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Mar 5, 2010 09:38 AM

Do you need reservations for lunch at Cafe Boulud?

Our plane will arrive in New York on a Tuesday (either EWR or LGA) at about 11:00 or a little before, we should be to the hotel by noon, check in and then we will have lunch. Of course, there is the traffic factor, so I'm not sure exactly for what time I would make reservations. What if I make them for 1:00 but arrive at the restaurant at 12:30? Or should I just show up and hope they give me a table? I don't want to be rude and make reservations and then miss them due to traffic or other unforeseen events. Maybe I'm overthinking this, but what can I say. Try as I may, I can't run from who I am. Thanks.

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  1. You need a reservation there. Call them and explain the situation.

    1 Reply
    1. re: gutsofsteel

      Thanks, gutsofsteel. I love your screen name, BTW.

    2. LGA to Manhattan -where are you are staying in the city- will of course, make a big difference- is a 30-45 minute trip - Newark is a much longer deal- at that time of day count on an hour- factor in time to pick up luggage if you have any, possible late landing (very common at both airports) and I'd give youself an hour and a half to two hours before you're ready to eat. Also factor in how far your hotel is from Cafe Boulud - can you walk or do you need to cab it or take public transit. Traffic is very heavy in Manhattamn during the week.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Ann900

        Thanks, Ann. Last year, we flew into Newark taking the same flight we may take again, and we were at our hotel checking in by noon, though the traffic was quite light. I don't remember being stopped in traffic at all, so it certainly could have been a fluke. Good point too about the flight being on time, that's a factor too. We are staying at the Hotel Elysee, which is on 54th between Madison and Park and it appears the subway is pretty close, or we could hail a cab. Maybe we'll have lunch or dinner there on a different day.

        1. re: Suburban Girl

          Cafe Boulud is a really quick cab ride from your hotel- 10-15 minutes and not worth saving the very few bucks if you took the subway or the Madison Ave bus

      2. Sometimes when we go to lunch at Cafe Boulud, we call and reserve just a little before the time we want to eat there. I can can never recall a problem getting a last minute reservation. So, my suggestion is to wait and see what time you actually get to your hotel room. If they are still serving lunch and you can get there in time (they seat diners until 2:30 p.m.), make the call.

        Btw, Cafe Boulud now has a very attractive and comfortable bar room, Bar Pleiades, down the hall from the dining room.

        Photos of our lunch at C.B. in November, including shots of Bar Pleiades, can be viewed here:

        3 Replies
        1. re: RGR

          I have been to Bar Pleiades twice so far and I am not itching to go back. I don't like the decor, I think it's cold and uncomfortable, the music is inappropriate and too loud, and I found the service unpolished.

          1. re: gutsofsteel

            We were there before lunch midweek in November, just after it had opened for business. There was only one other couple there, and there was no music playing, so it was quiet. I rather liked the stark decor, the seating was very comfortable, and we had no problems with service. But I would definitely not be too thrilled with inappropriate (I presume you mean of the thump-thump variety) and very loud music, so thank's for the heads up about that.

            1. re: RGR

              It was not *very* loud but loud enough so that it made us unhappy, and I also thought totally inappropriate for the venue. The two times I've been there have been in the evening.