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Sunday night - dining alone - where?

m
mvi Jul 27, 2007 11:01 AM

I have had a change of plans for Sunday and will be dining alone in Boston. I had wanted to go to No 9 Park and sit at the bar, but they are closed on Sunday nights. Any suggestions for eating alone at the bar where it is not too loud, etc. ? I'll be at the Fairmont and want to try some place new. I have not been to L'Espalier and have considered that but do not know if it is place I would feel comfortable as a solo diner. I am also considering Julien. I have never been there either. I have looked at some of the threads on bar menus and dining alone in Boston but thought I would ask if anyone has specific suggestions based on recent history. Many thanks.

  1. lissy Jul 27, 2007 11:12 AM

    My solo dining spots are the bar or sushi bar at Douzo or the oyster bar at B&G Oysters. Some other spots where I dine at the bar often and there are usually solo people are Hamersley's, Davio's and Metropolis Cafe.

    1. b
      BBHound Jul 27, 2007 11:30 AM

      Julien has closed. I second Davio's for solo at the bar dining.

      1. w
        WineTravel Jul 27, 2007 12:38 PM

        Some good choices for Sunday night dining...

        > Clio, on the high end... eat at the bar. I prefer the bar to the dining room.
        > Armani Cafe on Newbury St... food acceptable (stay simple) but nice if weather is good... great peoplewatching. You go for the scene rather than the food. Good as long as its not full of obnoxious Euro-kids. So that's something you'd have to size up when you get there.
        > Patio at Hamersley's bistro.... better chow than Armani... pleasant but less of a street scene than Newbury St.
        > Domani.. can eat at the bar there... good chow
        > I "third" Davios for solo bar dining. Food is ok and a very nice atmosphere. More going on there than Domani as far as the scene.
        > Mistral is also a nice choice... better food than Davios and a nice scene.

        Since you mentioned L'Espalier and 9 Park it seems as you are interested in some serious chow... in that case think Clio is your best bet. Was there last night... really great... one of the city's best spots.

        1. k
          kate used to be 50 Jul 27, 2007 12:45 PM

          Mistrial has a lovely bar, in line with the Clio suggestion.

          Sorrellia (I think that is how you spell it. It is at 101 Huntington Avenue in back of the Pru), has a lovely bar and excellent food. Of course, it is very expensive.

          Laurel on Berkeley Street isn't any where near the caliber of No. 9, but the food is excellent and the bartender is very funny (forget his name).

          I have always found solo dining in Boston to be a pretty good experience.

          Enjoy.

          2 Replies
          1. re: kate used to be 50
            k
            Kbee Jul 27, 2007 01:17 PM

            Sorellina is actually at 1 Huntington, not 101. It's in Trinity Place, between the Westin and the Public Library. Excellent, but pricy food, and a lovely bar to dine at as well.

            1. re: kate used to be 50
              Prav Jul 27, 2007 03:58 PM

              Haha, Mistrial.

              The funny Laurel bartender is Erryl.

            2. MC Slim JB Jul 27, 2007 12:51 PM

              I've very occasionally seen solo diners at L'Espalier; it certainly is quiet in The Front Room. I would definitely rather eat at a restaurant where I could sit at the bar, though; I always feel a bit weird sitting solo in a dining room. If I have to do so, I bring a book.

              Other places, maybe not exactly serene, but certainly comfortable for a solo diner, with worthy food, and nearby: Sorellina, Mistral, Douzo, Domani (though I haven't had dinner here in a while), Via Matta (loud, though, plus I haven't been since a recent chef change), Hamersley's Bistro, POPS, Metropolis Cafe, Aquitaine, Union Bar & Grill, Sage.

              1. m
                mvi Jul 27, 2007 03:48 PM

                This is all so helpful. Yes, I am looking for really top food and environment, a place I have never been but have heard of, and a place I can feel comfortable dining alone without too much craziness. Sort of want to try something that every chowhound who lives in Boston has gone to at least once and has been able to talk about/write about afterwards. Will be with family members and friends during the rest of my stay and thought that since I will be alone that night, going out to try something really fun- and new for me- would be better than room service at the hotel. Many thanks. I will finalize my plans tonight. Looking forward to it.

