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How early should we make reservations?

SusanB Jan 18, 2011 03:47 PM

We're going to be in New Orleans over Easter - arriving Wednesday around 11 AM and leaving Sunday morning. So far, I'm interested in Cochon and Boucherie (after reading the posts from the last few days). Neither of us like to have all our plans set in stone, but I also realize with such a short time, that we're going to have make some arrangements in advance. We won't be planning on lunch & dinner every day, more likely 1 meal plus snacks. I'll have to follow up with restaurants to see if they are open on Good Friday, but any idea how far in advance we'd need to make reservations?


930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

8115 Jeannette St, New Orleans, LA 70118

  1. texasredtop Jan 18, 2011 04:29 PM

    Even on a non-holiday weekend, I would not spend a weekend in NO without my meals planned and reservations made. Some places may take them this early, others might not. You'll have to decide where you want to eat first, then visit the web sites and start making your reservations. Without reservations, you won't go hungry by any means but you might miss out on something really good. Now I even make week day lunch reservations to my favorite places like Mr. B's cuz if I miss those bbq shrimp I will not be pleasant to live with.

    2 Replies
    1. re: texasredtop
      JazzyB Jan 19, 2011 05:40 AM

      Some local input re: Mr. B's. http://forums.neworleans.com/showthre.... The bbq shrimp recipe is on their website. Any novice with access to gulf shrimp (frozen will work) can easily duplicate the dish.

      1. re: JazzyB
        texasredtop Jan 19, 2011 05:29 PM

        I have my own "shrimp man" and get fresh gulf shrimp as often as I want them. Problem is, my husband loves my fried shrimp so anytime I'm cooking them they must be fried. Maybe next time he makes a trip hunting without me, I'll give it a whirl. I've had their recipe saved on my hard drive for years.

    2. j
      jimswside Jan 18, 2011 04:36 PM

      Boucherie was a place I had to wait ubtil a couple weeks before we were coming to make a reservation(they were only taking res. for about a month out). Most others I made with Open Table well in advance.

      8115 Jeannette St, New Orleans, LA 70118

      1. Bill Hunt Jan 18, 2011 05:13 PM


        I take the other route, and plan each evenings meals, well in advance, but how far in advance, depends on the restaurant. With Per Se, Le Bernadine, French Laundry, Restaurant Daniel, and even Galatoire's (we usually reserve, and just sit upstairs, due to our guests' needs and timing), we'll book very early - and often on the day that reservations open of our dining times.

        With the two restaurants that you cite, I do not think that you'd need to book THAT far in advance. As has been mentioned, some restaurants do not open reservations more than a few weeks to a month in advance. Still, factor in a holiday, and I'd not hesitate to check.

        Also, and has been mentioned, I use Open Table very often. If I suspect that I'm beyond the "normal" window, I will just call to make sure. I cannot recall any restaurant telling me to call back in a few weeks, though Open Table would not accept that far in advance.

        For some, I just tell the concierge of one of my credit cards, or maybe the concierge of my hotel, when we want to dine, and let them do the calling. Even at some of the high-end restaurants, I have been surprised when the hotel concierge could secure a reservation, a week before they are open to the general public. A great concierge is wonderful to have - when you find one.

        For me, it's an "I want to dine there" sort of thing, and I have no problems securing reservations, needed, or not.

        I also will call ASAP, if my plans change, and this includes international, as I do not ever wish to be a "no-show." Simple courtesy on my part.



        Galatoire's Restaurant
        209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

        1. s
          SusanB Jan 19, 2011 01:54 PM

          Thanks very much for the advice. I'll definitely make reservations for the restaurants that we want to go to - I guess we'll have to decide whether we're going out for a lunch or a dinner, and make our plans accordingly!

          2 Replies
          1. re: SusanB
            jinx Jan 24, 2011 07:31 PM

            Be aware that many restaurants will take reservations by phone or email far in advance of opening up on Open Table. I've already made reservations for Jazzfest week at August and Cochon--neither are yet available on Open Table, but they took them by email. August will reserve a year in advance, and Cochon I think six months. If there's somewhere you really want to dine, don't hesitate to call or email to find out their policy as soon as possible.

            930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

            1. re: jinx
              Bill Hunt Jan 25, 2011 07:27 PM

              I have had similar experiences. If it's a restaurant that we really want to experience, if OpenTable shows no reservations, we always call. Only two, over a half-dozen years, have verified no reservations, and all the others have found us a table.

              If all fails, and you are staying at a hotel with a concierge, call them, and ask. Many high-end restaurants will hold a few tables for the top concierges in a city.

              Another path is the concierge service with your credit card, if one is available. The upper-level AMEX cards' concierges have scored some pretty good tables, at rather the last minute (plus orchestra tickets to sold-out Broadway plays). It never hurts to call.

              Enjoy, and around ANY sort of holiday, festival, event, do not hesitate to reserve early. If you plans change, offer the courtesy of a telephone call, ASAP. The restaurant will greatly appreciate that.


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