I called Oceana yesterday to make a reservation for a special upcoming day (with a few friends) and I was faxed a reservation form where a credit card number and signature is required. If you don't show, they charge your card $25/person that would have been at the table. If you cancel before 24 hours previous, you can reserve the table.
Has anyone ever encountered this policy before? It's beyond rude, in my estimation. I understand that they're trying to make sure a reserved table gets used, but for pete's sake, it's a 5:30 pm table. I'm really bothered by this. Never heard of this before, not at Chanterelle, not Nobu, not Le Cirque, etc.