Thursday, April 1, 2010

BYOB, Baby!


There's no excuse not to be out this weekend.

The weather's amazing . . . it's Easter weekend and you've got a few extra $$$ in your pocket.

Since you don't want to spend it all, this is a good time to check out the city's amazing BYOB scene.

For instance, we're pretty psyched about the brand-new brunch at Sabor Saveur in Ukrainian Village.

Bring bottles of bubbly, and they'll supply all the fresh juice mixers as you chow down on French-Mexican-inspired dishes such as Chicharron and Black Beans Crepas served with mushrooms, corn, asparagus and pumpkin flower and Huevos Trufados (poached eggs served over a bed of figs, bacon and black truffle oil topped with Rober sauce).

Sabor Saveur's brunch is 11am-3pm Saturdays, Sundays. Entree prices range $9-$17; no corkage fee.

More BYOBs offering you more bang for your bucks . . .

A number of sushi spots around town, including Coast and Butterfly, offer no corkage on BYOB.


90 Miles Cuban Cafe: All dinner items are under $10 at this lively Cuban corner spot in Logan Square. You get a heaving plate of meat (chicken, shredded beef or roasted pork) accompanied by rice, black beans and sweet plantains. Bring a bottle of rum to pour in the yummy tropical shakes. Flavorful flavors include mango, strawberry, papaya and the signature Guanabana. Patio is open tonight! No corkage fee.

Irazu: Expect this Costa Rican resto's patio to be packed tonight as neighborhood folks come out in droves for piping-hot plates of traditional dishes like the Casado, made with rib eye steak, chicken breast or tilapia served with rice, black beans, sweet plantains and an over easy egg. It's cash only and no corkage fee. Wine shop Red & White is directly across the street.

Kanok: Those with big appetites will appreciate this Lakeview sushi joint offering an all-you-can-eat deal Monday through Thursday. It includes appetizers (chicken satay, miso soup), nigiri sushi and maki rolls such as spicy tuna, spicy shrimp and white fish tempura. $22 per person; everyone in party must order special. No corkage fee.


Birchwood Kitchen: The sandwich-heavy menu includes faves like the meatloaf with gooey aged Cheddar and tomato jam; sweet and sour pork belly with cilantro and pickled onions; and the cave-aged Gruyère with caramelized onion and Dijon mustard. No corkage fee.

Coast: When it comes to BYOB sushi spots, this has got to be No. 1. Maki rolls here are a bit pricey for a neighborhood hang, but worth it for signature bites like Maine (cooked lobster in ginger mayo), Sunrise (ginger seared tuna, mint, wrapped with mango) or the Po Boy (white fish tempura, unagi, cream cheese, masago, spicy sauce, scallion, avocado, tempura crumb, eel sauce). No corkage fee with minimum food purchase of $15.

Gilt Bar: Half hipster-half yuppie destination—with a Johnny Cash soundtrack to boot—the share-able menu is all American. Also, even though they have a full-service bar, you're allowed to BYOB. No corkage fee if you share a taste with table next to you.

Gilt Bar offers no corkage fee for guests who share a taste with the next table. (Photo: Natasha Hernandez)


TESA Cigar Co.: Bring your scotch and whiskey to go along with your cigars at this hidden lounge, which we hear gets some pretty rockin' celebs. No corkage fee.

Terragusto: Do a family-style, four-course menu at this contemporary Italian spot in Roscoe Village. It's $37.50 for each person for a choice of appetizer, pasta, meat entree and dessert. Must be ordered by the entire table and corkage is $10 per bottle.


Cuatro: The Latin-inspired resto in the South Loop recently lost its liquor license, but you can use that to your advantage during the Bossa Nova Brunch. Bring your own bubbly or rum to mix with their fresh juices that should go well with savory dishes like the Eggs Rancheros or slow-roasted pork empanadas.


Butterfly: West Town's friendliest sushi joint also offers really decent fare in a really LOUD room. Highlights on the special maki menu: Red Dragon (spicy shrimp, cucumber wrapped with tuna and avocado), Crunchy Shrimp (shrimp tempura, mayo, cucumber, masago, tempura crumbs with eel sauce) and Hurricane (avocado, cucumber, crabstick, green onions, cream cheese, wasabi/spicy mayo top with seared tuna and special sauce). The second location is on Chicago Avenue. No corkage fee.


Chanthana said...

Thanks for the awesome recommendations! I was pointed to your blog by @ResideLiving :-)

312 Dining Diva said...

Thanks for the props! ;)