With the rise of corkage fees up to $150 at New York restaurants like Per Se, the question of bringing your own bottle has been up for much debate. Though many wine afficionados want to be their own sommeliers, the other portion of BYOB patrons — money savers — accounts for a good chunk of New York City diners (myself included).
Wine lovers from all budgets can now pair their own wines with Sunday dinner at The Leopard at Des Artistes. Whether you're planning to enjoy a $7 or $270 bottle, you won't pay a corkage fee! On a recent Sunday, a friend and I enjoyed a multi-course meal with a bottle of $10 Cotes du Rhone, which was professionaly decanted and served with as if it were a much pricier bottle.
Italian food and wine are practically inseparable, and The Leopard's menu will flatter whichever bottle you choose to bring in.
Start with freshly baked bread dipped in authentic extra virgin olive oil, and pair with the Grilled Octopus and Celery potato salad, drizzled table side with olive oiland lemon dressing, to lighten up your first course.
On Sundays, Chef Vito Gnazzo, an Italian who truly enjoys watching his patrons devour his food, creates traditional slow-cooked Italian supper dishes, including a homemade pasta dish and a risotto.
With an impressive range of pasta dishes including fresh vegetables, seafood, cheese, and meats, all around $20, it's easy to enjoy an upscale and satisfying meal at The Leopard without straining your budget. The Homemade Pappardelle with wild boar ragout marinated with Aglianico di Taurasi ($22) is a must-try for carnivorous carbaholics: the ragout is so tender, flavorful, and juicy, wrapping perfectly with the thin strands of pasta.
Reservations are accepted for BYOB Sundays, and The Leopard is a perfect stop after a spring day in Central Park or before a performance at Lincoln Center.