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Jan 15, 2012 02:36 PM

Restaurant Reservations

In March my wife and I will be in San Francisco and wine country for her sister’s wedding. While most of our time has already been planned out for us, I managed to schedule a few days for us to enjoy our first trip to the area. We are fast approaching the 2 month window before our trip and I had a couple questions regarding restaurant reservations.

I know at places like TFL you basically have to get on the phone at 10:00am pst exactly two months prior and hope for a table. But are most restaurants out there like this? I am hoping to dine at Redd on a Sunday evening and Gary Danko’s on a Tuesday evening. Do I need to call these places exactly two months prior or is there a little bit more leeway at places like this? Also, how important are reservations? For example the Monday night we want to play it by ear since we will be out tasting all day… do we still have a decent shot to go somewhere that night and walk in?
Lastly, how far in advance do I need to make reservations for tastings at places like Venge, Jarvis, etc…

Thanks for any help and I have really enjoyed learning from everyone’s information on here!

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  1. I don't know of any other restaurant around here that's anywhere near that hard to get into. Most places you can walk in on a Monday or Tuesday. Thursday through Sunday, not so much.

    1. Why don't you just call them and find out? They'll give you the information you're looking for and possibly more depending on whom you speak with. Possibly some great options for when you're playing it by ear.

      Be sure that if you make a reservation and then decide not to go, let them know immediately once you know you won't be showing.

      1. As Robert said, the French Laundry is unique in their reservation system in the Bay Area. Also, if you check opentable you can sometimes get reservations, sometimes the day of or within a few days of going there.

        March is not exactly tourist season. Monday is an off night. The only problems is that many restaurants close on Monday and usually it is not the night the A team is in the kitchen. However, the latter is not a problem too often.

        1. Tadich Grill doesn't even take reservations, I think.

          1 Reply
          1. re: GH1618

            Thanks, I thought that would be the case but wanted to make sure.

            Do I need to make reservations at winerys in advance or can i just call a couple weeks before the trip?

          2. I just made a reservation at Redd for early Feb. There were lots of time-slots available for the evening we picked - should be no problem for you. The Open Table system seems to work well.