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ici bistro- impossible to get a reso!!

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I received a gift cert for Ici Bistro for Christmas...since then have called weekly to try to get in. The machine usually is full but tonight someone actually answered the phone. But I was told I was out of luck unless I wanted to wait and "chance" it on an empty table, or sit at a bar, and that they were pretty much booked for the rest of the month (yes, all of April). Asked if we could refund the gift cert and also was told no. Now I know having a resto ain't an easy business...but this seems a little customer unfriendly! Anyone else had this problem?

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  1. Relax. They were just named #3 top new restaurant in T.O. (Even before then, it was still quite difficult to secure a reso), wait for the buzz to die down a little and go in warmer weather. They're not going anywhere...

    I haven't been personally, but my coworker went last month and said it was excellent. At some point I'm planning on going too; haven't had old-school French since culinary school... Sole Meuniere? Yes please!

    1 Reply
    1. re: table4onthefly

      i know - i hear it is amazing, which is why we were so excited to try it. i guess it is just the attitude of the person i spoke with. i made resos at alinea recently and they also had availability issues but were much nicer about it! anyways, not worth being annoyed about things like this - there are lots of other places to eat in the city.

    2. i tried to make a reso 3 weekends ago via their link on their website.
      Sent an email.
      didn't even get a response.
      nice.

      1. i left a message about getting a reservation for the same week and they called back within the same day. told me it was all booked up but that they could put me on the waiting list in case anything opened up.... sure enough it did the day before (i wanted a late reservation) but i decided against them because i was craving a different style of food.

        they were friendly and efficient, but really busy. kinda happens with popular restaurants.

        1. You do know this place has 24 seats and is only open Wed-Sat right?

          I find it hard to believe that you've been calling "weekly" since Christmas and have been unable to get a reservation. I called and made a reservation for March for 4 people about a month ahead of time.

          12 Replies
          1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

            I'm surprised this restaurant,with only 24 seats,didn't go the no reservations route.

            I guess you can't win.Line up or have a hard time getting a reservation.

            1. re: petek

              I think it's safe to say the cuisine is a little more complicated than serving charcuterie or Japanese tapas.

              1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                Anyone can get a reservation anywhere - maybe with the exception of El Bulli - with dogged persistence and a long planning window. Ask about next month? If you really want to go there you'll get in. I remember spending weeks hitting the Momofuku Ko reservation system every morning, and when I lucked out, planned a business trip around it. Where there's a will there's a way.

                1. re: childofthestorm

                  Exactly! But you know, calling weekly since Christmas probably means the OP wanted a reservation STAT and just didn't want to book ahead of time. Makes no sense to me.

                  I don't get offended when I can't get a reservation. I book for a later time if I'm really keen on trying it and move on...

                  1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                    Why not book a reservation now for May and be done with it? (or do they only take reservations one month out?)

                    1. re: EarlyDrive

                      we've eaten there twice since Christmas...once we just dropped in and ate at the bar (which is just fine for two people), and once we made reservations for an early sitting on a Friday night, one week in advance. It can be done!

                      1. re: earlq

                        I made reservations six weeks ago twice for Wednesday nights one week in advance. No prob. I imagine Friday and Saturday would be a different story.

                  2. re: childofthestorm

                    Frankly the conversation didn't get into what was available in May - I was sort of in disbelief that there was nothing available for four weeks out, especially after calling so many times. Anyways, thx for the encouragement - it's good to know I am not the only one who can't seem to get a reaervation!

                  3. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                    Indubitably!!!!

                2. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                  We booked just a week ago for this Sat night. They have two sittings, but the earlier one at 6pm was fine as the 8:30pm is a tad late. Looking forward to it.

                  Lady on the phone was extremely nice at the time of booking and they called back this week to confirm.

                  1. re: DUH CAR

                    Really? Glad you had success, though it leaves me curious as to why I got the brush off! Anyways, I am going to ask someone else to call for me. Hopefully that will do the trick...

                    1. re: vinotinto

                      It's a shame a reservation has to be made so far in advance. Unbelievable!
                      ( you could always re gift your gift certificate! ha ha)