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Ask Eater: Is it That Hard to Squeeze in a Third?

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Have a restaurant or nightlife question that you'd like the Eater readership to tackle? Send it in to and it may just get the "Ask Eater" treatment.

2008_09_convivio.jpgWe can pretty much guess what the responses from you reservationists out there will be regarding the following query, but we think the question merits some attention. Is it hard to squeeze an extra person in at the last minute?:

"Here's a question for your sophisticated readers: You've booked a two-top at one of the city's three-star joints. You made that reservation thirty days in advance and confirmed it on the day before. The night before, an old friend (or a long-lost family member) calls and says she's coming to the city. You figure: snap! I'll just make it a three-top and we'll catch up on old times over our prix-fixe and Chassagne Montrachet.
You call the restaurant and they hem and haw (never mind that they're going to gross another $100 or so) and finally offer you an earlier table (say 5:45. You know, early bird dinner time in Florida).

The question is: how hard is it for a busy joint to turn a two-top into a three? Was I unreasonable to express disappointment at not being accommodated at the same time as my original booking?"

So sophisticated readers: should they have honored the original time, squeezing another body in? Meaning, could they give this person who reserved so far in advance a bigger table, a four top? Is there flexibility in the books?
Photo: Convivio, which may or may not be the restaurant in question
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