Finagling The Hot Tables: Advice From Babbo, New York

Want to hit the trendiest new restaurant in town? Can’t get reservations? In a recent issue of Allure Magazine, David Lunch, the General Manager of Mario Batali’s Babbo Restaurant in New York shares these tips:

Don’t be choosy. Everybody wants a prime reservation on Saturday night. Instead, try picking an off-night, like a Tuesday. “A good restaurant is much more likely to accommodate you early in the week, especially if you can be a little flexible with the timing.”

Persistence pays off. Want to dine at the restaurant today? Call the restaurant between 2 and 5 pm, and you might be lucky enough to snag another customer’s cancellation.

Go face to face. Restaurants constantly have no-shows, so if you’re willing to hang out for a bit, you might be able to squeeze in that way. “Most places will hold a reservation for 15 minutes only.? Also, why not sit at the bar? Most places have an unreserved bar area and the menu is usually the same. “Try to get a seat before 8 pm since people tend to linger over drinks later in the evening.?

Pre-plan. If none of the above works, “ask the maitre d’ for advice on finagling a table in the future. Chances are, he’ll divulge when the restaurant is least crowded or tell you how many days you need to call ahead.”

Good luck!

Posted by Cate O'Malley on June 30, 2006 in Food

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