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Reservations for Alinea

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Will be in town the 28 to the 2nd of May, is there any way to get reservations for Alinea or should I just stop frustrating myself?

Also which restaurants should I start trying to book for dinner today, do I have a shot at Tru, Everest, Topolobampo, etc.

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Alinea
1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614

Topolobampo
445 N Clark St., Chicago, IL 60610

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  1. >> Will be in town the 28 to the 2nd of May, is there any way to get reservations for Alinea or should I just stop frustrating myself?

    Call them. They are probably full, but you can ask to get on the waiting list for the date(s) you're interested in. It can't hurt, right?

    >> Also which restaurants should I start trying to book for dinner today, do I have a shot at Tru, Everest, Topolobampo, etc.

    Alinea is the only one of Chicago's expensive, formal, high-end restaurants that fills up this far in advance. Right now you can probably get a reservation for your choice of dates and times for the other high-end places: Everest, Charlie Trotter's, Avenues, TRU, and Spiaggia. They all accept reservations on Opentable.com so you can check availability there.

    Among our less expensive, more casual "finer dining" restaurants, there are a few that fill up well in advance, and Topolobampo is one of them. Topolobampo starts accepting reservations three months in advance, and dinners fill up quickly. So your chances of finding a dinner reservation aren't that good. But they are also open for lunch, and lunch only fills up a few weeks in advance, so you still have a very good chance of finding a lunch reservation. Again, you can check on Opentable.

    4 Replies
    1. re: nsxtasy

      Opentable is a good place to start, but even if they show no availabilities, don't give up. I have had successes calling the restaurant when Opentable said there was nothing available. I suspect that some restaurants hold some bookings back - or they know about some cancellations before they show up on Opentable.

      1. re: chicgail

        Again - it can't hurt to try!

        1. re: nsxtasy

          Learned the hard way that when it says on Open Table that a specific time is "Restricted by restaurant" what that means is that since the restaurant expects to reserve all those prime-time tables anyway, they don't make them available to Open Table but in reality they are available if you call.

          1. re: hoppy2468

            Opentable is an easy way to check for places with availability on Opentable. If it's available there, you can make the reservation there. If you're interested in a specific place and it doesn't show availability on Opentable, you can still call to double-check to see what's going on. There can be all kinds of reasons - obviously they can be full, or the restaurant can be reserved by a private party; I've also run into cases where Opentable won't let you make a solo reservation but lets you make one for a party of two.

    2. Check with your hotel's concierge. Sometimes if they've made a reservation for someone who cancels, they'll hold that until the last possible minute to cancel in case someone else in the hotel wants a reservation.

      1. I would call the restaurant and ask to be placed on the waiting list for whichever night(s) you may available to to dine there. I recently called a week before I wanted a table for four and was called back after the restaurant received a cancellation (the evening I wished to dine there). Best of luck.

        1 Reply
        1. re: deesher

          >> I would call the restaurant and ask to be placed on the waiting list for whichever night(s) you may available to to dine there.

          Great idea! I wish I had thought of it. Oh wait... :)