foodie bits: how to get a reservation at french laundry
This is the first of my entries where I will give some valuable tips and tidbits in the world we know as foodieplanet!
How to get a reservation at French Laundry
Used to be that the only way you can get into French Laundry was if you know a friend of a friend who knows someone within its hallowed halls. However, this changed with the advent of the online reservation site, opentable.com. Now, us mere mortals can actually have an equal shot at getting a reservation as those with connections. This, however, requires careful planning and an understanding of how the French Laundry reservation system actually works.
French Laundry releases their tables exactly 60 days in advance. So, for example, if you need a reservation for dinner on April 15, you need to contact French Laundry on February 15, either by phone or through Open Table. Chances are, however, that by the time you call or visit the site all the tables have been fully committed.
If you go the Open Table route, there are several things to think about and consider:
- Only two tables are opened up for Open Table per night.
- The reservation can only be made for a table of 4.
- You should like eating at 5:30pm or 9:30pm as those are the only times available through Open Table.
Once you’ve agreed to all these and decided on the date, you then go to the Open Table site exactly 61 days before that date at approximately 11:45pm PT. eHow actually has given the best instructions on what steps to use within Open Table.
While the Open Table route seems easy, there is even an easier way, and it’s fairly painless. Of course, I saved the best and easiest way for last! All this tip requires is an American Express Gold or Platinum card (or a very close friend who owns one!). At any time more than 60 days (it can even be 90 days in advance) from your desired date, call Concierge at American Express and ask them to make a reservation at French Laundry for you. Through this service, you are not limited to the size of your party or to a specific time.
Concierge at American Express actually has a person dedicated to just procuring reservations at French Laundry. They will note the desired date of your reservation into their system and will make the reservation for you exactly 60 days in advance. They will then call you once they have confirmed the reservation. While nothing is guaranteed, I have yet to not get a reservation using this system. So there you have it! Good luck and happy eating!
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