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Mar 6, 2013 01:57 PM

Help! 1st Wedding Anniversary and we have no where to eat

Hi Everyone,

I slacked and didn't make a reservation for my first wedding anniversary this Saturday night. I tried to have Amex concierge get me into The NoMad, The Little Owl, or Maialino but to no avail.

At this point, I may as well focus on places that do not take reservations, recognizing that there will likely be a wait, but at least I have a chance of getting in (or I'm on an even playing field with the other people in line).

What are the best "no reservations accepted" places that you would recommend? We're open to cuisines and budgets, and we've already been to RedFarm, Rosemary's, and Mission Chinese.


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  1. Personally, I would grab the 8:30 reservation at Aldea or, if you like Japanese, the 8:00 at Soto before I'd put myself in a position where I'd have to spend an hour or more listening to my wife rag on me because we have to wait for a table on our anniversary because I lamed out of making a reservation.

    1. OpenTable shows 9:15 availability at Tocqueville. A good choice to celebrate your anniversary.

      1. Your three choices are kind of all over the place, especially with the very casual Little Owl thrown in there with the NoMad and Maialino.

        Also have you considered an Asian restaurant? Reservations for places like 15 East don't go quite as quickly.

        How long are you willing to wait? Saturday night means you might end up waiting 2+ hours to eat if you show up in the middle of prime time... if you're game for that, April Bloomfield's places might work -- John Dory, Spotted Pig, Breslin.

        Ma Peche has plenty of times on their web site right now. You could also try Momofuku Ssam Bar (no reservations for 2).

        If you like Little Owl, I'm guessing you'd like Gabe Stulman's places like Joseph Leonard, Fedora, Perla, etc. and the newly opened Montmartre. Perla's site looks like they only have 4:30pm for 2 on Saturday on Urbanspoon but they take walk-ins. Montmartre isn't taking reservations right now since they just opened, it's all walk-ins.

        Right now on OpenTable I see some places that still have availability, in addition to Tocqueville & Aldea mentioned above:
        Ai Fiori, 8:45
        Cafe Boulud, 5:45
        Corton, 5:45 and 9:15
        Gotham Bar & Grill, 5:30
        Hearth, 7:30pm
        Jungsik, 5:30
        Lincoln, 9p
        Louro, 5:30
        Mas La Grillade, 6:30 or 9:30
        North End Grill, 7:15 or 8:45
        Recette, 6:45
        Public, 6

        Also on UrbanSpoon, Manzo at Eataly has 6:15pm and 9pm available. Also I'd check late Friday morning on OpenTable for cancellations.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kathryn

          Lincoln would be an excellent first anniversary restaurant. Great food and beautiful setting. Grab that reservation!

          1. re: kathryn

            Ai Fiori is a great experience. Make sure to get a bourbon-based cocktail if you go, if that's something you like. Great wine list, too. Many delicious dishes, but the vellutata and bouillabaisse are amazing.

          2. While I'm not sure this would work, some restaurants might be susceptible to pleading! Call, explain that it's your first anniversary, and explain that you screwed up by not booking in advance. Some place might take pity on you! I wouldn't expect The NoMad to (the demand is just too great), but perhaps a place like ABC Kitchen, or a Danny Meyer restaurant.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Blumie

              Look at all the fine places that HAVE availability. He doesn't even HAVE to plead (if he acts fast).

            2. Thank you everyone! So helpful! Checking out the list now and I'll let you know where we end up.

              6 Replies
                1. re: ttoommyy

                  We decided on Ma Peche! Thanks again for all of the great ideas.

                    1. re: villager21

                      Great choice! If you like foie gras, the foie gras prep at Ma Peche is among my current favorites. Love the chocolate dessert and the new peanut butter dessert (I usually dislike anything with peanut butter, but fell in love with this dessert). The Seven Spice Sour is my favorite cocktail. Have a great time & congratulations!

                      1. re: ellenost

                        also give Vice Versa a call.
                        You never know till you try.