Best of the Best: Brooklyn's Hardest to Get Restaurant Reservations

Fine Dining in Brooklyn for Mother's Day, Special Occasions

For Mother's Day, May 13 2012, here's a list of five of the most coveted restaurant reservations in Brooklyn.

Are they worth it? Yes! All have caught the attention of the Michelin food gods, and have won at least one Michelin star.

As for reservations, some of these restaurants are tougher to crack than others. For instance, tiny Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare, with just 18 seats, turns out to be much tougher to book than, say, the much larger River Cafe. So don't despair of getting a table — but do plan ahead!

  • 01 of 05

    Peter Luger Steak House (Williamsburg)

    Can't get into Peter Luger for Mother's Day? Give Mom some of their steak sauce with future rezzie
    Is mom a carnivore? Don't miss the steaks at this award-winning Williamsburg classic. They're cured on site, and cooked to beyond-perfection. Located at the Brooklyn base of the Williamsburg Bridge, the restaurant drew fans for years before the surrounding area even dared dream the word "gentrification."

    The atmosphere is all business; Peter Luger's retains the patina of a very old-fashioned steak house.(They opened in 1887.)

    As for the steak? It's beyond delicious. It sizzles at the table and melts in your mouth, an experience that's hard to describe. This is the meal that may make all but the most ideologically committed vegetarians reconsider.

    Reservations are required; book well in advance.

    Peter Luger is located at 178 Broadway. Call (718) 387-7400

  • 02 of 05
    Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare is something of a legend in its own time. You have to work very hard to get a reservation at this teeny, 18-person restaurant, tucked in the back of an otherwise unassuming food store named Brooklyn Fare. The Chef's Table — named for Chef Cesar Ramirez — was an upset award winner in the 2009 Michelin Awards, stealing a coveted three stars from right under the noses of locals who were barely aware of the haute cuisine being cooked up in the back kitchen.

    The prix fixe dinner consists of over twenty small plate courses.

    And, the reservation system is elaborate: "We reserve by the week for the sixth week out. On Monday’s at 10:30am we take reservations by phone for Tuesday-Saturday," informs the website.

    So here's a Mother's Day thought: if you cannot get a reservation for this Mother's Day, and Mom is a serious foodie, then make a promise (and keep it) that you'll get a reservation there as soon as you humanly can. (And, given the demand, that might be next Mother's Day!)

    The restaurant is located at 200 Schermerhorn St., Boerum Hill.

  • 03 of 05
    Classy. Incredible service. Fabulous views from Brooklyn to Manhattan.

    The River Cafe is Brooklyn's most elegant restaurant, making it the perfect venue for Mother's Day. See if you can get a reservation well in advance. Note: Men are required to wear jackets, and if you don't, they will provide one for you.

    Price is $110 for a 3-course Mother's Day Brunch, and $125 for a 3 course Mother's Day Brunch Dinner.

  • 04 of 05

    Saul's effortless elegance makes it the archetypal brownstone Brooklyn restaurant: classy yet humble, with a laser focus on the freshest seasonal ingredients. Glitzy it ain't, nor cheap. But this small restaurant, opened in 1999, has won a string of accolades and awards that match the rave reviews of its patrons. You can make a reservation on Open Table, or by calling the restaurant.

    Located at 140 Smith Street in Carroll Gardens. (718) 935-9844.

    Tip: And, if you can't get into Saul's , then try the sister Prospect Heights restaurant, also by the same chef: The Vanderbilt. It's located at 570 Vanderbilt at the corner of Vanderbilt & Bergen Streets,(718) 623-0570. It's open for dinner nightly and weekend brunches.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05
    Dressler won't disappoint. It's one of the new wave of small, elite Brooklyn restaurants that seem to have a permanent buzz. Why? Because they make what's hard seem simple.

    Specializing in "seasonal contemporary American food," Dressler serves up such multi-taste spring specials as "fresh oysters or pan-roasted quail with cheddar grits, Tasso ham, hen of the woods, and sage & pickled watermelon." Or, try the "roasted loin & confited breast of Colorado lamb adorned with spinach, cranberry beans, roasted tomato, fava beans, roasted garlic, Romesco sauce and rosemary." Not exactly a home-cook's thirty-minute recipe.

    As for ambiance, it's relaxed and cozy. You can choose a seat at a table, at the bar, or weather permitting, in the garden. And, for little ones, there are high chairs too — perfect for Mother's Day.

    Stay tuned for their Mother's Day Specials.

    Stay Located at 149 Broadway. (718) 384-6343