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Have Per Se and the French Laundry gotten easier to book all of a sudden?

Have Per Se and the French Laundry gotten easier to book all of a sudden?

Old May 28, 08, 12:17 pm
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Have Per Se and the French Laundry gotten easier to book all of a sudden?

I was making dinner reservations last night in Open Table for a trip to New York Saturday, and on a lark tried Per Se. Nothing for Saturday, but when I used the "search for next available table" feature, a table for 4 on Sunday June 1 popped up right away.
That shocked me, so I tried the French Laundry and while they also had nothing for Saturday May 31, the "find next table" button gave me a table for 4 on Saturday the 7th.

I'm NOT used to finding available tables for either of these restaurants. Is the slowing economy having an effect, or should I run out and buy a lottery ticket?

Bob

PS: Ended up booking Tao in NYC on Saturday, any pro/con comments?
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Old May 28, 08, 8:10 pm
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Depends on what type of experience you're looking for, but Tao is a zoo on Saturday nights, and the only people there living in a Manhattan zip code will be the servers. But it is an experience and the food is pretty good.

Have been meaning to go to Per Se forever, but no one I have spoken to has had a completely positive review.
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Old May 28, 08, 11:28 pm
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Originally Posted by justforfun View Post
Depends on what type of experience you're looking for, but Tao is a zoo on Saturday nights, and the only people there living in a Manhattan zip code will be the servers. But it is an experience and the food is pretty good.

Have been meaning to go to Per Se forever, but no one I have spoken to has had a completely positive review.
Tao is for my wife and her 3 girlfriends (all from California), and they want a scene with decent food, so that sounds like a match.

I've never eaten at Per Se, but the French Laundry definitely lives up to its billing, so I would hope Per Se does as well.

thanks,
Bob
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Old May 30, 08, 1:07 pm
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Originally Posted by justforfun View Post
Depends on what type of experience you're looking for, but Tao is a zoo on Saturday nights, and the only people there living in a Manhattan zip code will be the servers. But it is an experience and the food is pretty good.

Have been meaning to go to Per Se forever, but no one I have spoken to has had a completely positive review.
I ate at Per Se last year...and was completely underwhelmed. It's interesting, when you read the reviews, all of the reviewers rave about the place. Upon eating there (and I will include about 7-8 others that I know), everyone walks away saying that it is good, but not great.
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Old May 30, 08, 1:21 pm
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i wonder what per se has available if you call direct. although, they may find it easier just to pay the couple bucks for each reservation produced from open table. sort of a software charge.
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Old May 30, 08, 2:48 pm
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only a couple of tables are available via opentable

very few of the tables are bookable via OpenTable. But I'm used to thinking that no tables at French Laundry are ever available, except with enormous advance planning and luck. That's why just finding tables within a week of the day I looked was so surprising.

And I suspect the buck or two to OpenTable for a reservation is almost unnoticeable when you're talking about $500 or more per person once wine's included.

Bob

Originally Posted by slawecki View Post
i wonder what per se has available if you call direct. although, they may find it easier just to pay the couple bucks for each reservation produced from open table. sort of a software charge.
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Old Jun 6, 08, 10:44 am
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It is surprising to me that FL would have a table open for a Saturday within a week of your requested reservation. About a year ago, when we were looking to go, Open Table commonly showed open tables for 4 within a two week span of the date searched, but they tended to be for Monday or other less desirable dining nights.
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Old Jun 6, 08, 11:46 am
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There are actually websites about this:

OpenTable hints

At the moment, there are 3 tables available every day: a table for 4 at 5:30pm, a table for 4 at 9:00pm, and a table for 2 at 9:00. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday there are three lunch tables available also: a table for 2 at 11:00 am, one at 11:15am and a table for 4 at 11:00am. For Per Se, there's a nightly dinner table for 4 at 5:30. I haven't seen anything else available.

The tables are "opened up" manually by someone at the restaurant between 10am and 11am Pacific time.

Go to this page (French Laundry) or this page (Per Se) For the time, use 7:30 pm. OpenTable will look two hours before and two hours after for a suitable reservation, so this way you'll find both the 5:30 and the 9pm seatings.

Realize that during some months it can be impossible to use OpenTable to book these reservations at all. Because of French Laundry's policy that reservations can be made only 2 months in advance, OpenTable limits tables on their site to 61 days out. This is correct in all months except for reservations in February and September, when the two preceeding months have 31 days each.


On another page they mention that lots of times it's cancelations that are opended up last minute.

http://www.thesandersens.com/
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