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The City's Toughest New(ish) Tables


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I thought we might pull the discussions together here that have been running on various threads.

 

Here's a starter list of restaurants which, for various reasons, seem very hard to get into. I think there's a need to divide into two categories.

 

Tough Reservations

 

Atera

Blanca

Brooklyn Fair

Frej

Torrisi (tasting menu)

 

No Reservations: Long Waits

 

Mission Chinese

Perla

Pok Pok

 

 

Must be more. Feel free to add and critique.

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The ones with long waits would be a VERY long list -- really, any of the no-resy places that remain popular, like Al di la, Franny's, both EV Momofukus, Danji, Freemans, Prime Meats, probably a dozen other Brooklyn joints.

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That's why I included "new(ish)" in the title. I wanted to avoid talking about Babbo, for example.

 

It just seemed to me, rightly or wrongly, that a very high proportion of interesting new(ish) restaurants are also very hard to get into.

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question: is this a long wait if you show up at peak time? this is my quibble with these kinds of lists: if you try to go to many different restaurants, trendiness irrelevant, during peak dinner hours on a saturday or sunday, there will be a long wait. i have been to various 'trendy' restaurants over the last three months, and have never waited. i do not exaggerate. and not at insanely off hours. for example, people say takashi is a 2+ hour wait on a saturday night around 7, thanks to bourdain, etc. no wait on a weeknight, space open around peak times. i'm just not convinced that there is such a thing as a 'tough' reservation. i think it's all hype. 100%. w/in last few months torrisi reservation: no problem. emp reservation: no problem. got off waitlist at roberta's. no problem. all this is anecdotal evidence, but whatever. i'll believe it when i see it.

 

eta: i've also secured numerous reservations at ko and cancelled them because i didn't want to go.

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question: is this a long wait if you show up at peak time? this is my quibble with these kinds of lists: if you try to go to many different restaurants, trendiness irrelevant, during peak dinner hours on a saturday or sunday, there will be a long wait. i have been to various 'trendy' restaurants over the last three months, and have never waited. i do not exaggerate. and not at insanely off hours. for example, people say takashi is a 2+ hour wait on a saturday night around 7, thanks to bourdain, etc. no wait on a weeknight, space open around peak times. i'm just not convinced that there is such a thing as a 'tough' reservation. i think it's all hype. 100%. w/in last few months torrisi reservation: no problem. emp reservation: no problem. got off waitlist at roberta's. no problem. all this is anecdotal evidence, but whatever. i'll believe it when i see it.

 

eta: i've also secured numerous reservations at ko and cancelled them because i didn't want to go.

I'm a bit confused. Are you saying that every restaurant is equally difficult to get into, or are you saying nothing is difficult? I can certainly assure you it's not hype. If you think there's no such thing as a hard-to-book restaurant, then I have to wonder where you've been.

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Funny, they don't look newish.

 

No, they don't. I was trying to somewhat limit the discussion, but have probably failed.

 

No no no no no. That was nothing more than a very bad joke. As I was typing it I was thinking that people don't say the phrase I was punning on anymore. My people have Assimilated.

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question: is this a long wait if you show up at peak time? this is my quibble with these kinds of lists: if you try to go to many different restaurants, trendiness irrelevant, during peak dinner hours on a saturday or sunday, there will be a long wait. i have been to various 'trendy' restaurants over the last three months, and have never waited. i do not exaggerate. and not at insanely off hours. for example, people say takashi is a 2+ hour wait on a saturday night around 7, thanks to bourdain, etc. no wait on a weeknight, space open around peak times. i'm just not convinced that there is such a thing as a 'tough' reservation. i think it's all hype. 100%. w/in last few months torrisi reservation: no problem. emp reservation: no problem. got off waitlist at roberta's. no problem. all this is anecdotal evidence, but whatever. i'll believe it when i see it.

 

eta: i've also secured numerous reservations at ko and cancelled them because i didn't want to go.

I'm a bit confused. Are you saying that every restaurant is equally difficult to get into, or are you saying nothing is difficult? I can certainly assure you it's not hype. If you think there's no such thing as a hard-to-book restaurant, then I have to wonder where you've been.

 

Jason must be one of those people who have no trouble getting into Frej.

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It just seemed to me, rightly or wrongly, that a very high proportion of interesting new(ish) restaurants are also very hard to get into.

Wasn't this always true? After a number of months, most of these will settle down to "normal difficulty" (or no difficulty at all) of getting in. Maybe one will be another Babbo, i.e., difficult for years and years.

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question: is this a long wait if you show up at peak time? this is my quibble with these kinds of lists: if you try to go to many different restaurants, trendiness irrelevant, during peak dinner hours on a saturday or sunday, there will be a long wait. i have been to various 'trendy' restaurants over the last three months, and have never waited. i do not exaggerate. and not at insanely off hours. for example, people say takashi is a 2+ hour wait on a saturday night around 7, thanks to bourdain, etc. no wait on a weeknight, space open around peak times. i'm just not convinced that there is such a thing as a 'tough' reservation. i think it's all hype. 100%. w/in last few months torrisi reservation: no problem. emp reservation: no problem. got off waitlist at roberta's. no problem. all this is anecdotal evidence, but whatever. i'll believe it when i see it.

 

eta: i've also secured numerous reservations at ko and cancelled them because i didn't want to go.

I'm a bit confused. Are you saying that every restaurant is equally difficult to get into, or are you saying nothing is difficult? I can certainly assure you it's not hype. If you think there's no such thing as a hard-to-book restaurant, then I have to wonder where you've been.

 

nothing is difficult if you know how to do it.

 

where i've been: eating at so-called "hard-to-book restaurants"--then again, i don't try to make reservations the day before, so that might be influencing my sample

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question: is this a long wait if you show up at peak time? this is my quibble with these kinds of lists: if you try to go to many different restaurants, trendiness irrelevant, during peak dinner hours on a saturday or sunday, there will be a long wait. i have been to various 'trendy' restaurants over the last three months, and have never waited. i do not exaggerate. and not at insanely off hours. for example, people say takashi is a 2+ hour wait on a saturday night around 7, thanks to bourdain, etc. no wait on a weeknight, space open around peak times. i'm just not convinced that there is such a thing as a 'tough' reservation. i think it's all hype. 100%. w/in last few months torrisi reservation: no problem. emp reservation: no problem. got off waitlist at roberta's. no problem. all this is anecdotal evidence, but whatever. i'll believe it when i see it.

 

eta: i've also secured numerous reservations at ko and cancelled them because i didn't want to go.

I'm a bit confused. Are you saying that every restaurant is equally difficult to get into, or are you saying nothing is difficult? I can certainly assure you it's not hype. If you think there's no such thing as a hard-to-book restaurant, then I have to wonder where you've been.

 

Jason must be one of those people who have no trouble getting into Frej.

 

haven't tried actually. but when i had dinner with my friend at yunnan kitchen (no wait), he told me that he doesn't find it difficult to get in. so maybe i should try and see.

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nothing is difficult if you know how to do it.

What we are discussing, is exactly that -- restaurants where you need to "know something" (beyond the baseline that any person can be presumed to know) about how to get in, when to go, etc.

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nothing is difficult if you know how to do it.

What we are discussing, is exactly that -- restaurants where you need to "know something" (beyond the baseline that any person can be presumed to know) about how to get in, when to go, etc.

 

I stand corrected. someone clearly needs to publish something like: eating anywhere in nyc painfree, or why everyone is LYING to you about how hard it is to get in everywhere

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