America’s most exclusive restaurant? It’s not what you think. Not Le Cirque or Momofuku Ko or the French Laundry. Nope, the single-table Talula’s Table, in tiny, historic Kennett Square, PA, about an hour outside Philadelphia, only accepts reservations one year in advance, and you have to be damned lucky to get one at all.
An upscale market by day, they convert to a restaurant after hours and do one seating a night for their renowned tasting menu. NPR reporter Alex Chadwick visited recently and reports:
A single farm table becomes center stage for one of the country’s most exclusive dining experiences. A dozen lucky people gather around it to share an eight-course meal that runs from egg custard with Jonah crab to osso bucco made from pork, all prepared with local ingredients by husband-and-wife proprietors Bryan Sikora and Aimee Olexy.
If it was hard to get a reservation before, Chadwick’s report won’t help matters, as the story gives such a glowing report of the food, you’ll be ready to camp out on the door for the next 12 months just to try to slide in. But that doesn’t matter. You already had as much of a chance at getting a reservation as you do winning Springsteen tickets on the radio in New Jersey. But at least everybody has the same chance:
Because of the restaurant’s popularity and its single nightly seating, [proprietor Aimee] Olexy has devised a special system for selecting diners. Though the phone often begins ringing with requests at sunrise, she does not pick it up until 7 a.m. on the dot. The caller is then offered a reservation exactly one year later. Requests for earlier or later are denied, as are attempts to play the VIP card to skirt the procedure entirely.
But even if you can’t wait a year, or you just can’t get a resy at all, Talula’s graciously shared a couple of their recipes with NPR, so at least you can try a taste of what you’re missing Don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
Talula’s: The Toughest Reservation in the U.S.? [NPR: Day to Day]
One restaurant, one table, and a year-long waiting list [Slashfood]
Talula’s Table [Official Site]
Photo lifted from Hypsography