Most restaurants that allow you to bring your own wine do so because they do not have a wine list. Neither do they have appropriate stemware, buckets for chilling, nor plenty of space.
Django, the midtown restaurant named after the Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt, offers all that and more.
I found out about Django from my friend Brian Flanagan. He’s been on a crusade to find the best BYO places in the city. Brian recommended Django so, along with a few wine friends, we dined there Saturday night.
So what makes Django different? First of all, their BYO policy is on Saturday. Secondly, manager Jeff Warner and his staff didn’t even flinch as we unloaded close to two dozen wines. Instead, Jeff asked what type of glasses we would like, how many and could he decant any wines for us. Three ice buckets immediately appeared and we were on our way.
Django’s food has a Mediterranean influence, with dishes like sardine tart, whole grilled dorade, bouillabaisse and Moroccan-spiced Angus beef “toro.” There’s also seared diver scallops, tuna tartare, aged rib eye, five-spice duck breast and rack of lamb. Everything we ordered was delicious.
And, we had the best seat in the house. A long wooden table sat eight of us comfortably, with plenty of room for the wines and glasses. A large tentlike canopy draped over us, with a large chandelier. In effect, it was a private dining room.
By the end of the evening, 17 bottles were opened. One, unfortunately, was corked. Here are the highlights of the other 16:
• Bollinger Brut Champagne Grande Année 1990
• Fritz Haag Riesling Spätlese Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr 1997
• Chandon de Briailles Corton-Bressandes 1990
• Mommessin Clos de Tart 1990
• Domaine du Pégaü Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Laurence 1990
• Foreau Vouvray Moelleux Domaine du Clos Naudin 2005
The 1990 theme happened by coincidence; we did not plan it that way. All were drinking beautifully.
There was also a Maison Drouhin Griottes-Chambertin 1970 that acquitted itself well, gaining sweetness and volume in the glass.
The best part? There was no corkage fee.
Jeremy Matouk — Port of Spain, Trinidad — September 12, 2007 7:09pm ET
Alex Bernardo — Millbrae, CA — September 13, 2007 1:05pm ET
David Bowler — Bronx, NY — September 13, 2007 4:58pm ET
Danny Nelson — Oregon — September 18, 2007 8:59pm ET
Tom Hudson — Wilmington, Delaware — September 19, 2007 9:36am ET
Dominic M Dela Rosa — NJ — September 19, 2007 4:51pm ET
Kevin Lewis — Baltimore,MD — September 27, 2007 8:46pm ET
Alan Snitow — NJ/NYC — October 8, 2007 3:38pm ET
Apj Powers — Dallas, TX — October 26, 2007 1:57am ET
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