It might not stir up the controversy that scalperlike reservation service PrimeTime Tables did a few weeks back, but PTT’s brand-new rival, Weekend Epicure, can at least count on the fact that as of ten days ago, its forerunner ended free registration — the original’s doing so well you have to shell out $450 for an annual membership. The new guys offer only tables for two on Fridays and Saturdays, but you can see what’s available (right now: Nobu, Union Square Cafe, Jean Georges, and fourteen others) without logging on, and there’s a flat fee of $35 per table. As of this afternoon, PrimeTime Tables owner Pascal Riffaud hadn’t heard of his new competition. “I’m shocked at how fast somebody was able to create something like this,” he tells us, before promising a “restructuring” of his site to handle all the interest it has sparked. New York dining, it now seems inevitable, will become pricier and somewhat more convenient.
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