's amazing people complain about this, but they do.

                                  cwdonald where are the "many byos that charge rather hefty fees?"

                              3. Barry, thanks for letting me know that for a corkage fee, we can bring wines to Bistrot La Minette - one of our favorite places.
                                Didn't mean to cause a mixup with Fond, who does the same thing.
                                And then there are the times when we really want a cocktail with dinner . . . .

                                1. I would definitely add The Farm And The Fisherman to this list. It is one of the very best BYOs in Philly.

                                  1 Reply
                                    1. You folks in Phila don't know how good you have it. Here in DC corkage is rarely non-existant (sometimes on certain days) and the average corkage fee is $15-25 per bottle. In addition, it is only legal at restaurants that have an alcohol license and alcohol manager on hand.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: dinwiddie

                                        Yes, I was reading some this comments above, thinking the same thing. Not worth arguing about, its just semantics, but only in Philly would people actually think that being charged corkage means you are not BYOBing or that a BYOB restaurant can't charge corkage fees.

                                        I BYOBed ~50 times last year, all over the US, and Philly really is the center of the BYOB universe!

                                        OP, you really should give Bibou a second chance. I think they may have the best casual service of any restaurant in Philly, so your experience certainly wasn't typical.

                                        But if not, give The Farm & Fisherman a try. The 3 times I've been so far, it's only gotten more remarkable each time.

                                        1. re: dinwiddie

                                          Going to Vedge in Philadelphia on Monday, they charge $ 25 a bottle corkage.

                                          1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                            They also have a liquor license but only mark up the wines on their list by $25/bottle, which is a bargain.