Tough-to-get-into-at-night restaurants that are easier during lunch time
I thought it might be interesting to compile a list of restaurants that are very difficult to get into at night (either hard-to-come-by reservations and/or long lines) that are open and relatively easy (or at least easier) to get into at lunch time. I'll get us started, but I'd appreciate others' input.
Mission Chinese (temporarily closed)
Ooh, great topic.
Weekday lunch at popular places downtown is usually quiet, especially compared to dinner.
Pearl Oyster Bar (weekdays only)
Spotted Pig (on weekdays, weekend brunch can be long)
Ippudo (EV location, weekday)
Momofuku Noodle or Ssam Bar
There's not that many places that are hard to get in for lunch. Maybe on short notice during prime time for a place with a small dining room, say at Jean Georges, but even then, it's more easy than not.
I'd say it's harder to find a place that is exceptionally hard to get into for lunch.
Yeah I like this thread: my usual trick is to take a day off 'sick' at least once a month and eat at a restaurant like these listed. I figure that the food is basically half price compared to eating dinner. Bouley is relatively easy to book at short notice. Tocqueville is basically a walk-in, I simply book it for OT points. Mission Chinese used to be fine after 1:30, Spotted Pig is ok before 12:30, Minetta the same; Keens is another one I frequent no problems. As another poster says Jean Georges is the only place I've had a problem booking a lunch at short notice.
Per Se, EMP, and to a lesser extent, Le Bern, are probably the only hardest high-starred restaurant to get reservations to for lunch. Le Bern also has the salon (a real table) for walk-ins, as I believe EMP at the bar. Momofuku Ko I guess is tough too, but I haven't checked recently since they're not on Opentable.
Based on my experience, JG, Bouley (my fav for lunch), Marea, and Del Posto are pretty easy on say, 1 week's notice.