On Sunday night, I arrived at Domenica early for a 9:30 reservation (we had called and the hostess had said they might be able to seat us earlier than 9:30. When we arrived at 8:45, we saw about ten empty tables but the hostess told us to wait in the then crowded bar area. In about five or ten minutes, we found a seat at a bar table. At around 9:15, the hostess offered us a restaurant table but we decided to stay at the bar table. We asked her why she hadn't seated us at one of the ten empty tables we could see from the bar (that had remained empty since we had arrived). She seemed offended and rudely said there were other parties in front of us (even though she hadn't seated anyone from the bar while we were waiting). If it had been earlier in the evening (and if I hadn't been looking at the still empty tables), I probably would have believed this explanation.
I can't figure out why the restaurant wouldn't want to seat customers at the empty tables. Are they trying to increase the bar revenue? We probably would have spent more on alcohol if they had seated us at a restaurant table immediately.
This is the second time that I have had to wait at the bar at Domenica for at least a half hour while I could see many empty tables.
123 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 70112