Id like to celebrate a very special birthday (mine, and it ends in a 0) with dinner at Gary Danko. Problem is, I keep getting what I consider lousy tables at great restaurants in San Francisco. Id rather not be disappointed again if I can help it.
For example, at Fleur de Lys, I was seated in the anti-room, as I call it (i.e., a room, nice enough, but off the gorgeous main room that I was hoping for); at Fifth Floor, I was also seated in a small separate room without the beauty and excitement of the main room. (I did, however, get an awesome table at Masas a few years ago.) In each case, I explained upon making the reservation that it was a special and festive occasion, and requested a good table.
Perhaps that is my problem. Maybe its a question of semanticsthey figure that a good table is a quiet out-of-the-way table, while I have a different idea of what good table means. My definition: a location that reflects the best of a restaurants décor; its scene; its sound, feel and visual flavor. Should I find out where I want to sit and ask specifically for that table or area of the restaurant? I hope that's not the only way because it could get costly!
I have also considered that maybe telling them its a special occasion is my undoingthey figure Im a one-time diner from whom they will not get repeat business or that I wont spend much. The later is not correctI and my dining companion typically order full-on tasting menus with wine pairings or with cocktails and a good (though perhaps not extravagant) bottle of wine. These meals tend to be money-is-no-object events (hence doing it only twice a year ): planned, anticipated, savored, ooh-ed and aah-ed over, discussed at length, and sometimes dreamt about (the pork belly at 5th Floor ).
So, two questions, if you please:
1. How can it get what I consider a good table at a place I havent been to before and dont know what specifically to ask for? Is there some restaurant-speak that I dont know about?
2. If asking for a particular table or room is the way to go, what should I ask for at Danko?