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Fine Dining Alone in NYC: Your Best Picks


MarkIsCooking
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other than the four-stars, I really can't think of any restaurants that don't serve at the bar...and usually the full menu too.

Practically every restaurant serves something at the bar, but there are a number of upscale places (not just the four-stars) where it's not the same as the sit-down menu.

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other than the four-stars, I really can't think of any restaurants that don't serve at the bar...and usually the full menu too.

Practically every restaurant serves something at the bar, but there are a number of upscale places (not just the four-stars) where it's not the same as the sit-down menu.

well, GT and EMP...I can't think of any others offhand...(and the vast majority of my dining is done at the bar)

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other than the four-stars, I really can't think of any restaurants that don't serve at the bar...and usually the full menu too.

Practically every restaurant serves something at the bar, but there are a number of upscale places (not just the four-stars) where it's not the same as the sit-down menu.

well, GT and EMP...I can't think of any others offhand...(and the vast majority of my dining is done at the bar)

What about The Modern Bar and Aquavit Cafe? Unless, you consider them to be completely different restaurants from the dining rooms.

Nougatine is definitely a different restaurant than Jean Georges.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

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other than the four-stars, I really can't think of any restaurants that don't serve at the bar...and usually the full menu too.

Practically every restaurant serves something at the bar, but there are a number of upscale places (not just the four-stars) where it's not the same as the sit-down menu.

well, GT and EMP...I can't think of any others offhand...(and the vast majority of my dining is done at the bar)

What about The Modern Bar and Aquavit Cafe? Unless, you consider them to be completely different restaurants from the dining rooms.

Nougatine is definitely a different restaurant than Jean Georges.

I think of them as different restaurants. heck, Bar Room at the Modern has a separate review and rating from the Modern.

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well, GT and EMP...I can't think of any others offhand...(and the vast majority of my dining is done at the bar)

What about The Modern Bar and Aquavit Cafe? Unless, you consider them to be completely different restaurants from the dining rooms.

You can get the Bar Room's menu at the bar, but you can't get the Modern dining room menu at the bar. Aquavit is similar.

I believe likewise at Adour, Bouley, Café Gray, Chanterelle, Country, Danube, Gilt, Gordon Ramsay, La Grenouille: either no bar at all, or a different menu at the bar. There are probably more.

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well, GT and EMP...I can't think of any others offhand...(and the vast majority of my dining is done at the bar)

What about The Modern Bar and Aquavit Cafe? Unless, you consider them to be completely different restaurants from the dining rooms.

You can get the Bar Room's menu at the bar, but you can't get the Modern dining room menu at the bar. Aquavit is similar.

I believe likewise at Adour, Bouley, Café Gray, Chanterelle, Country, Danube, Gilt, Gordon Ramsay, La Grenouille: either no bar at all, or a different menu at the bar. There are probably more.

Le Cirque and the Four Seaasons too.
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well, GT and EMP...I can't think of any others offhand...(and the vast majority of my dining is done at the bar)

What about The Modern Bar and Aquavit Cafe? Unless, you consider them to be completely different restaurants from the dining rooms.

You can get the Bar Room's menu at the bar, but you can't get the Modern dining room menu at the bar. Aquavit is similar.

Right, but you CAN'T get the dining room menu at either The Modern Bar or Aquavit Cafe, which is why I mentioned them, piggy-backing off of what Nathan observed about GT and EMP. But, Nathan doesnt' consider The Modern Bar or Aquavit to be part and parcel of the dining rooms.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Right, but you CAN'T get the dining room menu at either The Modern Bar or Aquavit Cafe, which is why I mentioned them, piggy-backing off of what Nathan observed about GT and EMP.  But, Nathan doesnt' consider The Modern Bar or Aquavit to be part and parcel of the dining rooms.

I don't consider them the same restaurant either. But I was responding to Nathan's original comment that:
other than the four-stars, I really can't think of any restaurants that don't serve at the bar...and usually the full menu too.
In fact, there are quite a few places where there is either no bar menu, or it's not the same as the dining room.
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well, GT and EMP...I can't think of any others offhand...(and the vast majority of my dining is done at the bar)

What about The Modern Bar and Aquavit Cafe? Unless, you consider them to be completely different restaurants from the dining rooms.

You can get the Bar Room's menu at the bar, but you can't get the Modern dining room menu at the bar. Aquavit is similar.

I believe likewise at Adour, Bouley, Café Gray, Chanterelle, Country, Danube, Gilt, Gordon Ramsay, La Grenouille: either no bar at all, or a different menu at the bar. There are probably more.

The Modern doesn't have a bar. Cafe Gray does serve the full menu at the bar. Gordon Ramsay doesn't have a bar (Maze is a separate restaurant). can't speak as to the others.

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still, it's hard to come up with a list of more than 10 places...the list of places where bar dining is easy is much longer.

We've already named more than 10 with no bar dining, or a different/limited bar menu, and that was without breaking a sweat. Obviously, as far as trends go, you're right: at most restaurants nowadays, the full menu is available at the bar. The exceptions tend to be at the luxury end, or at restaurants where the bar is non-existent or too small. Edited by oakapple (log)
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still, it's hard to come up with a list of more than 10 places...the list of places where bar dining is easy is much longer.

