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Jan 28, 2013 10:31 PM

Good BYOB restaurant in Tokyo?

I used to frequent a good French-style bistro in Daikanyama (now closed) that, after several years of patronage, allowed us to bring in special bottles of wine. I miss that experience. I'd appreciate any recommendations for such a place in Tokyo; preferably Western cuisine (I don't care about Michelin ratings; as long as the chef is good and the ambience welcoming, I'm fine). I'd be happy to pay a reasonable corkage fee and/or order a bottle off the house list too.

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  1. In my experience, just about any Western restaurant will let you bring in a bottle if you ask nicely when you make a reservation.

    Corkage, however, may range from Y500 to Y4,000, depending on whether or not they wish to discourage the practice.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Robb S

      Thanks Robb. I generally prefer smaller, family/chef-owned bistros like the long-gone La Petite Chaise (rather than the type that seem to cater specifically to expats), but I appreciate the response. I think the thing is to build up a relationship with a place and then test the waters.

      1. re: filmnoirfan

        OK, I'm not sure where all that is coming from; I don't think I mentioned anything about expats or bistros or whether a place was owned by the chef or not.

        And it's really not such a delicate subject that you need to walk on eggshells - it's just simple math. Restaurants are in business to make money, and they know how much profit they make selling you an average bottle of wine vs. charging you corkage. If it's a very special bottle you can certainly offer a taste to the chef and maitre d' - that's only polite, especially if you've gotten to know them. But every restaurant has a BYOB/corkage policy - you just have to ask.

        1. re: Robb S

          You didn't mention any of that nor did I state that you did, Robb.. I was merely stating my preference as to the type of restaurant I prefer; it was not intended as a reflection of anything you wrote.

    2. Had a good meal at Cicada last week. BYO no problem, very good stems and excellent service.