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How to score a last minute res?

jahg Mar 15, 2013 12:49 PM

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. j
    John Francis RE: jahg Mar 15, 2013 01:18 PM

    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
      jahg RE: John Francis Mar 15, 2013 01:49 PM

      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
        kathryn RE: jahg Mar 15, 2013 02:19 PM

        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
          sgordon RE: jahg Mar 15, 2013 04:20 PM

          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
            jahg RE: sgordon Mar 18, 2013 08:09 AM

            Thanks for all the great tips everyone! Greatly appreciated!

      2. sgordon RE: jahg Mar 15, 2013 01:32 PM

        Check opentable.com, 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. p
          peter j RE: jahg Mar 15, 2013 01:33 PM

          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
            foodwhisperer RE: peter j Mar 15, 2013 03:01 PM

            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

          2. ipsedixit RE: jahg Mar 15, 2013 03:23 PM

            Use your Amex concierge.

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