We've already named more than 10 with no bar dining, or a different/limited bar menu, and that was without breaking a sweat. Obviously, as far as trends go, you're right: at most restaurants nowadays, the full menu is available at the bar. The exceptions tend to be at the luxury end, or at restaurants where the bar is non-existent or too small.

I didn't think places without bars (The Modern, Gordon Ramsay, Jean-Georges) counted.

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Thanks for the help, everyone.

I think I'm going to try to hit Jean-Georges and L'Atelier, maybe the bar at Babbo if I have time. Would love to try Per Se, but I'm sure that's hopeless (unless you all have some tricks to share)...

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Thanks for the help, everyone.

I think I'm going to try to hit Jean-Georges and L'Atelier, maybe the bar at Babbo if I have time. Would love to try Per Se, but I'm sure that's hopeless (unless you all have some tricks to share)...

On short notice, your best bet for Per Se is to call the day before or day of and see if they can fit you in on a cancellation. A lot of people have had pretty good luck doing this, and as a solo diner there you will probably be treated better.

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Thanks for the help, everyone.

I think I'm going to try to hit Jean-Georges and L'Atelier, maybe the bar at Babbo if I have time. Would love to try Per Se, but I'm sure that's hopeless (unless you all have some tricks to share)...

On short notice, your best bet for Per Se is to call the day before or day of and see if they can fit you in on a cancellation. A lot of people have had pretty good luck doing this, and as a solo diner there you will probably be treated better.

If you're already planning JG or L'Atelier one evening, both are easy walking distance from Per Se. I see no harm in stopping by in person. Smile. Be nice. Look hungry. :raz: I did this successfully once (my back-up was EMP, so I figured it was win-win).

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four-tops are available for Per Se on opentable virtually any night of the week.  two-tops basically never.  the stopping in idea sounds like a good one.

The irony, though, is that parties of two at Per Se are mostly seated at four-tops anyway. On all three of my visits, I've observed multiple parties of two at four-tops, and I've done that twice myself. I think there are only 2 actual two-tops in the whole restaurant.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Had a wonderful late Friday afternoon lunch recently at A Voce (first time at the restaurant). Noticed that there were a number of other solo diners there besides me. The attention and service they (and I) received were just as good (maybe better, as I had a very solicitous-without being hovering- server) as if we were a group. Quite comfortable.

Mark A. Bauman

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I just returned from my trip and I thought I'd drop in an update on my solo dining experiences. I had a great time and had some excellent meals. Nowhere did I feel the least bit awkward eating alone. Here's where I went (the rest of the time I was forced to either eat at the conference I was in town for, or grab something quickly in the hotel). Clearly not all of these are in the "fine dining" category, but I figured I'd be comprehensive...

* The Bar Room at the Modern (dinner, dropped in without a reservation the night I flew in)

* Ess-a-bagel (breakfast)

* Grimaldi's (lunch)

* Babbo (dinner, at the bar, no reservation but also no wait)

* Stage Deli (dinner, chosen by co-workers, I was unimpressed)

* Park Italian Gourmet (lunch)

* Jean Georges (dinner)

* Katz's Deli (lunch, much better than Stage)

* L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon (dinner)

Probably my best experience solely from the dining alone perspective was L'Atelier. I sat at the bar, had interesting people sitting next to me and the waiter was fun. But really all of the places were great. The only issue was at Grimaldi's. I didn't know that they don't sell slices! So I ended up having to buy a whole pizza and not finish it. I surely wasn't going to turn around once I made it over there.

Thanks for all the recommendations!

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* Babbo (dinner, at the bar, no reservation but also no wait)

I think it's worth noting, for purposes of this thread, how frequently this has been reported to be the case lately.

It's certainly a new development. And welcome for habitual solo diners like me, if not for Mario and Joe.

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I just returned from my trip and I thought I'd drop in an update on my solo dining experiences. I had a great time and had some excellent meals. Nowhere did I feel the least bit awkward eating alone. Here's where I went (the rest of the time I was forced to either eat at the conference I was in town for, or grab something quickly in the hotel). Clearly not all of these are in the "fine dining" category, but I figured I'd be comprehensive...

* The Bar Room at the Modern (dinner, dropped in without a reservation the night I flew in)

* Ess-a-bagel (breakfast)

* Grimaldi's (lunch)

* Babbo (dinner, at the bar, no reservation but also no wait)

* Stage Deli (dinner, chosen by co-workers, I was unimpressed)

* Park Italian Gourmet (lunch)

* Jean Georges (dinner)

* Katz's Deli (lunch, much better than Stage)

* L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon (dinner)

Probably my best experience solely from the dining alone perspective was L'Atelier. I sat at the bar, had interesting people sitting next to me and the waiter was fun. But really all of the places were great. The only issue was at Grimaldi's. I didn't know that they don't sell slices! So I ended up having to buy a whole pizza and not finish it. I surely wasn't going to turn around once I made it over there.

Thanks for all the recommendations!

Thinking about going to L'Atelier for solo dining as well. Does anyone know whether they'd let you order the tasting menu if you dine alone at the bar?

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Thinking about going to L'Atelier for solo dining as well.  Does anyone know whether they'd let you order the tasting menu if you dine alone at the bar?

I had the tasting menu (with wine pairings) when I ate there. No problem whatsoever. I also had the tasting menu at Jean Georges, fwiw.

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