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Jan 22, 2011 09:27 AM

French laundry reservation

Any advice on getting a reservation for 2 at the French laundry. We're flexible and anytime between the end of February 2011 and about May 5, 2011 would work for us. Dinner or lunch are equally fine.
The reservation phone line was closed until January 20 for vacation and when i tried on 1/22 it was busy for 2 hours ( i gave up after that time) from 10:00 AM PST on. I understand tables for two are rare on opentable so i haven't pursued that route with any diligence. Midnight in California would be 3:00 AM here in east so there is a laziness issue of simple getting up.

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  1. Nothing new on tips. Plenty of previous threads on here (expand search to over 1 year) with advice. If you don't get through at 10:00 am, give up, or call much later to get on a waitlist for a different day. Spam -refresh on at 11:59pm with credit card info copied-ready-to-paste. Or, stay at a local bed-and-breakfast, and the hotel concierge will be able to get a reservation (usually with 2+ months of advance notice)

    1. After many unsuccessful attempts to get a rez last summer and fall (after as many as 150 re-dials) a friend told me it was easier to score in the dead of winter when the tourist throngs are so much lighter. So in Nov we did manage to get a reservation (on the very first call, no less) and are dining there next week.

      So I guess my advice is that you'll probably have a better shot at it in March (2 months from now) than in May, and probably a better shot on a weekday instead of a weekend, so keep trying every morning until you get thru.

      I don't think there are ANY reservations for 2 on Opentable, as I remember it last summer, just for parties of 4 (this may have changed, you can find out on OT).

      5 Replies
      1. re: willyum

        "I don't think there are ANY reservations for 2 on Opentable"

        OK, I went and looked this up, basically no dinner rez for 2, but one lunch rez for 2 ... here's what Opentable writes about TFL openings ...

        Exact Number of Tables Available ONLINE via
        * Two tables are available online via for dinner service, one @ 5:30pm (party of 4) and one @ 9:15pm (party of 4).
        * Two tables are also available online for lunch service, one at @ 11:00 am (party of 4) and one at 11:15 am (party of 2) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday only.

        Here's the link if interested:

        1. re: willyum

          That must be new....when I went in September, I secured my dinner reservation for 2 via OT (9:30 seating). It was quite serendipitous - I checked it the morning of my wedding anniversary (which fell on a Friday) and lo and behold, it was there for that evening!

          1. re: willyum

            Just for grins, I tried for a reservation for 2 on OpenTable... Jan. 25 at 9:00 p.m. came up. I guess they are allowing some parties of two now. Cool.

            Dang. I have jury duty Monday, and can't jet out to the left coast. Why is life (and civic duty) so cruel...

            1. re: DuchessNukem

              Thanks to everyone for all your helpful replies
              We got a reservation for Tuesday March 1 at 8:45

              I called yesterday (1/22/2011) and get through at about 2:00 PM PST ( 4 hours after the reservation desk opened and after the busy signals died down) and asked for ANY reservation after February 22 and got the March 1 date. We may have benefited from the fact that the reservation desk was closed for most of January until 1/21/2011.

              We very much enjoyed Per Se here in NYC so lets see how the French Laundry works out.

              Thanks again

              The French Laundry
              6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

              1. re: IPcook

                Yay, glad you got one! I think it's much easier to get them during the winter (and that's a really good tip of calling right after the winter break is over). For the record, parties of 2 have been on Open Table for years.