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Mar 15, 2013 12:49 PM

How to score a last minute res?

So if we want to get in somewhere on a Saturday night for 2 people, when is the best time to call and try to get a last minute reservation? Friday afternoon? Saturday?
I know most places do confirmation calls about 24 hrs in advance...

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  1. I'd say as early as you can. Depends on the restaurant; if it's very popular, "last minute" could be a week or more in advance. Try and see.

    4 Replies
    1. re: John Francis

      It's for next Saturday not tomorrow. We're pretty flexible but I have a bunch of places I want to try like locanda verde, torrisi, marrow and a bunch more

      1. re: jahg

        If a restaurant is on OpenTable or Urbanspoon, it wouldn't hurt to check frequently leading up to your desired date -- people cancel online all the time.

        For any specific restaurant where you want to pick up a cancelled table, I'd call the reservations desk and ask for advice about when to call. They're the best equipped to know.

        1. re: jahg

          Torrisi has two openings next Saturday, go on OT and book one of them now. They're early and late (5:30 & 10:15) but it's a tough rez so grab it if you want it.

          Locanda makes their tables available a week in advance - so Saturday tables aren't even on OT yet, they will be tomorrow. Log in early, they probably fill up for Saturdays pretty quick.

          Marrow - booked. But reviews have been pretty mixed thus far, might be better to give them a bit of time to work out the kinks...

          1. re: sgordon

            Thanks for all the great tips everyone! Greatly appreciated!

      2. Check, see what's available. If it's some specific place you want that has no openings, call day of (early) and see if there's a waiting list.

        Some popular restaurants also have no-reservation bar seating, so see if they have that as well, but you'd probably want to get there fairly early.

        Are you talking about tomorrow Saturday?

        1. Which restaurants did you have in mind? Some of the more formal ones confirm 48 hours in advance. Also, check Babbo's tweets for same day cancellations.

          1 Reply
          1. re: peter j

            wow, I never knew about the tweet thing. That's a great idea!
            Also, some restaurants have wait lists i.e. Minetta's not a bad idea to get wait listed