Philadelphia’s Famed BYOB Restaurants Celebrate New Year’s Eve

BYOC (Bring Your Own Champagne) – And Save a Bundle

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 1 /PRNewswire/ — Philadelphia region diners have a secret for ringing in the New Year in style and without breaking the bank: Dine at a cozy BYOB restaurant. Short for “bring your own bottle,” BYOBs are an integral part of the region’s booming dining scene. Every other night of the year, patrons sip self-selected chardonnays and cabernets. But on December 31, they’ll be toting champagne to their favorite neighborhood BYOBs. Typically petite and run by chef-owners, these bar-free bistros range from classic French to tropical vegetarian, with a heavy concentration on Italian and contemporary American cuisines. Here’s a look at what’s happening on New Year’s Eve:

* A petite countryside bistro with a devout following, Alison at Blue
Bell’s menu reflects the world travels and interests of chef-owner
Alison Barshak. Offering wild striped bass with winter squash and wild
mushroom risotto-braised leeks and apple cider sauce one night and filet
of beef with potato stuffed with truffles, wild mushrooms and cheese the
next, this BYOB always offers pleasant culinary surprises. Expect the
same on New Year’s Eve, when seating for a four-course, fixed-price menu
will begin at 6:00 p.m. 721 Skippack Pike, (215) 641-2660,
http://www.alisonatbluebell.com/

* Celebrating its first New Year, Bistro 7, chef Michael O’Halloran’s
stylishly simple new American bistro will deliver nothing less than
exactly what its customers have come to expect: heavenly, melt-in-the-
mouth gnocchi, grass-fed beef rib eye steaks and coconut jasmine rice
pudding — all at reasonable prices. Customers who reserve for the
second seating need only step out the door to see the midnight fireworks
at Penn’s Landing. 7 N. 3rd Street, (215) 931-1560

* Famous for its daily gumbo and crawfish spring rolls, Carmine’s Creole
Cafe classes up the Creole for the last night of the year. With seatings
at 5:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., chef John Mims’ Big Easy-inspired
restaurant offers five courses — starting with caviar-topped scallops,
moving onto maple-glazed roast duck and ending with chocolate gateau –
for $65 per person. 232 Woodbine Avenue, Narberth, (610) 660-0160,
http://www.carminescreole.com/

* The best New Year’s Eve feature at the rustically hip Chloe is the
first-come, first-served seating policy. On December 31, chef-owners
Mary Ann Ferrie and Dan Grimes will reward procrastinators with gourmet
comfort food such as stewy braised beef short ribs with maple mashed
sweet potatoes, grilled baby back ribs with bourbon chipotle barbecue
sauce and mac and cheese made with raw milk and smoked cheddar from
Lancaster County. 232 Arch Street, (215) 629-2337,
http://www.chloebyob.com/

* La Boheme, a jewel-box French bistro, changes its offerings every two
weeks, but look out for classics: escargots, French onion soup and creme
brulee. The five-course New Year’s Eve menu will cost $85 per person and
includes a complimentary glass of champagne. Seatings are at 5:00 p.m.,
7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. 246 S. 11th Street, (215) 351-9901

* Tucked in a narrow block west of Broad Street, David and Kathryn
Faenza’s cozy and bright Italian trattoria, L’Angolo Ristorante, hosts
three seatings on New Year’s Eve. Revelers can enjoy three courses for
$55 at 5:00 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. or take advantage of a four-course $65
option at 9:30 p.m. Specialties of the house include homemade duck
ravioli, rich osso bucco and homemade pappardelle with langoustino in a
spicy cherry tomato sauce. 1415 Porter Street, (215) 389-4252

* Chef Marcie Turney amps up the contemporary Mexican menu at Lolita this
one night of the year, adding richness to the spice. Look for veal
chops, lobster and ceviche on the chef’s tasting menu — plus inventive,
fresh margarita mixes for those who bring their own tequila. Three
seatings (6:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.) go with three prices
($50, $55, $60). Hats, noisemakers and champagne at midnight are also
included. 128 S. 13th Street, (215) 546-7100

* Marigold Kitchen, an edgy neighborhood bistro, celebrates its second New
Year with a five-course menu that will be finalized at the last minute.
Reservation-holders can look forward to five courses in the vein of
escargot with honey mushrooms, Israeli couscous and pine nuts; pork loin
confit with cider-glazed spareribs and braised legumes; and honey
brioche bread pudding with golden raisins and pumpkin ice cream. Larger
groups can reserve one of the three newly renovated private dining rooms
— formerly Victorian bedrooms — upstairs. 501 S. 45th Street,
(215) 222-3699, http://www.marigoldkitchenbyob.com/

* Matyson, husband-and-wife team Matt and Sonjia Spector’s one-room
bistro, offers its reasonably priced winter menu — think Chatam cod
with curried sweet potato stew and escargot crostini with dried
tomatoes, olives and mint — with a few fancy additions such as veal
chops and caviar. Reservations encouraged; no designated seating times.
37 S. 19th Street, (215) 564-2925, http://www.matyson.com/

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) builds the region’s economy and image through destination marketing to increase the number of visitors, the number of nights they stay and the number of things they do in the five-county region. For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit http://www.gophila.com/ or call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Independence National Historical Park, at (800) 537-7676.

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