Open Table.com. Make restaurant reservations online for free. 3300 restaurants in various locations around the world (but not, alas, my local fish and chippie). There. Now you know as much as I do. And yes, it is super cool. And yes it will eventually take over the world. No question.
When you book a table on OpenTable.com, your reservation is instantly recorded in the restaurant’s computerized reservation book – the same one the restaurant’s host uses to track all reservations. (It’s the black terminal you may see when you arrive at the restaurant.) Unlike other “online” reservation services which rely on faxes or table allocations, OpenTable has live Internet connections into the restaurants themselves. So restaurant availability information is up-to-date, and your reservations are confirmed.