|Buy it here, drink it there.|
For many grownups, wine is what gets us through a lousy workweek, a tough breakup -- hell, even life in general. Without it, we'd be reduced to whimpering infants, beaten down by the stress of everyday life. Thankfully, it's both intoxicating and socially acceptable.
Vino is also a crucial companion for any evening out, but restaurant markups are a bitch and corkage fees can be a total bummer. Luckily, there are a few wise and generous establishments in Miami that'll let you bring your favorite bottle of Santa Margherita free of charge.
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BTW, free corkage isn't common. Most places charge $10 and up, depending on the venue. To give you a baseline, DB Bistro Moderne charges $30; Jean Paul's House, $35; El Carajo International Tapas & Wine, $10 (even if you buy the wine from the gas-station shop on-site); and Little Lotus, $15. That's a chunk of change avoided at the following spots:
5. Area 31.
This rooftop oasis has one of the city's best views, a highly-lauded happy hour and scrumptious Florida seafood. And their corkage fee? A big fat $0 if they don't stock the bottle themselves. $15 if they do. Either way, it's kind of a steal.
4. Sawaddee Thai Sushi.
From the outside, Sawaddee may not look like much. But inside they serve up some of Miami Beach's best Thai and sushi favorites, from a killer Pad Thai to a deliciously spicy Massaman Curry. And you can bring in beer and wine, free of charge. Cheers to that.
3. Lulu in the Grove.
This Grove staple gets less attention than its across-the-street sibling, Greenstreet, but its got loads of charm in its own right. With an equally appealing atmosphere and some amazing fried green tomatoes, it's worth a visit. Particularly on Tuesday nights, when corkage fees are waived.
Who better to bond with than that bottle of Screaming Eagle you've been saving? At Bonding, you can do so without the extra fees involved. A bottle of sake would also serve as a sweet companion to their tuna tataki, mee krob or vegetable tom yum.
1. Egyptian Pizza Kitchen.
The family team that run this Middle Eastern pizza kitchen are some of the friendliest faces you'll find in Miami. Order up a creamy yellow lentil soup, a chicken schwarma or a mouthwatering wood-fired pizza like the Nouba - mozzarella cheese, grilled chicken marinated in barbeque sauce, topped with onions and cilantro. Pair it with your beer or wine of choice and you'll be one happy camper.
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