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It could be you're anniversary and you want it to be special for your spouse or significant other, or you need to impress your boss, or you must make that sale to that big, important client. The method you have chosen is that fancy (read expensive) new restaurant downtown and you absolutely have to have their best table. Unfortunately, you are not amongst the restaurant's regulars, nor do you have the celebrity status that assures that the best table is yours. What do you do?

One method is, of course, to make a reservation. Most all exquisite restaurants require it. When you arrive, an extremely generous tip to the maitre'd, host or hostess is the time-honored tradition, and can work.

Another little known method is to make your reservation through the concierge of a respected hotel, even if you are not a guest there, or even if you are in your home town. Many nice hotels send many nice restaurants a significant amount of business. Therefore, a kind word in your favor from the concierge to the maitre 'd should have the desired effect. As a gesture of gratitude, and to ensure future assistance, send the concierge a thank-you and a gratuity.

A third method, though one with possibly less chance of success, is to write for reservations on your company letterhead. It may imply a tone of importance and the promise of future business.

Yet a fourth, and again, less guaranteed method is to have your secretary or assistant call the restaurant for the reservation. This person should speak directly with the maitre 'd, if possible, to make certain that you are made to sound important. If you don't have a secretary or assistant, make the call yourself, pretending to be your assistant.

For most fine dining experiences, the table location is not as important as the quality of the meal and service. But when that extra touch is required, try one of these tips.