Can concierge get reservations?
Two of us are staying at the Hotel Elysse on 54th. We want a flexible schedule and several theatre tickets, so we don't want reservations weeks ahead of time. What's the change that the concierge can get us decent short notice reservations at the better restaurants? Not per se, or daniels, or that high end, but still really good food places.
When I was a concierge I used to get guests reservations at otherwise "booked" places depending on the relationships I had with the restaurants. Sometimes I had pull; sometimes I didn't. I would say look on open table and find the restaurants that appeal to you and make some reservations. You can always cancel and consult the concierge on back ups if you want some flexibility.
I would figure out where you want to go and try and make the reservantions yourself. If a place is booked, the hotel might be able to get you in. If you are trying to go places like Babbo or Little Owl where there are not extra tables, you are probably out of luck. If you are trying to go to a bigger Midtown restuarant like Sparks or Anthos you will probably have better luck.
If you're using the concierge for other arrangements like theater tickets, and paying the huge markup from their ticket broker, then I'm sure they could get you a reservation as well. What's more likely is they're just going to go on Open Table, or push you into a place they have a relationship with which isn't likely to be the hot reservation you're after.
Why not just take a peek at open table, or make a few calls and see if you can't get a reservation yourself. You might be surprised at what you can get, even short notice, especially if you're thinking of something like 11madison, or Gramercy Tavern. Oh, and don't get suckered into the hype. Not all the high end places are untouchable or even good for that matter. My advice would be to come up with a list of places you think might be hard to get into, and try... but if it turns into a project, skip the concierge route and go a little more casual.