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!

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