                2 Replies
                1. re: mvi
                  d
                  drewames03 Jul 27, 2007 04:14 PM

                  Sit at the bar at Neptune Oysters. You won't be disappointed!

                  1. re: mvi
                    capeanne Jul 27, 2007 04:14 PM

                    Then I would definitely do Sorrellina...its great and so convenient to your Hotel . I too dine alone alot on biz and would be totally comfortable at Sorellina at the bar or quite honestly at a table

                  2. sailormouth Jul 28, 2007 12:20 PM

                    I've always been happy dining alone at Troquet, one of the dew dining rooms I feel completely comfortable alone at, I'm not sure if they still serve a full dinner in the bar. Other hounds have recommended Pops, on the low price point, and Clio, on the high end, both of which are great solo as well. I had the tasting menu at Clio last week solo at the bar and it was fantastic and very comfortable. I've also done the solo thing at Radius and O Ya and was happy with both, O Ya seemed quite expensive to me, though in the grand scheme of things it likely ends up cheaper than Radius or Clio.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: sailormouth
                      w
                      WineTravel Jul 28, 2007 12:31 PM

                      They typically don't serve the upstairs menu in the bar. But at Troquet you'll feel comfortable dining in the regular dining room as a single. Keep in mind that you asked for Sunday choices and Troquet is closed on Sun and Mon. I love going to Troquet too. Excellent spot.

                      1. re: WineTravel
                        wittlejosh Jul 29, 2007 05:18 AM

                        O Ya is closed Sundays. Though I'm so obsessed with that place lately I have to lock up my wallet at night.

                        I like B&G for solo dining, and I always love Metropolis.

                        I adore Hamersley's, but I find the bartenders there to be somewhat snotty for no apparent reason (and I'm an habitual bar haunter).

                        I think Radius is great for solo dining (I'm also obsessed with the Slow Roasted Rib-Eye there). The Lavender Lemonade is a recent cocktail-menu favorite, and lately I've taken to asking for it on the rocks, thanks to the recco of a bartender there when I came in hot and sweaty one day.

                        Sel de la Terre (the L'Espalier chef's more casual French restaurant near the waterfront) is good for solo dining.

                        Reviews on this board for KO Prime (Nine Zero Hotel, on Tremont) have been mixed, but not from me. I like it a lot there, and the bar, in particular, is a good place to eat. Bone Marrow with Braised Oxtail, Kobe Flatiron, sauteed Hen of the Woods mushroom side dish are all wonderful, and Jamie Bissonette's current foie gras terrine version is fabulous. I'm serious.

                        1. re: wittlejosh
                          MC Slim JB Jul 29, 2007 05:31 AM

                          My bigger problem with the barstaff at Hamersley's is that they're just not that good. I expect a little more craft in my $10 cocktail.

                          1. re: wittlejosh
                            lissy Jul 29, 2007 06:39 AM

                            I have never found the bartenders at Hamersley's to be snotty. I have always found Mark to be friendly and chatty with everyone at the bar. Tim may be a bit more standoffish but I wouldn't call him snotty.

                      2. m
                        mvi Aug 4, 2007 09:10 AM

                        Just a quick follow up on my Sunday night in Boston. Armed with all of this outstanding advice, I was all set to go to Sorrellina on Sunday night and eat solo at the bar, but at the very last minute my oldest, perhaps inspired by a lengthy shopping trip to Whole Foods (sponsored by mom) and some rearranging of her kitchen, asked me to stay for an early dinner before she headed out with friends. Five of us, including both of my kids, had an amazing dinner as she is a brilliant cook; I honestly don't know how she whips up these creations so easily, but she does, and it was wonderful. They dropped me off at the Fairmont at about 7:30, fully satisfied. I get to Boston again at the end of the month for four nights and will be bringing this good advice from Boston hounds with me. I also noticed the suggestions in the Boston Globe Magazine and will save that article, too. As eager as I was to try some of these places, a few more hours with my children, eating and drinking together in a small Cambridge apartment, was clearly the most outstanding of all of my choices! But, I'll be back- thanks again.

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