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Oct 22, 2007 09:05 PM

Babbo reservations question

I called yesterday (October 21st) to make reservations for Sunday, November 18th, and they're full already!? Does this happen a lot?

I just found it so surprising that since
1. it's 4 weeks away
2. it's a Sunday night
3. It's just 2 of us
4. We don't care whether we eat at 5pm or 11pm

But they said they're completely full for that night.
Does this happen a lot? Does that mean that you can never get reservations if you don't call exactly one month in advance?

What are my options if I want to eat there by can't commit that far in advance?
Please help!

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  1. Go early evening right to door and they probably will seat you w/o reservation-there keep few tables and chairs at bar for that.

    1. Babbo takes reservations 1 month in advance numerically -- which means that if you wanted to make reservations or 11/18, you should have called 10/18. I'm not sure how they handle reservations for the 31st day of every month, though. And even if you called on 10/18, you should do it when phone lines are open as it's a difficult reservation to score. As UES Mayor has said, you should come a few minutes before they're open and try to get one of the tables they reserve for walk-ins.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Miss Needle

        I understand that I could have called on 10/18 to make the reservations, but I just found it surprising that a regular Sunday evening in Babbo is booked up in the first 2 days that they open for reservations (and more than four weeks in advance, since I called exactly 28 days in advance). My question is rather: does this happen a lot?

        Has anyone gotten a Sunday evening reservation by calling less than four weeks in advance? What makes the difference? Share your secrets!


        1. re: AppleSpam

          Constantly like that - especially for weekend tables including Sunday. I started calling at exactly 10 a.m. on 10/3 to get a reservation for 11/3 and had to keep calling for an hour and a half before finally getting through and even then could only get a 5:45 table (which happens to be fine for my purposes). I actually got through to the menu on about the fifth try, but when I chose the option to speak to a reservationist, the recording told me they were all busy, to call back later and hung up on me. Why Babbo won't just put callers into a holding line so we don't have to keep redialing is beyond me. If I didn't know how good the food was going to be, there's no way I (or most other people, I assume) would put up with it. Show up at 5:20, wait for them to let you in and grab a seat at the bar. Babbo is a hassle, but it really is worth it.

          1. re: jdmetz

            Have to agree that if just two of you, and you are not looking for a quiet or intimate conversation (not that you could really have one at the reserved tables either, at least not downstairs), the bar is definitely the way to go. Aside from actually eating at the bar itself, there are a number of tables in front surrounding the bar, which are all for walk-ins. We happened to have a reservation last night (6:15), scored by virtue of someone else finding they could not go and letting us have the reservation, and I have to say that I think we are just as happy eating at the bar (the bartenders are very nice and very knowledgeable, and we have often ended up having wine to accompany dishes that we would not otherwise have had).

            1. re: jdmetz

              Absolutely agree that it's always like that. We (2) always reserve exactly a month in advance --that is, the same date the month before. Even then, it's not always the case that you get the time you want. It seems like it doesn't matter which day of the week. but sunday is no exception by any means. we just accept the fact that we have to go through the same deal everytime and are used to it. it is a bit of a hassle though.

        2. I agree that it might be a good idea to try walk-in, a friend and I went by at 7:30 on a Saturday and they had both a table by the window and seats at the bar for us right when we walked in. We may have just been really lucky, but I think the key was not getting there right when the opened (when there may have been a line) and before the dinner rush. Dining at the table by the window was absolutely lovely, not to noisy and cosy, but not too crowded either.

          1. Babbo is always booked pretty full, although 10 PM reservations are the easiest to get. Walk-in isn't a bad idea; I actually enjoyed eating at the bar quite a bit. Still best to go early since they don't have much space for walk-ins. You could also try calling the day before and the day of to see if any reservations were canceled. By the way, if you come in too late as a walk-in, you might have to wait up to 2 hours for a table. Eat a small lunch and get to Babbo at 5:30!