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Il Mulino - tips for reservations?

Attempting to make a reservation at Il Mulino, but I'm getting a little weary of listening to the busy signal for days on end. Anyone have any tips for making a reservation? Best times to call, how far in advance, etc? I've heard a good tactic is to drop in and make a reservation in person during lunchtime hours but so far I've been unable to do so because of work. Advice?

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  1. Great question, I personally just gave up. The times when I could get through to make a reservation, I was told that I was making it too far in advance (usually 2-4 weeks). When I followed their advice to call a week before, I was told that I needed to give more notice. These were for 7:00 pm reservations. You can easily get a reservation if you are willing to eat at 5:00. There are just too many great Italian restaurants in Manhattan to put up with their nonsense. That being said, I would love to hear any feedback you get from others.

    1. After my last experience there I would never go back. There are indeed many better, and infinitely more pleasant Italian restaurants, many much cheaper.

      See this thread:


      1. Don't even bother going. It is so overrated. My last meal there was just pathetic.

        1. Go to Babbo instead. Better food, better service, if you get there early enough you can grab a seat at the bar/area & skip the whole reservation process. I've eaten at Il Mulino a few times over the past several years & feel the experience has diminished. The only thing constant is them making you wait 30-45 minutes for your table even if you have a reservation...

          1 Reply
          1. re: Fallon

            Babbo is one to the calendar date at 10 am. I just made reservations for October on Friday. Should be fun.

          2. Was at Il Mulino about six months ago. It used to be the one place my wife and I would hold out as the ultimate in dining. No more. Although some of the dishes were ok, the restaurant seemed tired and to be coasting, the dishes we remembered as being great lacked snap and fire, and overall, for the first time, we felt like we were being ripped off. Maybe it has something to do with Il Mulino becoming a national chain...

            1 Reply
            1. re: neddludd

              Well, not so much. The Dallas location shut indside of two years. But then, what do you EXPECT? When you serve a $45 ravioli starter, there can be no room for error!


            2. I forgot to mention in my earlier post that you may want to try Il Giglio. It is owned and run by the former chef at Il Mulino. It is very good and they actually answer their phone and want reservations.

              1. Well, thanks for the warnings and suggestions -- I've read a lot of posts about Il Mulino on these very boards so I know there are a wide range of opinions. Seems to be pretty polarizing. Still, it's been on my list for awhile simply as a place to try, so perhaps it's just a matter of braving the busy signal after all. Regardless, I will consider myself duly warned.

                1. I would go to Il Giglio downtown. I believe it is run by his wife....Food is great and easy to get a reservation. I think it is on Warren or Chambers

                  1. Sorry that no one provided you with the ANSWER to your post. I wish I could help but in the past I have always been able to get through without too much difficulty. It's worth trying, the food is good, it's an experience worth doing once....not nearly as bad as the previous posts IMHO.

                    1. I've never managed to get a reservation there either so, about 4 months ago, we went to the one in Long Island. It's on Open Table and reservations are relatively easy to get. They were extremely friendly, had a table on time, the food was excellent and we had a great meal. The prices are high but, if you order right (and there's a post on CH somewhere that is the definitive post on what to order), it can equal almost any other place.

                      1. Il Mulino is my husband's and my favorite Italian restaurant on earth. Here's a tip for you: I decided on a Thursday night that I wanted to have dinner there after work. We decided to take a chance and just walked in. Believe it or not, they have cancellations or people just don't show up. This is hard for me to believe since it's so impossible to get a res. The maitre'd told us to wait to see if people didn't show up. We had to wait about 1/2 hour and then we got a table and had a great dinner. It costs a fortune though, but we love it.

                        1. Overratted and too much garlic. If you are looking for a fantastic italian meal with great atmosphere you must go to Novita.

                          1. I have thoroughly enjoyed going to Il Mulino since the late 90's, but my last two visits (mid to late 06) have been awful. It wasn't the food and I will make no judgements on the food because the experiences have been clouded by other events. On one occasion there was a family of 6-8 people who were waiting for a table. When we walked in the son (late 40's) was speaking calmly but assertivly with the maitre'd about how they have been waiting for over 30 minutes. My date and I had been seated and eating for at least 30 minutes when the same young man was now pleading (loudly) on the borderline of tears with the maitre'd about how they had made the reservation months in advance and they had been waiting for close to two hours. It was his father's birthday and they had watched 5 tables of like numbers sit down in front of them. It was such an ugly incident. Looking around the room we realized everyone was a corporate client. Don't get me wrong, I understand that regulars / corporates have to be accomadated. That is the bread and butter! But I feel as though Il Mulino has lost its soul and I won't be back on my own dime.

                            1. I can't tell you specifically about Il Mulino, but I have grown rather found of Mr Cutlets (Grub Street) technique of calling for same day reservations at 4:00PM. It's amazing to me just how many fine dining restaurants, particularly in Manhattan, have two-tops open day off between 7:30 and 9:00 PM. But, having said that, keep in mind what NY Mag has to say re Il Mulino:
                              "...the phone is rarely answered and dinner reservations are typically honored late. ...In-the-know Il Mulino regulars prefer the restaurant at lunchtime, when it's rarely crowded and service is much more relaxed."

                              1. just show up an hour or so before you want to eat. they'll get you seated.

                                1. Why do you want to eat there? I think the place went downhill years ago. Go to Babbo instead. Just my 2 cents :)

                                  1. I think Jfood may win the title of "longest Boycotter of Il Mulino" pushing 20 years.

                                    M&M Jfood and best friends make 7PM resos and show up promptly at 645. Whew glad we made it. We were told it would be a few minutes. Silly me, did i know that a few minutes would translate to over 2 1/2 hours. Yes I know we should have left but we didn't. Although the food was really good, they basically ignored us. As we were leaving we vowed never to return.

                                    And so the story goes. I will never go to Snob Mulino.