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High Quality BYOW Restaurant

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Looking for a top quality restaurant that is ovo-lacto vegetarian friendly that allows you to bring a couple of special bottles of wine. Daughter's college graduation dinner, so I'm planning on bringing a magnum a birth year top Bordeaux and a bottle of 1967 d'Yquem. Obviously corkage prices are not an issue. We'll probably buy a magnum of vintage champagne off the list as well as a bottle or two of Grand Cur or high quality Premier Cru Burgundy off the list (or if they have not limit on the number of bottles, or don't have a good list themselves, I can bring the white and champers.

Unfortunately, all the restaurants that I see that seem to allow BYOW in Austin seem to be foot trucks and very informal places like pizza, etc. Not the sort of place one thinks of consuming these sorts of wines. Thought about Chez Nous -- a restaurant I am very fond of -- but we'd like a bit more upscale and adventurous menu given the occasion and the wines. Plus, they don't have much to offer the vegetarian except the normal vegetables on the menu.

All leads greatly appreciated.

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  1. Try these:

    - The Carillon (very close to campus)
    - Olivia
    - Uchi

    Did you check with the big steakhouses in town? They seem to have the deeper wine lists. Not all that adventurous, but I imagine they'd be able to accomodate vegetarians at some of them, but I've never tried.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Mike B

      Add Uchiko to the list.

      1. re: SlickTheCat

        The honoree is a ovo lacto vegetarian. I glanced at the menu there and didn't really see much there for vegetarians? Am I missing something?

        Also not too high on the wine matches.

    2. Congress sounds like the perfect fit. One of the top wine lists in town, good food, and an formal-ish dining room ( but warmer than say a steakhouse setting). One of the most upscale venues in town, with prices to match (~125 pp for the 7 course tasting menu).

      Wine list:http://congressaustin.com/congress/wine/

      They don't have a vegetarian tasting menu, but I'm 99% sure they can make up one with warning when you make the reservation. I think they allow corkage, but you might want to check on the phone about limits and corkage fees via a phone call. If you throw the somm a taste of these fabulous wines, I can't imagine you would actually get charged corkage...

      Trio might be a good option as well. I've heard good things about the carillon (mentioned above).

      1 Reply
      1. re: sisundar

        Congress has already said, "No."

      2. Not uber-fancy, but certainly upscale: I love Texas French Bread's dinner service, and they are BYOB.

        1. Turns out the big restriction is the Texas ABC, as any restaurant that has a license for hard liquor cannot allow patrons to bring in wine. (That is why you got turned down at Congress) That said, here are some restaurants that will allow corkage.

          Uchiko
          Great cooking, not particularly vegetarian friendly. Lots of bacon everywhere. I see your comment about the wine matches, and agree that their food would be a better match with either a great older Riesling or a mature Corton Charlemagne. Well, I wouldn't turn down a mature Chevalier or a great Chablis from Raveneau either.

          Wink
          Somehow overlooked. Intimate, very friendly staff. Very good cooking if not quite at the Uchiko or Congress level. Desserts are superb and one or two would pair nicely with your '67.

          Olivia
          Has a 2 bottles limit, menu typically relies on lots of meat. They do have a few vegetarians-friendly options. Cooking can be superb or indifferent, often at the same time.

          Lenoir
          Not the fanciest setting, but the food is very very good, and the menu is extremely wine friendly. Hard to get reservations.

          Other oenophiles will chime in, I'm sure!

          9 Replies
          1. re: Andrew Zachary

            Thanks for the suggestions. We've been in the process of checking on Wink and Lenoir.

            Veggie friendly is a must. If we can't get anything done in Austin, we may postpone the dinner and just do it in Dallas or New York City a few weeks after the actual graduation. But even with the ridiculous TABC regs -- with which I'm well familiar -- you'd think that in a city the size of Austin, there would be at least one top end restaurant where you could bring a few nice bottles from your cellar.

            1. re: Mike C. Miller

              You might try Eastside Cafe. I know it isn't "fine dining". But it is one of the better vegetarian choices in town. I think they really value vegetarian entrees as much as the meaty ones, not just token vegetarian items thrown in there. And, unless something has changed, they only serve beer and wine, so maybe they will let you bring your own.
              ***
              edit
              ***
              Just checked their menu online, and there are a few good looking vegetarian items:
              wild mushroom crepes, artichoke manicotti, veggie enchiladas.
              Well, you can find their menu online.
              Good luck.

              1. re: Mike C. Miller

                Have you looked into Hudsons on the Bend? I've never been, but I've heard they have a creative menu and nice size wine list. I don't have any clue if the allow corkage.

                1. re: Mike B

                  I think it is creative because they use a lot of exotic meats.

                2. re: Mike C. Miller

                  This may be a crazy suggestion, and I don't know of anyone in particular to recommend, but maybe you could hire a chef to come and create a fabulous dinner party in your home.

                  1. re: Ashforth

                    I live 300 miles away. Just in town for graduation.

                  2. re: Mike C. Miller

                    If you'll be in NYC, Gotham, Gramercy or Union Sq should fit the bill quite nicely (I see that Gramercy has several vegetarian entrees on the current menu.) All allow corkage. I've heard good things about the Modern, though I haven't eaten there recently. Bouley and Jean George may/may not allow corkage, but the food is spectacular and well worth the effort. A recent lunch at Bouley was relatively inexpensive, and the chef kept sending over new items for us to try, ultimately turning what was supposed to be 5 courses into 10 or 11.

                    Austin's restaurant "scene" is still very much a work in progress, driven as much by the needs of the hard-drinking, meat-loving, "more is better" crowd as by the need for sophisticated restaurants. And don't get me started on the !(@*&%*&^ wine restrictions.

                    1. re: Andrew Zachary

                      Sadly, I think that's what we'll do. C'est la vie! Get to eat at Daniel and Le Bernardin, too.

                      1. re: Mike C. Miller

                        Try calling Jeffrey's 512 • 477 • 5584

                        Tell them that rudeboy sent you. I called ahead - they will waive the $40 corkage if you order off menu, and they will create anything to accommodate the vegetarian requirement, especially if the person consumes eggs/dairy. I'm not affiliated with them, it was just a thought.