Working in Internet Time means having precious little time to prepare home-cooked meals. In fact, it means having barely enough time to make a reservation. That's why many of my friends have an appetite for OpenTable.com (www.opentable.com), a site that lets you tap into the electronic-reservation systems of more than 750 restaurants in 15 cities, including Boston, Chicago, New York, and San Francisco.
At OpenTable.com, you can search for the right place to eat by restaurant name, by cuisine, by neighborhood, or by price. Type in what time you would like to eat, and the site gives you restaurants that meet your criteria and that have availability. Click on a specific restaurant, and you get a description of and directions to that restaurant, as well as its email address, phone number, hours of operation, and parking situation.
Once you've decided on a place, you can reserve a table with one click. You can even make special requests -- perhaps a bottle of champagne for a celebration -- and then send an email to your dinner companions with all of the delectable details.