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Looking for a last-minute New Year's Eve reservation? You've come to the right place

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You can't count on snow for Christmas. You can't count on a 7-3 Bears team making the playoffs.

But you can count on my annual save-the-tables list, which provides dozens of last-minute, primo New Year's Eve reservations for procrastinating readers.

There are reservations, in my name, at more than 100 Chicago-area restaurants listed here. If you're the first caller to request the "Phil Vettel table" at a participating restaurant, that reservation is yours.

Please note that all you get is the reservation. These aren't freebies. They aren't even discounts. This is a full-freight, tax-and-tip-not-included deal. But you do get a table at a restaurant you might not get into on your own. (Spiaggia, for instance. It's sold out. Except for this one table …)

Most set-aside tables are for two to four, but I have a few sixes too. I have some of the priciest tables in town, and some of the most reasonably priced. I have reservations at some restaurants (Avec, Davanti Enoteca, Longman & Eagle) that don't accept reservations. I have early seatings, late-night seatings and times in between. I have one place (Acadia) that, as I'm writing this, hasn't opened yet, and I have three (Carlos', Cyrano's Bistrot, Jacky's on Prairie) that plan to serve their final meals that night (they're all changing concepts, not going out of business). I have tables at places that don't have tables (stand-up events at Charlie Trotter's, Pump Room), and I have every Francesca, from Amici to Famiglia.

All you have to do is pick a place, and call.

The fine print: Unless specifically noted otherwise, prices are per person and do not include tax, tip or beverage. Prices and menus are subject to change. Be prepared to secure your reservation with a credit-card deposit or full prepayment (the restaurants were nice enough to hold these reservations; the least I can do is help them guard against no-shows). Do not be offended if no one is answering the phone at 6 a.m. at the restaurant you're calling. Do not assume you're the first caller unless a real, live person tells you so. And if you're not the first caller, don't hang up; there may be an available reservation for a different time.

You remember the name, right? Best of luck.

Acadia Table for two at 6 p.m, table for four at 9 p.m. Five-course menu $150, vegetarian menu $125 (pre-order required); wine pairings included in price. 1639 S. Wabash Ave.; 312-360-9500

Al Teatro Table for two to four at 8:30 p.m. Lavish buffet with moscato, $25, $125 with bottle of Grey Goose vodka. VIP package, $425 for five people, also available. 1227 W. 18th St.; 312-784-9100

Autre Monde Cafe & Spirits Table for four at 9 p.m. Four-course menu $65, $100 with wine. A 6 p.m. seating features three-course menu for $45, $70 with wine. 6727 W. Roosevelt Road, Berwyn; 708-775-8122

Avec Two bar seats at 5:30 p.m. Five-course menu $60, $90 with beverages. 615 W. Randolph St.; 312-377-2002

Balsan Table for two at 9:30 p.m. Four-course menu with wine/cocktail pairing, Belvedere ice luge, champagne toast $185. 11 E. Walton St.; 312-646-1400

Barrio Urban Taqueria Table for four at 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. New Year's Eve taco menu (foie gras taco, spicy lobster taco) featured. 714 W. Diversey Parkway; 773-360-8316

Benjamin Table for four at 7 p.m. Frank Sinatra-themed New Year's Eve dinner, four courses and glass of sparkling wine; $99, tax and tip included. 1849 Second St., Highland Park; 847-748-8737

Benny's Chop House Table for two or four at 5, 7 and 9 p.m. A la carte New Year's and regular menus featured; live music from Greta Pope Ensemble. 444 N. Wabash Ave.; 312-626-2444

Big Jones Table for four at 8 p.m. A la carte menu. 5347 N. Clark St.; 773-275-5725

Bistronomic Table for four at 7 p.m., table for two at 7:30 p.m. Early seating, four-course menu $60, $85 with wines; after 7:30 p.m., five-course Gala menu $80, $105 with wines. 840 N. Wabash Ave.; 312-944-8400

Blackbird Table for four at 6 p.m. Five-course menu $75, nine-course menu $125. Beverage pairings available. 619 W. Randolph St.; 312-715-0708

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