BYOB makes everything more fun. Not just because you will inevitably and very easily get drunk, but because it lightens up the whole dining experience. Appetizers are suddenly possible! Dessert? Why the heck not! They’re the same price as the glass of wine you didn’t have to pay for (and as such have had three of). Sometimes BYOB restaurants are a gamble, though – corkage fees, mediocre food and a rushed dining experience can ruin it all – and why West Village spot Tartine has been my go-to for this kind of rampant consumption for over five years.
I first found Tartine wandering around the beautiful West Village neighborhood I thought I could afford but after moving there quickly realized I definitely couldn’t, and considered it to be placed there for me by a guardian angel for new New Yorkers. The food is rustic french, so simple enough to include a Croque-monsieur sandwich for $8.95 that comes with a starter salad, but fancy enough to include Bouchee a la Reine – a buttery pastry shell filled with white chicken chunks, mushrooms and quenelles swimming in cream sauce. Aka awesome date spot. The brunch is also fantastic at just $14.95 and includes orange juice (don’t forget to bring your own champagne!) and coffee or tea.
It’s a small, cozy space so prepare for at least 30 minutes of waiting, but they will bring you glasses and open your wine so you can enjoy a drink while you do it (it’s tucked away on quiet streets so you won’t feel in the way… again, DATE SPOT). Despite seeing mixed reviews on Yelp, I’ve had exceptional service every time including a special dessert for my friend’s birthday and help figuring out how to drink the weird sherry I brought once, to complimentary to-go croissants for the next morning. I guess if you forget that most of the West Village restaurants are tiny, packed and cash-only it will seem frustrating, but the rest of us are too excited about the opportunity for a rare 3-course meal to notice.
253 W. 11th Street (at W. 4th Street)
Photo Credit: NYMag.com