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picaman

Empty tables at 3-star restaurants

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Had a great dinner at L'Astrance on 1/11/11 (my 11th anniversary...): pictures here. Menu L'Astrance, with wine pairings and truffle supplement. Amazing evening.

I was very surprised to see an empty 4-top, though...upstairs on the left as you look toward the door. What's the scoop on this? Do restaurants at this level just hold the table all night? Or could someone have theoretically have shown up at, say, 9:00pm or so and gotten seated without a res?

:unsure:

Jamie


See! Antony, that revels long o' nights,

Is notwithstanding up.

Julius Caesar, Act II, Scene ii

biowebsite

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Well, a last minute cancellation seems like the most likely answer, but now that I think about it, I don't know if the room was ever full when I was there last (albeit for lunch). I know it's an exceptionally small kitchen, so it's entirely possible that there are times when they don't feel up to seating the entire dining room for a service, perhaps due to the complexity of the current menu or if a particularly demanding or favored regular guest will be dining? That said, I know others have reported an excellent success rate of trying for a same-day reservation the morning of, perhaps there is a table set aside for last minute bookings.


True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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"Or could someone have theoretically have shown up at, say, 9:00pm or so and gotten seated without a res?"

Does this mean you had left by 9pm?

One explanation could be just as you had guessed.

You know in that stratosphere, a table is reserved for one party for the entire evening. Diners can arrive at 8pm or at 10pm, but not much later since the kitchen probably closes around 10:30 or 11pm.

A few years ago I saw a conspicuously empty table at Guy Savoy, which was filled near 11pm by an ultra celeb who promptly grossed out all the other diners by lighting up a fat cigar.

:angry:

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I'm aware the table is yours for the night. We had ours from 8:15 to at least 11:00 : )

To clarify, I was just wondering if they really do just bite the bullet and eat the cost for the night in all instances. After all it is a business. Seems to me a well-dressed personable couple could get lucky occasionally.


See! Antony, that revels long o' nights,

Is notwithstanding up.

Julius Caesar, Act II, Scene ii

biowebsite

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