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Solo dining - Tribeca/Greenwich/SoHo

c
CocoaNut Nov 7, 2011 01:23 PM

Hotel is in Tribeca. Work is in Greenwich. Looking for relaxed dining options featuring NYC's renowned culinary prowesses! :) Expense account in play, but not in search of fine-dining menu or pricing NOR celebrity chef notoriety. Looking for somewhere to relax after work while enjoying an inspiringly prepared meal (sandwich or main), adult beverage and perhaps coffee.

Obviously, Im not familiar with the area, so if the restaurant/cafe were in an early evening, walk-around(mini-site see) location, all the better! Suggestions welcome!

I'll be at the Tribeca Grand Hotel for a 3 week-night stay - how about a pre-work, light breakfast?

Thanks!!

  1. c
    CocoaNut Dec 11, 2011 07:28 AM

    Thanks for everyone's input. Due to managerial procrastinations, trip postponed till after the first of the year.

    1. sgordon Nov 8, 2011 08:20 AM

      Good suggestions above, certainly. I'll second Marc Forgione - dining at the bar there is pretty relaxed. Not a big fan of their cocktails, but there's a decently curated wine/beer selection and the food is fantastic.

      Certain places mentioned - Locanda, The Dutch, Balthazar, Blue Ribbon, Minetta, and Osteria Morini - I might feel a bit odd dining solo in. They're very boisterous (though the food is good at most of them - I'm not so high on OM, personally) and often full of big after-work groups, and I think the solo diner might be a bit overwhelmed. Nearby OM is Caffe Falai - solid, bright, Northern Italian, very casual. It gets a little sceney at night (a lot of Italian tourists & expats) but it's a bit more relaxed a crowd. The bartender is pretty friendly, too, if you're dining at the bar. They get busy at times, yes, but the diners are more relaxed Euro types than partying Americans.

      Babbo, of course, is wonderful, and I don't think there'd be nearly as long a wait for a solo diner as for a two-top. There's almost always an odd seat at the bar. In the extended Batali family Lupa is also great for solos, and the food is always reliably solid. Not so crazy about Otto, personally.

      Nearby Babbo is Soto, spectacular Japanese. If you're an uni fan, it's known as NYC's "Temple Of Uni" for a reason - Chef Soto has a certain feel for the critters that goes beyond many other chef's. It can get very expensive, dishes are fairly small, so it would take a few to a make a meal out of - but they're quite equisite. Skip the sushi / sashimi options (which are good, but don't exactly show creative flair) and stick to the composed dishes.

      I'm decidedly not a fan of Pearl Oyster Bar's lobster roll. But then I grew up in CT, where a lobster roll with a mound of just-pulled-out-of-the-sea lobster goes for half of Pearl's (exorbitant, even by NYC standards) price. And I don't even think it's a good lobster roll to begin with - it's (as someone once pointed out) practically a mayonnaise sandwich. The poor lobster is positively lost in all the goopus they toss it in. And at $35 (once you've figured in the tax/tip) it's simply ludicrous. Mary's I'll say the same for (the rolls are nearly identical, anyway). That said, I think they're both good restaurants minus their rip-off lobster rolls. Pearl's bouillabaisse is particularly good.

      -----
      Lupa
      170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

      Pearl Oyster Bar
      18 Cornelia St, New York, NY 10014

      Soto
      357 6th Avenue, New York, NY 10014

      Babbo
      110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

      Mary's Fish Camp
      64 Charles St, New York, NY 10014

      Caffe Falai
      265 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

      Marc Forgione
      134 Reade Street, New York, NY 10013

      Osteria Morini
      218 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

      1 Reply
      1. re: sgordon
        u
        uwsister Dec 11, 2011 11:32 AM

        I've seen many solo diners at both Minetta and Blue Ribbon. Bartenders at Minetta are particularly wonderful and will take good care of you.

      2. c
        CocoaNut Nov 8, 2011 05:55 AM

        Oh! this is a great list and I know I'll be wishing to have many more than 3 nights! I should have been more specific on the work location which is just west of St John's Park around Hubert @ Greenwich.

