The sure-fire way to be certain you're pairing the best vintage red with your Bouchee a La Reine? Bring your own bottle. Whether it's dim sum or Steak Au Poivres you're stepping out for, NYC is filled to the brim with BYOB eateries. Forget the $20 cocktail and leave the in-house list for the rookies. Grab a bottle - or three - and raise at glass at one of the liquor-liberal establishments below.
Founded in 1938, this Chinatown landmark is at your service from 10am - 7am every damn day. And sunrise to sunset, it's never empty. Expect simple, heavily battered, and massive portions of all things Cantonese. Go for the nostalgia, stay for the lo mein.
Wine only, no corkage fee
A Michelin-starred chef, an 11-course tasting menu, three-and-a-half hours of unparalled service, $225/person. It's French and it's phenomenal. If you've yet to indulge - it's time.
11 Madison Ave
Wine only, $65 per 750mL bottles, up to four bottles
Smallish and unassuming, but serves elaborate American and Mediterranean bistro compositions. A neighborhood-y village go-to with considerable portions disproportionate to the venue's square-footage. Don't skip the warm chocolate cake.
90 Bedford St
Wine only, $50 corkage fee per bottle
True to its name. Slightly off-the-wall French fare interpreted through a seasonally-changing and locally-sourced menu. Some earnest items like seared cod, coupled with more luxe selections - of note, the foie gras medallion with microgreens and fig.
40 Rivington St
Beer and wine, corkage fees vary
What it lacks in atmosphere, it makes up for in eats. Joe's has been recognized as top-notch by powerhouse critics at the New York Times, Gourmet Magazine, New York Magazine, Zagat and more. And many a man would stand by these dumplings as the best in the city.
24 W 56th St
Beer, wine, and liquor, $15 per bottle of wine, other corkage fees vary
Leather-clad and dimly lit, Riverpark makes for a sophisticated, unrushed dining experience. Often times with room to spare, the Kips Bay locale may not be overrun with bustle, but it serves a fine, classic New York menu. Roasted sturgeon and a dry-aged rib steak for two are recommended, as well as the burnt fettucine - the best this particular editor has enjoyed to date.
450 E 29th St
Wine only, free on Tuesdays, corkage fee of $45 per bottle every other day
Founded in '85, Noho Star has a dense fan base of downtown regulars. Expect crowd-pleasing variants of tastes, temperatures and flavors. The part-Chinese, part-American menu offers favorites such as potato pancakes with wasabi crème fraîche and a drool-inducing stilton-and-bacon burger.
330 Lafayette St
Wine only, $3 for first bottle, $10 for each additional bottle
Co-owned by restaurateur Drew Nieporent and Robert De Niro, take note that Tribeca Grill offers an 1,800-selection, 20,000-bottle list and is one of only seven restaurants around to hold the Grand Award from Wine Spectator Magazine. So, order the braised short ribs and make sure the bottle you bring is up to snuff.
375 Greenwich St
Wine only, Sundays and Mondays no corkage fee, Tuesday-Saturday one bottle per two people is free, $30 for each additional bottle. You can only bring if the wine is not on its menu.
Might seem contradictory, but Tartine is both very French and very comfortable. Compact for certain. Though, the reasonable tab, the bouchée à la reine (French pot pie), and unequivocal desserts lend themselves to a long night of lingering.
253 W. 11th St
No corkage fee
Romantic - and potentially haunted. An excellent choice for impressing visiting guests and/or lovely dates, the fireplace-lit atmosphere is modest, the fare contemporary. Jump off with the rack of lamb with fig compote and finish with red velvet hearts.
17 Barrow St
Wine only, $50 per bottle