You Had Me At Merlot | 5 Ways To Up Your BYO Game

By Ange Law
4th Jul 2017


Few things in life are more sacred than a long lunch on a sunny afternoon—throw in BYO and that’s the rest of your day #sorted. Gone are the days of hitting up your local no frills restaurant purely for the BYO perks—day drinking just got classy guys and we are all over it. 

A little known fact (until now) is that OTTO Ristorante throws a mean BYO feast and the only rule is that you bring your favourite drop, and as many of your mates as you can—sharing is caring, after all. They also happen to serve up seriously tasty Italian fare that strikes the balance between fancy food and generous share plates, just like Nonna used to make. Yep, you’ll definitely want to wrap your laughing gear around this one. 

#1 Bring Your Favourite Bottle

Well you wouldn’t bring your least favourite bottle, would you? We all know that the best thing about BYO is that you don’t run the risk of spending all your hard earned cash on the most expensive bottle (or settle for the worst). Luckily, at OTTO they’ve got you covered regardless. Their pro sommelier is always on hand to point you in the direction of your new favourite tipple, or grab you an ice bucket for the old faithful you’ve brought along for the crew.  

#2 A Set Menu = No Tough Decisions

The last thing you need when you’re half a bottle in is choosing which dishes you need in your life. So head somewhere with a solid set menu that eliminates all tough decisions, and instead, delivers large serves of delicious food. Think starters of marinated Sicilian olives or seared and pepper crusted North Queensland black kingfish with crisp cucumber, avruga caviar and chive oil. For mains, you’ll be all over the braised lamb shoulder—cooked in carrot, tarragon and parsley, and the salmon fillet, served with fresh cherry tomato, pops of pomegranate, crunchy almonds and mint. Hungry? Us too.

#3 True Happiness Comes In A Bowl (Because Carbs)

This one should go without saying (because carbs), but we’ll go there anyway. Our motto is ‘there’s no such thing as too many carbs’, so we love that OTTO keeps the chewy sourdough coming. Our top pick is always going to be the gnocchi though, which is bathed in a rich wild boar and sangiovese ragu, and topped with shaved pecorino. It’s a cheesy, carby, comforting hug and we probably won’t share. 



#4 Choose A Spot With Water Views, Duh

As the meal goes on, it’ll become increasingly more difficult to snap the perfect Instagram shot, which is why choosing a spot with water views is so important (read: mandatory). It’s effortlessly photogenic, which means it’ll bring your average way up, resulting in the perfect Insta. Plus, it’s also the best way to see the best of your city, without strapping on the active wear and going for a hike. 

#5 And Don’t Forget About Dessert

Dessert is our second favourite part of any meal (second only to the wine, obvs) and at OTTO, it’s been taken up a notch. They’ve decided that we can all be trusted with a giant tiramisu, and it ticks all of the traditional tiramisu boxes. As you’d expect, this one involves layers of coffee soaked biscuits, boozy masala mascarpone, and is topped with a generous amount of chocolate—as all great tiramisus should be. Your waiter will present it to the table, serve you a serious slice, then leave you to scoff the entire thing. Hey, no judgey eyes here. 

Editor’s note: The BYO offer at OTTO Ristorante is valid for groups of 8 or more, but we know that you were planning on taking all your besties anyway. This article is proudly sponsored by OTTO Ristorante and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.

Image credit: Carla Dibbs

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