The Wall Street Journal is trying to stir up a rivalry between the super-secrective Lion and its similarly Waverly-esque Ninth Street neighbor Hotel Griffou. The reporter, who was denied entry to the Lion and told to come back "one day really early,” says that when he was then welcomed over at Griffou, a few waiters “grumbled about the ‘place down the street.’” Linking to the article, Eater notes that “the listed number goes to an answering machine asking diners to email in resy requests,” but that’s not altogether true— we’ve twice gotten a human being to answer at 212-353-8400, and just today, when we requested, as a civilian, a reservation for next Tuesday, we were offered tables at 6:45 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. (when we asked if next Thursday was any better, we were told it wasn’t). A 9:30 p.m. isn’t exactly 2 for 8, but it’s not the picture of impenetrability, either.
That said, after a Grub Street operative dined there earlier this week, he asked the maître d’ for another resy and was told that any table between 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. is pretty much out of the question for the foreseeable future. But with a little schmoozing (including mention of the fact that he lived in the neighborhood), he was able to secure an 8:30 p.m. Saturday table. One last thing to know — our operative tells us that “although they have an e-mail address (email@example.com), he said they’re getting inundated with e-mails too and can’t reply to all of them.” Do leave a comment if you’ve had experiences with this particular crapshoot.