I reached into my coat pocket for my sunglasses this afternoon, and came up instead with a Pulltap’s two-stage waiter’s friend corkscrew.   A poor substitute for sunglasses, to be sure, but a truly excellent corkscrew, and a reminder of a pleasant dinner at a neighborhood place without a liquor license.

I had forgotten about the pleasures (and terrors) of BYOB dining.  Poor planning mostly.  But I have been enjoying Basta Pasta since they opened, and when a friend asked if they served wine, I realized that I didn’t actually know.  Turns out they don’t.  Although I heartily recommend just about everything on their menu, most especially the housemade pasta, which is usually fusilli.

This time we came prepared.  Well, almost prepared.  Wine?  Check.  (A very nice Malbec that was a gift at work)  Corkscrew?  Check. (There’s not much worse than going BYOB and finding that the place doesn’t even have a worm!)  Glasses?  Oops.  Sure, I figure it was a longshot that they would have nice wine glasses, and who wants to carry the used glasses home again, but they would have to have some kind of beverage containers, right?

Yes, they do have cups.  Styrofoam cups.  Sure, not quite the optimal shape and not very atmospheric, but they should do the job.  Here’s a helpful piece on different kinds of wine glasses that mentions styrofoam in passing.  There was definitely some kind of bad chemical reaction between wine and foam, adding a peculiar amoniac smell to the whole affair, but the taste was just fine. People at an adjacent table seemed to have squared the circle well and properly with some acrylic-looking wine glasses. Must remember to stock some of those.

Minor glitch aside, what a wonderful deal – paying liquor store prices for wine rather than restaurant prices, enjoying wine at a lower budget neighborhood place, the peace of mind knowing that you can take the leftover wine home with you if there is any (not often a problem).  A reminder of the finer, cheaper, easier things in life.  Cheers!