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How late is too late for dinner in Manhattan?

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Hi. Making restaurant bookings for places like EMP, Per Se, Le Bernadine etc I can only seem to get in at say 10 or 1015. How late is too late in NY at places like this for dinner? Also, when do these places 'wind down' for the evening? Does service fall off and / or the restaurant become mostly empty? When is the dining 'vibe' still happening until in such places? I would do lunches at these - but want to keep the days free for sites, shopping and more casual meals.

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  1. At restaurants of the caliber you mention, there is no such thing as "too late." Because they accept late reservations, and many late diners choose to do tasting menus (the only kind available at per se), the staffs are used to serving people into the wee hours of the morning, so the quality of the service remains very high no matter how long the meal takes. The room will empty out as it gets later and later, and you may very well find yourself being the last table to leave. That has never bothered us. But if you think it would bother you, then you might want to think twice about making a very late reservation at this type of restaurant.

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    1. re: RGR

      Thanks - that gives me hope (and faith) that I will be able to get into some of my 'must do' places. I'm an old 'boy' at 45 but with a nanna nap (do you have that term?) and pacing the pre-dinner drinks I'll be... hungry and ready to...