I love great food and great wine. I'm a fairly serious wine collector (500+ bottles) and have several Big Occasion wines I like to break out a few times a year.
My wife and I will celebrate our 39th anniversary this weekend in Vegas and had our heart set on dining at Carnevino for the first time. We've dined at several other Batali properties in L.V. and N.Y. over 10+ years and have nothing but respect for the food and ambience these properties are able to produce consistently.
We've brought in special bottles with no problem at most high end restaurants, including Joel Rubuchon. We had reservations at Carnevino. I thought I'd best call ahead to make sure it was ok to bring in a special bottle (2002 Sine Qua Non "Just for the Love Of It" Syrah), but was told no. No exceptions no matter the wine or the event.
I canceled and called CUT. They graciously said they usually don't allow this, but for a special bottle and a special event, they'd be happy to make an exception.
I understand all the restaurateur arguments against BYOB, and Mario obviously knows how to run a restaurant as well as anyone. Not trying to tell anyone how to run their business. But under these circumstances, it's just really disappointing that Carnevino has such a rigid policy while other, equally high profile places, are able to make exceptions in certain cases.