Corner BYOB has finally managed to acquire its liquor license, making it both a BYOB and a BuyYOB. With a prime location on Hampden’s “Avenue,” Corner BYOB provided some delicious food, questionable service, and decidedly mixed feelings. It is currently open for dinner six days a week, closed on Tuesdays, with a special $25, three-course meal every Monday.
The dining room is plain and undecorated, a small and narrow space with barely one dozen tables crammed together making movement rather difficult throughout the restaurant. The chef’s fourteen-year old dog wanders the dining room, providing some post-appetizer, pre-entrée, entertainment for my guests.
The menu is somewhat limited with only eight appetizers ($9-15) and eight main courses ($21-36). The menu varies frequently and is not available on Corner BYOB’s web site. We ordered two appetizers, the “Kangaroo Tartar” and the “Bowl of Invention,” both of which were delicious. For our main course we ordered the “Top Butt Strip,” “Filet of Trout,” and the “Braised Ham Hock” with a side of bread (yes, they charge for bread).
All of the food was incredibly tasty, but our favorite by far was the “Butt Strip” cooked medium rare to perfection with a delicious black peppercorn sauce. The trout was served with an incredibly tasty risotto that appeared almost black. We found out later it was dyed with spinach. The ham hock couldn’t have looked better, sitting tall on a bed of peas and a potato puree, but our delight was quickly diminished as the hock was ninety percent rind and fat with a mere two pieces of meat underneath.
When discussing our hock-disappointment with our waitress, she was forcefully defensive stating, “I told you that it was covered in fat!” While I must admit that this is undoubtedly true, hams are naturally covered with rind and fat. I don’t think anyone would order this dish knowing they would receive two tiny pieces of meat for $25. Furthermore, my table was struck by our waitress’ irritability. The way Corner BYOB handled the situation was a real turn off as we were not offered compensation, substitution, or any explanation.
As I stated before, my table’s experience was mixed—delicious food with a sub-par experience. I suggest for those interested in attending that Monday night may by the best day of the week to visit Corner BYOB as they offer a three-course meal for $25. This option might give the consumer a chance to receive a meal worthy of what was paid. Lastly, I want to state for the reader: if you do chose to attend, the management strongly prefers cash payment, charging two dollars for the use of credit cards. I found this rather odd.
850 W 36th St. in Hampden
$25 prix fixe Monday • Closed Tuesday
Full dinner menu Wednesday–Sunday
Full bar (corkage fees for BYOB)
No vegan options
Street parking only
Gay Life June 2014