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Sat night dinner with no reservations

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Is it impossible to walk into a restaurant on a weekend without reservations now? Somewhat a rhetorical question.

Just a preface to my idiocy: I usually avoid eating out on weekend nights like the plague so I didn't know any better. Okay, now that that's out of the way... I have family coming in town tomorrow and I only realized yesterday that I prooobably should have made a reservation somewhere. So I tried calling Craigie, also looked at Open Table for Island Creek and Ten Tables JP, among others and I've come up with nothing. No reservations. My family will be displeased.

I'm looking for a table for 4 anywhere from 5:30-8 at a place with $30-$40 entrees. From the Open Table list, a few have caught my eye but I just want a couple of extra opinions. Brasserie Jo, Henrietta's Table, Ten Tables Cambridge, Les Zygomates, Market... or Insert Your Choice Here?

I also considered Neptune (my mom loves lobster, and I'm sure she will find the hot lobster roll delightful), but I'm not sure what time to arrive to minimize the excruciating wait. Is 5pm too late?

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  1. How about Rendezvous, I've been in this jam in the past and they've always been accommodating especially if you opt for closer to 8:00 reservation

    1 Reply
    1. re: Karl

      I was just going to suggest rendezvous. Call them. They will help you out!

    2. the wait at Neptune is probably gonna be ridiculous, even at 5pm. I'm thinking 2 hour wait or more? Anyways, Island Creek should be faster, and they do take walk-ins

      1. You could try calling Island Creek, they may hold some tables back from Open Table. In general, that's a good strategy, because I think a fair number of Boston restaurants don't put all their availability there.

        1. Call directly.

          They showed nothing available on Opentable but when I called Bergamot, I immediately got a Saturday night reservation within 15 minutes of the time we needed.

          I know also for certain that Island Creek keeps a number of tables (high tops in the bar, in particular) available for walk-ins at all times and very effectively manages their wait list - you can get drinks at The Hawthorne if the ICOB bar is too packed - they will call you on your mobile phone when ready. It is definitely worth calling them.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rlh

            Just called them, they are booked solid on reservations until 10:30. As you said though, they do reserve 1/3 of their tables for walk-ins so... this could be the best answer to my problem!

          2. So out of sheer luck, I called Craigie again to see if they had a similar walk-in policy like ICOB, and they said they recently got in a cancellation. So moral of the story is... when you're shit out of luck, try calling back a day or two before! Thanks for the suggestions though, I will definitely keep them in mind for the next time I'm in a bind!

            1 Reply
            1. re: fridayluck

              just as an fyi: NO restaurant puts all of its slots on opentable. they always hold tables back for walk-ins, vip's, parties expanding without notice, etc.

              have fun!