How the pandemic helped lower the bar for “exclusive” restaurant reservations

At The New Yorker, Helen Rosner digs into high-status restaurants, the kind with six-month waitlists, astronomical menu prices, and full bragging rights for the rarified crowd who makes it in. Like bottle service at the club, Rosner’s piece questions the actual value of a meal at these spots, as some (cough cough, Indochine) serve middling food that does not justify the second mortgage you’ll be taking out. The story also notes how the pandemic changed the equation, as with so much else, allowing people to get takeout from places that were previously too exclusive for the unwashed masses. Now, the bloom of, say, a Carbone reservation, may be off the rose—Rosner got reservations at the hotspot fairly easily after it reopened. Perhaps you can host your kid’s birthday party at Per Se!