Dining Alone -- Need Some Tips
I'll be in NYC for a few days, and rather than order room service, would like to try a nice restaurant or two. Any suggestions for places (preferably not too far from Chelsea) where people watching is good and a person can sit, enjoy dinner and kind of blend in with the crowd? Bar dining is fine -- great actually, especially if the bartenders are nice.
I like all cuisines. Right now I'm just more interested in finding a place where I can go and have fun taking everything in. So far, I like the sound of Gramercy Tavern and Tabla's Bread Bar. Any other good ones?
I'll be coming out of a show around 9:30, so it also needs to be place where you can dine late (if that's even late in NYC!).
If you like bbq, you can check out RUB on 23 St. bet. 7 and 8 Ave. (closer to 7 Ave). That's in Chelsea.
I've eaten here on my own once waiting for somone and I sat at the bar. Bartenders were friendly on a Tuesday night and I even met a few people. The bar is small and you can always walk off the food back to your hotel.
There are many good "people watching" places in the meat packing district - - not too far from Chelsea. It's more of a scene though. Check out Son Cubano if you're into loud places with live salsa/merengue bands. Drinks are potent and although I've only gone for drinks, the people are beautiful and I hear the food is decent.
You'll have no problems eating after 9:30 in NYC. In Chelsea, Red Cat has a bar you can eat at and is a good vibe and great food. It's on 10th near 23rd Street.
I just last night had dinner alone at the bar at The Spotted Pig on W. 11th. It was full but not crazy crowded. The bartender and the people around me were friendly and talkative, there were plenty of other diners to stare at, and I thought the food was pretty terrific (duck egg w/ bottarga, ricotta gnudi, marinated fig salad). Since the menu is mostly composed of small and medium plates, you can order them one by one and make your meal last.
Gotham Bar and Grill has special dining tabletops that are placed on the bar to enhance the dining experience. Normally I go just for dessert, but you can have a full meal if you like. The bartenders are friendly, too.
Le Zie has great food in a casual environment. Every time I eat there I am surprised at the large number of solo diners. It has a neighborhood vibe. They are on 7th Avenue, just north of 20th street.