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Restaurants where you can eat at the bar

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I am leaving for NY tomorrow morning and I am going alone this time so I am looking for new places where I can have dinner by myself at the bar, something I love doing. I tried a couple of places over the years: Casa mono, Otto, Blue water grill, Campanile, Mercer kitchen and Girogio's of gramercy to name a few. I like places where the food is good and the wine not too expensive.

I was thinking about trying Bar pitti and the Gramercy tavern this time around. What do you think?

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  1. bar americain, shaffer city, gramercy tavern, telepan and babbo to name a few.

    11 Replies
    1. re: steve h.

      I checked out Shaffer city and I most probably will go there since my hotel is near by. I am staying at the Carlton on Madison so it will be a short walk away from the hotel. I love seafood and I haven't had oysters in a bit so I'll check it out...thanks!!

      1. re: cricri7

        Just a block from the Carlton is a fabulous restaurant, Urena, on 28th St., b/t Madison & Park Av. S. Chef/owner Alex Urena is serving some of the most creative and delicious Spanish-influenced New American cuisine. The menu includes a tapas section as well as full plates. And Alex's desserts are phenomenal! I don't drink, but my husband has been very pleased with the wine list. Service is cordial, and the ambiance is pleasant.

        http://www.urena-nyc.com

        Btw, I'm glad to see that you've discovered Campanile -- a neighborhood hidden gem!

        Enjoy your stay in NYC and Bon Appetit!

        1. re: RGR

          I discovered Campanile on one of my first trips alone to NY when I was staying near it and had the greatest time. I ate at the bar and there were two retired NYPD cops having dinner there and we ended up having a lovely evening and tehy would not let me pay for my dinner! The owner Slavko always welcomes you back like you are one of the family and he genuinely remembers you, it is not just for show and you end up discovering that he does not remember you.....no..no..he really does! The food is excellent and you don't have to worry about Puff diddy coming in with his entourage....haha...

          I looked at Urena the last few times I went to NY but I had heard mixed reviews about it so I did not try it.

          Artisanal is now on my list.....What do you think RGR?

          1. re: cricri7

            Campanile is one of those places that remains pretty much under the radar except for an occasional mention on this board. It's in our neighborhood, and while I'd known it was there for years, since we don't do Italian very often, we never managed to eat there until last year! We were really impressed with the quality of the food and the very comfortable ambiance.

            Artisanal certainly has its fans, but I'm not one of them. Been there twice though not recently. The first time I went, there was a major service problem. I literally had to get up and track down a manager to fix it. Both times, I found much of the food disappointing.

            Do give Urena a try. Unfortunately, early reviews dwelled on the somewhat awkward space (which is it) and, especially, the harsh lighting (since remedied) instead of focusing on Alex's superb cuisine. We were there again a few days ago, and our meal was totally blissful!

            1. re: RGR

              I am one of the fans of Artisanal, but that is because of the cheese cave. Artisanal is a fromage wonderland and if this is your cup of tea then wine and the cheese plate with its accompaniments makes a fabulous light meal. Beautiful surroundings as well.

              Also, I am in agreement with RGR about Urena... the location is unfortunate, but then again look where Campanile is. File it under hidden gem and give it a shot.

              1. re: kbella

                kbella,

                Glad to hear that you're a Urena fan. :-) Your observation about its location and Campanile's is a good one. However, unlike Campanile, it is very easy to walk by and entirely miss Urena since there is no canopy or outstanding signage. It truly is a *hidden* gem!

                1. re: RGR

                  I tried Urena last night but I left feeling on the dissapointed side. The food was really excellent. I had a smoked trout with avocado and octopus, both as appetizers. The wine was excellent also. I sat at the bar to eat and the girl, Mariana, was a delight to talk with and is an asset there. The thing I did not like was that the guy who serves the wine set me up with a glass of wine, after me having taken two, by a wine seller who was sitting at the bar and had brought wines for him to sample. He used the words <set you up with< but he charged me for the glass. It did not come out of their inventory, but of the wine seller which has nothing to do with the restaurant. Because of that single thing, it put a damper on my experience there. However, the food and the wines are really excellent. The owner should think about replacing that guy because he is on the pretentious side and thinks of himself a bit too seriously....heck...we are only drinking wine, we are not saving the world:)
                  I recommand to people to go, but for the food and the wines!

                  1. re: cricri7

                    Hey, cricri7, Thanks for reporting back!

                    Sorry that wine situation put a damper of things for you. I'm not sure who that guy is (if it was the maitre d', he's always seemed nice enough) and what that "setting up" business was all about. I don't drink though my husband is a wine drinker, and he's very much liked the wines he's had there.

                    In any case, I'm glad you found the food to be as delicious as we have. Alex is truly talented, and his restaurant deserves to be packed every night -- which, at this point, it is not.

                    1. re: RGR

                      The chef is truly talented! The waiter was super nice as was the girl behind the bar, but the downside was the maitre d for me. He is a bit on the phony side and I have problems with that, but I am sure that this is only a perception on my part and other persons find him really nice. One person,s opinion is not the end all and be all! All that said the wines and the food are excellent and people should go.
                      I went to Campanile tonight and the food was excellent as it always is!

                      1. re: cricri7

                        We had considered going to Campanile this evening but because the forecasted rain never materialized and the weather was so pleasant, we decided we wanted to sit outside. So, we went to I Coppi, an Italian restaurant in the East Village, which has garden dining. The food was excellent, and our waiter was particularly nice. What sort of marred our dinner was a fellow at the table next to ours who spoke in such an incredibly loud voice -- and, of course, dominated the conversation at his table -- that it rose high above the already fairly high noise level in the space. It would have been almost comical if it hadn't been so annoying.

      2. re: steve h.

        Babbo

      3. Go to Raouls or Giorgiones both downtown. I am a solo bar eater and always have a good time at either place.

        1. AOC Bedford. Cafe de Brussels.

          1. lupa, union square cafe

            1. Problem is many restaurants now completely fill up the bar seats, even using reservations, for diners. Means you can’t go to a restaurant with a bar and use the bar for a simple drink, and believe me, we used to have many such places in NY before this overdone craze. For example, I used to go to Docks and order a glass of wine at the bar and have a squid appetizer, or maybe 6 oysters. Can’t be done now. Full tablecloths (i.e. napkins) place settings and reservations. For the bar!! Enough already!!

              !

              1. You may have come and gone by now but consider Chin Chin on 49th between 2nd and 3rd next time around. If you like Chinese. The bartenders are lovely as is the rest of the staff. And there is always some sort of a true NYC character to strike up a conversation with if thats your deal. You cant go wrong with pretty much anything that strikes your fancy on the menu. Tell Jimmy (the owner) I sent you (Melanie) and he will treat you as well as he does everyone else! Sidebar.....Zagat NY voted him one of the most gracious hosts in NYC. In my book, that says alot.

                1. the bar steak at raul's!

                  1. I have had lovely solo eating at the bars of Blue Hill and the bar room at Cru (you can get wines by the half glass which I thought was great). Last night I went to Mamufuku Ssam Bar for the the first time. It was great (but expensive).