This is a great read in which the author, James Beard, uses the bribe technique to get through and dine at an impossible list of restaurants in NYC.
A few nights later, the effect of this newfound glow became clear. I walked into Le Cirque 2000, the gilt-edged establishment on the East Side. “Sorry,” I was told. “We don’t have a table tonight.” No problem, I thought. I took a step back and tried to identify the person in power. Seconds later, a gentleman in a tuxedo approached. “We were wondering if you had a table for two?” I said, clutching a bill in my pocket … but not handing it over. He bowed. “Your table is ready,” he said, and led us into the dining room. [EPICURIOUS]