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This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

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Courtesy of zurvu

Scoring a table at an of-the-moment New York restaurant has always been about good timing—that is, until now. zurvu, a reservations app that debuted this month, grants users access to some of the city’s best eateries with minimal strategizing required.

Simply enter the desired date, time and number of guests, click “search” and see which of zurvu’s partnering restaurants have open tables. In exchange for, say, a 7:30 P.M. reservation for four tonight at places like Alder, Charlie Bird, Freemans, Lupa, Toro or The East Pole, members pay a convenience fee of $5 a seat for a table. It’s like slipping $20 to a hostess, but better—and guilt free (zurvu donates one dollar of every reservation purchased to Wholesome Wave, an organization dedicated to helping underserved communities make healthy food choices).

“No matter how connected you are, you can’t have connections everywhere,” says zurvu creator Dave Levin. “zurvu offers restaurants a way to qualify diners from the multitude of unknown reservation requests [they] receive. That’s how our diners get priority reservations—it’s a win-win for everyone.”

While the service is currently by invitation only, DEPARTURES readers can sign up online using the code “departures” and get the first reservation for free.


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