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Dec 8, 2000 11:19 AM

Need comfortable solo lunch spot

  • r

Hi, this is my first post to this board, but have received some great tips from the New Orleans board.

I will be in NYC Thurs. Dec. 14th for my company Xmas party, and I want to fly down early for lunch. I will be dining solo, I'll be a little dressed-up, and want a relaxed, comfortable spot near Rockefeller Center. I don't get to NY much, so someplace special would be great. When dining alone, I prefer to sit at a food-bar type setup, and people-watch. I hate to stick my head in a book and miss out on all of the action. Any recommendations? Thanks.

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  1. Union Square Cafe and Gramercy Taven both provide a great experience for solo dinners. They seat you at the bar and make every effort to insure that your meal goes just as well as it would if you were at a table in the main dining room.

    Mike C.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Mike C

      I ate at Gramercy Tavern last year when I came down for the same party. It was great, I really enjoyed it. I wanted to try to stay in central mid-town this year so I could do a little shopping before the party, last year the travel time cut into it.

      1. re: Rumcoconuts

        You might also want to consider Grand Central Oyster Bar (lower level of Grand Central Station), which meets your mid-town requirement and has the quintessential food bar, perfect for solo dining. If you enjoy ultra-fresh seafood, a great selection of oysters, good pan roasts, chowders and a very casual atmosphere (counter-style), this may be just the ticket! It is not "cutting edge" dining, but is a New York institution that should be experienced.

        1. re: Barry

          I'll second the Oyster Bar recommendation, particularly if you haven't seen the renovation of Grand Central -- really one of NYC's crown jewels!

          They've got a great holiday bazaar in Vanderbilt Hall near 42nd St, and awesome food stalls in the Marketplace near Lexington and lots of spots for quick bites in the food hall on the lower level if you're still hungry after lunch. It's worth popping into the Campbell Apartment bar to check out the space (a renovated former private salon) and climbing up to the balcony to watch the swirl of passersby and gape at the ceiling.

    2. How about Morrell's Wine Bar - don't know the address but it's on the south side of Rock Center, with a view (sort of) of the skating rink. Great wines, good food...
      You should also consider Brasserie which has a great bar and for added people watching enjoyment, there are video screens above the bar so you can see who is coming and going from the restaurant...
      Or if you want to venture to western Midtown, try Judson grill - a beautiful almost circular bar with great views of the restaurant...and good food...

      Have fun!!!

      1. JUdson Grill on 52nd between 6th and 7th would be good for what you are looking for. The lunch scene at the bar is lively -- service in the restaurant proper can be pretty slow at lunch, so a lot of area people choose the bar for lunch -- and the staff are professional and friendly. They have a bar menu that features tasty lighter meals but you can also get anything you like from the regular lunch menu. The food is simple and yummy "new American" -- fish like trout and salmon never fail to please me and a lot of their sandwiches (with good fries and homemade ketchup) from the bar menu are really good (menu changes frequently - so no specific recs).