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recs for a decadent brunch while dining solo

  • prima Sep 22, 2011 09:51 PM
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A friend of mine is visiting NYC, and wondered where she might brunch solo. I'm a little out of the loop, and wouldn't want to send her to a restaurant that wants 2 people dining at its 2-tops.

Which good brunch spots offer seats at a bar and/or are solo-friendly?

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  1. Think she'd like The Dutch? The food is interesting and good, though perhaps not as astoundingly good as some reviews might lead you to think. There's a lot of bar seating. And for better or worse, it's still very, very trendy.

    1 Reply
    1. re: michelleats

      Thanks, michelleats. I'll pass the suggestion along to her. ;-)

      -----
      The Dutch
      131 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

    2. Any particular neighborhood? Cuisine? Day of week? Time?

      Lots of places that will welcome a solo diner on a weekday at (say) 10 or 11 will not be so welcoming on Sunday.

      If it's a weekday, then on the upper west side there's Good Enough to Eat for "normal" brunch food (excellent bacon!) or Barney Greengrass for a more unusual experience (smoked fish etc.) Both places are mobbed on weekends.

      -----
      Barney Greengrass
      541 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

      Good Enough to Eat
      483 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

      1 Reply
      1. re: plf515

        It would be for a Sunday brunch.

        My friend is staying near the Theater District. I had let her know that leaving the neighbourhood will probably increase her odds of finding better brunch food. Open to any neighbouhoods.

        I noticed DB Moderne would be a theater district option.

        Interestingly, I had mentioned Barney Greengrass to her last night before I posted. She could always grab a bagel with nova & a shmear to go, and head to Central Park if it's a nice day ;-) But I've also been there (dine-in) on a Sunday with a friend, and would feel a little awkward brunching solo in that crowded room.

        Re: type of cuisine- I guess mostly continental or American. She's relatively conservative.

        Didn't know the bacon was especially good at Good Enough to Eat! I've only had brunch a handful of times in my last few visits, and Good Enough to Eat was one of the places I went with some friends living on the UWS. Some other brunches I tried on other visits include Cafe Frida and Noho Star.

        -----
        Barney Greengrass
        541 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

        Good Enough to Eat
        483 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

        DB Bistro Moderne
        55 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

        Noho Star
        330 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

        Cafe Frida
        368 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

        Cafe Frida
        768 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025

      2. Telepan

        -----
        Telepan
        72 W. 69th Street, New York, NY 10023

        1 Reply
        1. re: mahler5

          thanks, mahler5!

        2. You can have a great, decadent, nice brunch at the bar of:
          The Breslin
          Locanda Verde
          Minetta Tavern

          -----
          Minetta Tavern
          113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

          Locanda Verde
          377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

          The Breslin
          20 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001

          9 Replies
          1. re: kathryn

            Thanks, kathryn. I didn't realize those restaurants served brunch at their respective bars. Looks like I'll also be using this thread as a brunch plan for my next trip. ;-)

            Do those 3 restaurants keep the bar for walk-ins, or do they take reservations for the bar?

            1. re: prima

              I believe it is only walk-ins/first come, first served.

              I believe you can also dine at the bar for brunch at Maialino. The Breslin, Locanda Verde, and Maialino also all serve weekday breakfast in addition to weekend brunch, whereas Minetta Tavern only does weekend brunch. Hope this helps!

              -----
              Minetta Tavern
              113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

              Locanda Verde
              377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

              The Breslin
              20 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001

              Maialino
              2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

              1. re: kathryn

                Thanks, kathryn.

                I meant to try Maialino's breakfast on my last visit, but it hasn't happened yet. I was aware of Mailino & Breslin's breakfasts, and their locations in hotels, but I didn't realize Locanda Verde was open for weekday breakfasts.

                -----
                Locanda Verde
                377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

                Maialino
                2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                1. re: prima

                  We rarely eat breakfast out, but we've done it a couple of times at Maialino (it's just a few blocks from our apartment). Delicious way to start the day. Love the quiet atmosphere in the a.m. The antithesis of the bustle during lunch and dinner.

                  Photos of breakfast at Maialino: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                  http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                  -----
                  Maialino
                  2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                  1. re: RGR

                    Thanks RGR- I hope it works out to try Maialino's breakfast next visit. Thanks for including the link to your photos.

                    -----
                    Maialino
                    2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                  2. re: prima

                    If you want decadent though, go for the Breslin and their fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Add a side of bacon if you really want to up the ante. And eat it with a slice of bacon tucked inside.

                    -----
                    The Breslin
                    20 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001

                    1. re: kathryn

                      LOL - that's exactly what I did! Actually I stole a strip of bacon from my husband's English Breakfast plate. It is indeed decadent.

                      1. re: uwsister

                        Now I understand why the two of you are probably my favorite Manhattan Board posters, uws and k!

                      2. re: kathryn

                        Will keep that in mind, kathryn & uwsister ;-) I used to love pb & bacon on fresh bread, or pb & banana & bacon sandwiches- haven't tried a deep-fried pb & j & bacon before.

              2. As a solo diner, Prune's legendary brunch is a more manageable option than it is as a 2+ top - often you can cut significantly ahead in what looks like an unreasonably long line.

                Many (self included) consider Public to have one of the best brunches in town. It's more adventurous than most - i.e. tea-smoked salmon with yuzu hollandaise, blood pudding(!) waffles with foie gras butter, etc. Delicious and fun.

