Dining out adapts to social media

During the Labor Day weekend, Elizabeth Solinger wanted to make a future reservation at Basi Italia — a Victorian Village restaurant whose fine-tuned menu and snug interior have long made the tucked-away joint a prime foodie destination.

The business was closed for the holiday, but she didn’t want to risk missing the date she wanted.

Using a smartphone application called OpenTable, a free tool that surveys availability at participating restaurants, the 29-year-old tapped a few keystrokes and easily secured seating for the next week.

“It was really easy,” said the researcher, who lives in the Short North, “and it makes me more apt to go out.”

Previously, an impromptu meal might have involved the navigation of an unfamiliar neighborhood, uncertainty about what to expect on a seasonal menu or the whims of a harried staff member at the other end of a busy phone line.

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