How Power Tables Get Set

It’s a cliché of big-city restaurants: the power table, where boldfaced regulars sit preeningly amid the hoi polloi, a psychological VIP room. But what are the trappings of a true power table? And how did it become such a staple of eating out in the big metropolis? Most important, how can a diner discern the best seat in the house within seconds of stepping into an unfamiliar restaurant? Bloomberg Businessweek assembled a panel of insiders to disclose the untold secrets of the power table.

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