                I find Momofuku Ssam Bar & Momofuku Noodle Bar both good for dining solo. And they wouldn't be very crowded, since more people tend to go for brunch-y things than lunch-y things on the weekends. If she's down with the downtown hipster vibe, it could be a good spot - certainly the food is spot-on.

                -----
                Momofuku Ssam Bar
                207 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                Momofuku Noodle Bar
                171 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

                Public
                210 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012

                Prune
                54 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003

                1 Reply
                1. re: sgordon

                  Thanks for mentioning Prune, Public, Ssam Bar & Noodle Bar.

                  Prune's menu looks like something my friend would like.

                  Looks like Public, Ssam Bar & Noodle Bar might be more to my liking than my friend's, but good to add them to my list. And nice to know Prune might even be more manageable for a solo customer.

                2. When we do brunch, we prefer not to have breakfast-type stuff like eggs, pancakes, French toast, etc. Rather, we always opt for lunch food. Along those lines, my recommendation would be the Bar Room at the Modern. Superb cuisine and a very welcoming place for a solo diner. There is bar dining as well as seats at tables in the bar/lounge and dining areas. Conveniently located to where your friend is staying.

                  Bar Room at the Modern photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                  http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                  -----
                  The Modern
                  9 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: RGR

                    Thanks RGR. I will pass along the rec of the Bar Room for a Sunday lunch. Funny enough, I had mentioned the Bar Room was a neat place to get a drink & some small plates close enough to the Theatre District. Happy to discover I was on a similar wavelength to some of the Chowhounds who have helped so much on my previous visits to NYC. ;-)

                  2. Bar Boloud has a very nice brunch.

                    -----
                    Bar Boulud
                    1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: fm1963

                      IMO their charcuterie is great but I found the more breakfasty items lacking.

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                      Bar Boulud
                      1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

                      1. re: fm1963

                        thanks for the Bar Boulud rec, fm1963....looks like the kind of brunch menu that will appeal to my friend.

                        -----
                        Bar Boulud
                        1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

                      2. Surprised no one has mentioned Artisanal (2 Park Ave at 32nd) which has both bar seating and solo-friendly seating in the main diningroom. Superior brunch menu, fabulous cheeses, some unusual French-bistro type entrees. N.B. you can't get a drink (with alcohol) before noon in New York City so if you want to start with champagne or a cocktail like a bloody mary, plan accordingly.

                        -----
                        Artisanal
                        2 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016

                        1. Thanks for all your suggestions. My friend ended up loving the Breslin.

                          I'm keeping the rest of your suggestions for my next visit to NYC. ;-)

                          -----
                          The Breslin
                          20 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001

                          1. Bumping this thread. Anyone have some recs for an upscale brunch on the Upper West Side, in addition to Telepan and Bar Boulud (forgive this out-of-towner if Bar Boulud isn't quite considered UWS since it's so close to Lincoln Center) ?

                            Thanks for any ideas.

                            13 Replies
                            1. re: prima

                              Ouest has brunch on Sundays. I haven't eaten brunch there, but I have eaten dinner there and enjoyed it quite a lot.

                              1. re: plf515

                                thanks!

                              2. re: prima

                                For weekend lunch, not brunch, does Per Se count? ;)

                                There's also Nougatine.

                                1. re: kathryn

                                  Sure.
                                  Thanks, kathryn. ;-)

                                  1. re: prima

                                    Dovetail has excellent food in what I think is a very nice space.

                                    1. re: Spiritchaser

                                      But the OP's friend didn't just ask for a brunch. She asked for a "decadent" brunch.

                                      Shouldn't we be looking for places where naked muscled-up slaveboys will prechew her food for her and then laciviously slip it into her mouth with their tongues?

                                      I've never seen that at Dovetail.

                                      1. re: Sneakeater

                                        That's cause you didn't know to ask for "that" menu : ).

                                        You are correct though, Dovetail, and most other suggestions, are good brunches, but not really decadent.

                                        1. re: Spiritchaser

                                          >>>That's cause you didn't know to ask for "that" menu : ).

                                          The story of my life!

                                          ETA: Maybe if the OP would tell us what "decadent" actually means in this context . . . .

                                        2. re: Sneakeater

                                          I started the thread for a friend in 2011, and I liked the suggestions, so I thought I'd bump the thread for the UWS, for my own visit. I'll probably do breakfast or brunch at a few of the places already mentioned in the thread while I'm visiting, including one brunch on the UWS.

                                          While I initially was looking for something decadent for my friend (whatever decadent is- I guess it's relative- even Sarabeth's would be decadent where I live), a good brunch that's a bit of a splurge, but probably less than $50 inc tax and tip, is going to meet my criteria now.

                                          Decadent isn't necessary (now), but I'd prefer a place that's more upscale than Good Enough to Eat. :-)

                                          1. re: prima

                                            Ah. Better food, fewer slaveboys.

                                            I'd also add Minetta Tavern to the list.

                                            ETA -- Except that it isn't on the UWS, so forget it!

                                            1. re: Sneakeater

                                              I've got a a Sat brunch and a Sun brunch, and only one needs to be on the UWS. Plus, I'm saving this thread for reference, anyhow!

                                            2. re: prima

                                              It would be cutting it close on your budget, but Lincoln does have brunch, at $35; would make for a nice brunch splurge. Though to stay under budget you couldnt sample offerings from their prosecco bar...

                                              1. re: orthorunner

                                                Thanks, orthorunner. Sounds fabulous.
                                                http://www.lincolnristorante.com/rest...