Yesterday, the fine gentlemen of Urbandaddy wrote about a shady operation known as PrimeTimeTables, which is, essentially, the first-ever online reservation scalping service. (You didn't think of it first, friend. We've all had the notion, but not been crazy enough to try it.) The membership service requires no initial fee at sign-up, for the base level membership, at least, and charges $40 a reservation, give or take, depending on how far out you book your tables. It is a seemingly Utopian service for the high-end eater, but also one that is immediately sketchy, if you've spent any time at all trying to book tables in New York. Not surprisingly, more than a few people inquired in these parts as to, well, WTF?
What we can tell you is that this site is not more legitimate than the ticket scalpers who cruise outside Yankee Stadium during the playoffs. In fact, browsing through PrimeTime's listings is unsettlingly similar to the experience of getting a little too close to cheating on a spouse. It is as if you are about to do something you'll likely regret--and the one thing you are absolutely certain of is that you can never, ever, be seen doing it in public. On the other hand, they've got an impressive stable of reservations to offer.
Here are tables for four that are at this time available for tonight:
Blue Hill, 8 PMAnd for tomorrow:
Il Mulino, 8 PM
Gordon Ramsay, 9 PM
Grammercy Tavern, 8:30 PM
Spice Market, 8 PMThere are two last pieces of information you'll want to have before you sign up. First, members are informed that mentioning PrimeTimeTables at restaurant check-in is absolutely verboten; second, you will not get a table at Per Se from these guys.
Nobu, 8:30 PM
Lupa, 8:00 PM
Le Bernardin, 8 or 8:15 PM