New York Magazine

The Underground Gourmet Plan-B Restaurant Determinator

Why is it harder to get into a restaurant these days than onto a 4 train at rush hour during an Uber strike? Blame rigged online booking systems and mob-drawing walk-in-only policies. If you want to eat dinner in this town, you need a Navy seal–level contingency plan, one that covers two inevitable scenarios: where to bide your time until the host texts you if you’re willing to wait, and an equally delicious backup if you’re not. Here, then, the first installment of our foolproof, field-tested, fiasco-averting, starvation-preventing guide to navigating New York’s impossible-to-get-into restaurants.

Restaurant Impossible:


Missy Robbins’s pasta-centric follow-up to her boffo hit, Lilia. the wait: An 8 p.m. reservation for a party of four is available in a month or so, but some tables are reserved for walk-ins. (329 Kent Ave., Williamsburg)


“Good news,” says the Misi hostess. “We have a table for you … in about two hours.” Wait for it at tropical-cocktail den Donna (27 Broadway) over the transportingly unseasonal signature slushie the Brancolada. Not that you have anywhere to be soon, but the Aperol Spritzes

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