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Rant: A Special Kind Of Hell – Reservations

April 16, 2014

My husband and I are taking my parents and my best man/best brother to New York to thank them for their generosity of time, word, and dollar in regards to our wedding last October. When my husband and I go to NYC, we go to eat, and we want to share some of our favorite places and try some highly lauded new spots on this trip. This morning, I began making reservations at the one month out mark. It was hell.

Carbone opened their reservations line at 9am today for the date we wanted. I started calling at 8:58 – answering machine. 8:59 – answering machine. 9:00 – busy. 9:01- busy. 9:02- busy. I kept dialing that phone like a monkey on crack until 9:12, when I finally got through and was immediately put on hold for another 5 minutes. And at 9:17 I was told, in a very specific tone, that the only reservation they had left was for 5:30pm.

I understand that Carbone is popular. Very popular. But I can’t help thinking that it didn’t really matter that I did everything right to get this reservation and was still shut out. As I was dialing to get through and then on hold I just kept imaging all of the shiny, smooth-haired personal assistants sipping lattes and entering a special code to get early access, while my split ends and I had to run a meeting while pretending to make a doctor’s appointment with the phone stuck to my head.

This is why I hate popular places. I really, really do. Give me tried and true, or old school, or a dive, or the unknown (the really unknown, not the known unknown) any day. Those are the places that try the hardest, have the nicest staff, and don’t give you heartburn before you even get to the door.

Note: I also called the lesser known Lupa today, got a warm greeting and a legitimate dining time of 7pm. I’m really looking forward to it.

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