Weekend Beat: BYOB, Baby!

By AUDARSHIA TOWNSEND
|  Thursday, Apr 1, 2010  |  Updated 11:30 AM CDT
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There's no excuse not to be out this weekend. The weather's amazing, it's Easter weekend and hopefully you've got a few extra dollars 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. The 312 Dining Diva has some suggestions on where to start:

THURSDAY:
Cafe 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.

FRIDAY:
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.

SATURDAY:
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.

SUNDAY:
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.

MONDAY:
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.

Audarshia Townsend is the creator of the local food blog 312DiningDiva.com. She also provides content for Dining Chicago and Playboy.com.

Check out Feast: The first word and final score on Chicago's restaurant scene, featuring videos, photos, news, commentary and the definitive Feast Rank. Sit Down to Feast Now

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