It was suggested that a Manhattan topic be moved here.
A hound successfully got a table in a top restaurant by offering a $50 tip to a maitre'd and saying they would buy expensive wine when they made the reservation. It worked although some posters felt uneasy about the ploy and others thought it was okay.
My view is that big tips are nothing new. I've scored hard to get tables in nightclubs and restaurants for many years this way although I've never offered to buy expensive wine. Not all reservationists will bite, however, on the phone but if one is subtle in person when they hand cash over, a good table can magically open up.