Scoring a patio table at Oleana
Does anyone have any advise about getting a table on the patio at Oleana if I cannot be there at 5:30? Best bet timeframe?
And if I am not picky about the patio, does going on a nice night mean that it is possible to go there as a walk-in mid-evening and actually get a seat? Does opening the patio mean that there are tables available for walk-ins or are they in such high demand that it still is tough to get in? I hate having to plan as far ahead as is necessary to book a table between 6:30 and 8 there.
134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139
patios in boston/cambridge on a lovely evening are primo real estate. you need to choose your priority: winging it, or getting a patio table. you could always make the reservation, then call and cancel if you choose not to go, ya know?
I honestly think you're going to get your best answer by calling the restaurant and asking them. They're wonderfully warm and friendly; I'm sure they'd be happy to advise you.
There are often seats at the bar as a walk-in later on. Same food, nice bartenders....but know that the bar is crowded with as many tables and chairs as they can fit in, and the bar stools themselves are very uncomfortable...unless they've changed since the last time I was there. The advantages: you get the same great food and you can look into the kitchn and see Ana doing her stuff!
Just a quick note - went to Oleana last night (Thursday before Labor Day) at 7pm - no reservation - patio was a 45 minute wait - no wait for the dining room, and only a few tables taken - filled up about 80% by the time we left around 9. As DW aptly pointed out, "Let's sit - we're going to eat inside anywhere else we go." Brilliant! Not sure why I get obsessed about the patio - the food indoors is still better than most anywhere else.
One other note - I was dubious of DW's order of the moussaka side but it was my favorite dish of the night.
If you go early, you need to be there right when they open to get the patio. I have also had good luck going late (~9p) to get the patio without a wait. The other trick is to show up ~45 min before your reservation, put your name on the wait list for the patio and have a pre-dinner drink down the block at Lord Hobo until your reservation time. When you come back, you'll be at the top of the list for the patio.
92 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02141
My technique has always been to make a reservation on the later side, show up half an hour earlier for it and see what happens first. You can try for outside but worst case scenario is you get an awesome meal inside.