House Rules

Has Minetta Tavern Gone Strictly Friends-of-Keith? [Updated]

Photo: Hannah Whitaker/New York Magazine

Tablet editor and Observer theater critic Jesse Oxfeld has just posted this Facebook status update: “Jesse Oxfeld has just been informed that Minetta no longer accepts primetime reservations. Ever. Not if you’re the first to call 30 days out, not if it’s your birthday, never. Friends of Keith only, apparently. In which case, you know, fuck ‘em.” So Minetta Tavern has finally ended the charade, eh? And here no less a populist magazine than Food Network had just shared their website address with the world, via an article about trendy bone marrow. For the record, it was a reservationist who told this to Oxfeld (“friends of Keith,” was his conclusion, not her words). But when we called Minetta on the regular number a reservationist told us that although prime-time tables were all booked up 30 days forward, we might have a chance at one 30 days from tomorrow if we called at 9 a.m. She also suggested calling the day before a desired date in case there were cancellations. So there you have it — business as usual?
UPDATE: Not business as usual, exactly. Eater got more on the issue from McNally himself — as it turns out, this might have had something to do with Oxfeld’s attitude. Sayeth McNally:

I just investigated the Jesse Oxfeld claim and discovered that most of what he said is quite true. However, according to Hannan, the reservationist who took his call, Mr. Oxfeld was so pushy and aggressive on the telephone that she took it upon herself to distort the reservation policy to ensure that someone as unpleasant-sounding as Mr. Oxfeld would not be eating at Minetta Tavern.

I’m personally so upset not to have someone as unpleasant and aggressive on the telephone not eat at Minetta Tavern that I’d like to now take this opportunity to offer my sincere and heartfelt apologies to Mr Oxfeld.
Has Minetta Tavern Gone Strictly Friends-of-Keith? [Updated]