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Out-of-town Solo Dining

I'm in town for work from Los Angeles for a week. What are the best must-eats and new great restaurants that a solo diner can enjoy comfortably? On an expense account, so nothing too crazy but money isn't really a hindrance.

Staying mid-town but willing to go anywhere in Manhattan.

Was thinking bar at Babbo one night....

Thoughts/suggestions?

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  1. What part of midtown...east or west? What cuisines do you prefer?

    1. Joel Robuchon's bar is great for a solo diner

      1. Yes to Babbo (though I prefer Lupa, especially at the bar).

        Gramercy Tavern is a must (recently re-reviewed by NY Mag). And sticking with Danny Meyer, you'll probably like Blue Smoke - a nice comfortable bar and great pulled pork, sides, bourbon selection, etc.

        Prune on 1st and 1st (about) is a good call for interesting American food in a "haven't seen this in LA" setting.

        Maybe sit at a sushi bar somewhere? People say Morimoto's omakase is not to be missed if you can afford it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ronoc

          Oh, and Pearl's Oyster Bar for the best (this is hotly debated) lobster roll in the city. Or get the whole fish specials. And the fried oysters. Or anything really.

        2. Agree with pinkyswore on Robuchon at Four Seasons. You can also go to Bar at the Modern (located in MoMA), and if you like sushi then you can get the omakase at the sushi bar of Sushi Yasuda.

          Craftbar is another option. Yes, Babbo is a must!

          1. Go for Italian at Il Cortile. You get great pasta (not available in LA). You get to see Little Italy. And you can walk around afterwards and buy a cannolo for dessert.

            Best place in Little Italy.

            Or eat at the bar at Blue Smoke. Great BBQ.

            1 Reply
            1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

              If you're going for the bar at Blue Smoke, I'd opt for the bar downstairs at Jazz Standard. Same wonderful food, and fabulous Jazz!

            2. I'm from LA too, and to be honest, I think the sushi in LA is much better, so I wouldn't waste your time. Some great places to eat as a solo diner are Hearth (try to get a seat at the pass), and Blue Hill. Babbo is also a great idea. Have fun!

              1 Reply
              1. re: MBShapiro

                Good call on the sushi, MBShapiro. So forget about morimoto or yasuda. How about Momofuku Ssam Bar? I don't think you can find anything like this in other cities!

              2. Le Steak on the UES. Eat at the bar and be entertained by the attractive yet curmudgeonly bartender, stay for the addictive cheese spread and crackers, savor their house made steak sauce, order their prime rib special if available, or discover their boozy mango sauce with their double thick pork chop. Go to Payard for dessert.