Sooner or later, EVERYONE — business and pleasure travelers, singles, those divorced
or widowed, very-marrieds whose spouses are on the road, harried moms and dads, etc. — faces the challenge of eating
THE How-to Booklet of Solo Dining Tips & Strategies:
The Art and Satisfaction of Dining Alone — REVEALED!
Looking for restaurants featuring counter/bar dining? Click: eating
at the bar
Interested in restaurants featuring communal table dining? Click: eating
New York City
Angelica Kitchen — (212) 228-2909; 300 East 12th Street, New York, New York
Amenities: Open at this site for 16+ years, this restaurant has long sported a "big, long, rectangular"
community table in one corner. During the day, regulars — both men and women of all ages — fill the eight seats;
at night the mix turns 35 years or older.
Cuisine: Vegan (100% organic ingredients)
Neighborhood: Lower East Side
Bread Tribeca — (212) 334-8282; 301 Church Street, New York, New York
Amenities: Solo business and pleasure travelers — both genders — revel in their large open kitchen, flat-screen
movie monitor over the bar and — in the row of communal tables (seating for13 at each) that anchor the middle of
Cuisine: Rustic Italian
Neighborhood: Lower East Side
City Hall — (212) 227-7777; 131 Duane Street, New York, New York
Amenities: Long known as the site where political luminaries gather, City Hall is also recognized as a Mecca
for solo diners — and a steadfast and numerous lot they are!
Several regulars appear two or three times a week, according to chef-owner Henry Meer. He also reports that
solos accustomed to lunching or taking dinner at the bar (liquor bar, seating 9-10; oyster bar, seating
6), insist on this seating. (Those who dote on table seating are equally insistent!)
Guests with strongly held preferences are no surprise to Meer, nor are the weekday streams of solo business
overnighters directed by concierges to City Hall. He's proud of the hospitality his intensively trained staff plays
in catering to guests, but admits that certain solo diner amenities — complimentary items like a demi-tasse of
soup and a cookie, extra candles for reading, and a lunch-time selection of "rags": The Wall Street
Journal, New York Post, etc. — contribute to City Hall's allure.
(Free wireless internet service has been installed. Access your laptop computer anywhere in the restaurant.)
Havana Central (Domino, backgammon and checkers aficionados — rejoice!)
(212) 398-7440; 151 West 46th Street; New York, New York
(Sibling Havana Central — (212) 414-4999; 22 East 17th Street; New York, New York)
The casual and ebullient ethnic eatery, heralded by The New York Times as an “island breeze blowing into
Union Square” when it opened in 2002, just launched a second Havana Central in Times Square.
Larger and more stylized than its East 17th Street sibling, the new 235-seat Havana Central blew into midtown
with captivating food, hot Latin music, glamorous tropical décor and an engaging staff to deliver an authentic
Cuban dining experience, reminiscent of Cuba’s golden era.
Indeed, the bar of the new restaurant was inspired by Sloppy Joe’s, the famed Havana Hemingway haunt, and incorporated
throughout the Times Square Havana Central are the elements of Art Nouveau, Art Déco, European Modernism
and American kitsch that defined the distinctively Cuban decorative style of the 1920s through 50s. The décor
evokes a Cuban hotspot that has taken on the patina of aging in place over the last five decades.
An expansive 40-foot bar, separated from the dining room by a wall fashioned from cigar rolling tables and punctuated
by dramatically lit palm trees, creates the perfect ambiance for Cuban-kissed cocktails like Havana Central’s iconic
mojitos, frequently hailed as the best in the city.
(Off-the-menu tip: Order the “Stanley mojito,”named for the chef, Stanley Licairac — think extra rum and a
whole lot of Bitters!)
A sweeping staircase leads to a mezzanine level with an enchanting art deco dressed lounge, where patrons
can drink, talk and exercise their domino, backgammon and checkers skills at strategically placed game tables.
Cuisine: “Real Cuban home cooking” served in heaping portions begging to be shared. Food that reflects meticulous
research of cherished family recipes includes: ropa vieja, pernil, arroz con pollo and the traditional pressed
pork Cubano sandwich. New dishes include: classic, seafood and vegetarian paellas, mini-chocolate
empanadas, pudin de pan and tropical mouse sampler.
The city’s largest sangria bar offers four or five different options nightly, such as Shiraz, Champagne and
Port, as well as the more traditional “red” and “white” versions.
Neighborhood: Times Square — Between 6th and 7th Avenues
SUSHISAMBA Park — (212) 475-9377; 245 Park Avenue South, New York, New York
Amenities: Sushi bars are super for solo diners (nothing new!). Here, it is the centerpiece of the restaurant,
surrounded by mahogany wood and encased in glass, and is the best seat in the house from which to survey the scene.
Park, the most cozy of the SUSHISAMBAs, is beloved by business people.
Cuisine: Inventive fare that unites bold Brazilian flavors, precise Japanese technique and exquisite
Peruvian culinary traditions on one plate.
Neighborhood: Flatiron district
Union Square Café — (212) 243-4020; 21 East 16th Street, New York, New York
Amenities: ""Half an Inch, Then It's Perfect: Recipe for a Flawless Bar"; New York Times;
September 7, 2005 — There's no mention of their doing so, but the proprietors of Lever House restaurant surely
must have scrutinized THE recipe for New York City's quintessential dining bar featured at the Union Square Café.
Cuisine: Seasonal American food with an Italian soul, using fresh ingredients from the Greenmarket.
Neighborhood: Gramercy Park above the Village
Whole Foods — (212) 823-9600; 10 Columbus Circle (Concourse Level - The Shops at Time Warner Center), New
York, New York
Amenities: Whole Foods is heaven for gourmet-grocery shoppers and their newly opened satellite is doubly
so for solo diners with its eating, seating and shopping/viewing entertainment opportunities.
Think "seating for 248": bar, round-booth, two-tops, and rectangular (6-8) configurations.
Think "food": sushi bar, three hot-food bars: Indian, Latin, Pan Asian and Chinese, full salad
bar, soup station (12 varieties), pizza station (resident brick oven), full dessert cases — slices of cake, strawberries
dipped in chocolate, 12 different buy-by-the-pound butter cookies . . .
Think "hours": 8:00am -10:00pm every day
Your only concern — filling the hours between 10:00pm and 8:00am!
Neighborhood: Broadway between 58th & 60th Streets
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