Valentine's Day is on Saturday, which means today and tomorrow are really the last two days you can plan a stress-free holiday. By stress-free I mean not having to order priority shipping or bribe a maitre'd for a restaurant table or pick through the leftovers at the florist.
I can't help you with the shipping or the flowers. But getting a reservation at a tony restaurant under tough circumstances is right up my alley. Which brings me to today's tip: six-tops are never booked on Valentine's Day.
A six-top is a table that can seat six. Some restaurants actually employ two smaller tables to make a six-top, and rest assured those will be split up on Valentine's Day. But for restaurants that actually have big tables, they're never booked on Valentine's Day.
Restaurants hate giving up these tables to couples because it's four seats that they're losing revenue on. So the way to get these coveted six-tops is to get two other couples together and go as a party on Valentine's Day. The restaurant will love you for it and you'll be surprised at the locations that are still taking six-top reservations.
Also, if you plan to go the first route and bribe the maitre'd, know the ground rules.
You can't just push money in front of him. You must have a story. Here's
the proper way I would bribe a maitre'd (not that I've done this or
"Hello, I know the restaurant is crowded tonight
but my friend from out of town has a flight at 10 o'clock and I told
her you were the best place in town and we really want to eat here so
[sliding 10 dollar bill to person] could you make an exception just
this once? We'll eat quick and get out."
That method is good
because you're complimenting the restaurant, putting a time limit on
how long you can stay and making it sound as if it's a one-time thing.
Also, I agree with Jason Sheehan of our sister newspaper in Denver: the most you should ever bribe is $10. Any more reeks of desperation.