        My schedule has me there the first of Dec, so I'll have time to properly look at each of these. By your descriptions and a quick lookup, several already have my attention - The Dutch (like the menu options-oyster options slim @ D/FW), Pearl, Zucker's (I've heard of elsewhere along the way), and Flor de Sol.

        As to one steak dinner, would Wolfgang be the best choice? He has a restaurant in Dallas and you seldom see it at the top of the rec'd list for steakhouses - though that's one thing we don't fall short on. Thanks ya'll!

        re: Scarpetta - I'd be tempted to go there simply to taste his $24 spaghetti that made an appearance on Best Thing I Ever Ate. That must be some impressionably good spaghetti! It obviously made a lasting mental impression with me. :)

        -----
        Flor de Sol
        361 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

        Scarpetta
        355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

        1 Reply
        1. re: CocoaNut
          b
          Barcelonian Nov 8, 2011 09:41 AM

          In my opinion, it's worth every penny of the $24...sit at the bar and enjoy an order!

        2. f
          foodwhisperer Nov 7, 2011 07:25 PM

          Simon and Kathryn gave alot of great suggestions. If you try Cercle Rouge get the seared foie gras it is amazing. Grand Daisy is a must and try the potato pizza , you will never have a pizza so good.
          For a light breakfast Pecan is right near your hotel. For an afternoon coffee and pastry, or even a sandwich is Takahachi Bakery on Murray St., Jerry's ( used to be in Soho) now on chambers st. has a good lunch.or dinner. For Dinner Kori has really good korean food and good for solo ( can eat at the bar), Brushstroke is one of my favorite places also great for solo, Jun Sik has a good tasting menu, For sushi there are several in Tribeca : Sushi Azabu, Takachi, Nobu to name a few.
          Plein Sud has a great bar and some good food. For italian solo eat at the bar at Osteria Morini, or Stuzzacino (sp), Viet cafe (greenwich st) is a good dinner spot if solo, they have a big TV and some good Vietnamese food, If you want smoked salmon on a bagel or similar go to Zucker's on Chambers St. Of for an open sandwich try Pain a Cotedien (sp) , Niko is good in soho for japanese, Wolfgang on Greenwich St is good for a porterhouse steak and a cold beer. Tribeca Grill has a good bar with an assorted menu. Flor de Sol (Greenwich St) has spanish tapas , live music and you can eat at bar or table.

          -----
          Grandaisy Bakery
          73 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

          Kori
          253 Church St, New York, NY 10013

          Nobu
          105 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013

          Wolfgang's
          409 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10013

          Zucker's
          146 Chambers St, New York, NY 10013

          Takahachi
          145 Duane St, New York, NY 10013

          Cercle Rouge
          241 W. Broadway, New York, NY 10013

          Tribeca Grill
          375 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

          Viet Cafe
          345 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

          Flor de Sol
          361 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

          Pecan
          130 Franklin St, New York, NY 10013

          Sushi Azabu
          428 Greenwich St (basement), New York, NY 10013

          Le Pain Quotidien
          550 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

          Jerry's
          90 Chambers St, New York, NY 10007

          Grandaisy Bakery
          250 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013

          Plein Sud
          85 W Broadway, New York, NY 10007

          Takahachi Bakery
          25 Murray St, New York, NY 10007

          Niko
          170 Mercer St, New York, NY 10012

          Pane Panelle
          305 Church St, New York, NY 10013

          Osteria Morini
          218 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

          Jung Sik
          2 Harrison St, New York, NY 10013

          Brushstroke
          30 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013

          1 Reply
          1. re: foodwhisperer
            u
            uwsister Dec 11, 2011 11:36 AM

            I bought a bunch of pastries at Takahachi Bakery the other day, didn't know about it, simply was passing by and spotted it, thought it looked interesting (how's THAT for a run-on sentence?) I thought most of the pastries were very good. The only thing I did not like was their chicken katsu sandwich (too dry & not saucy enough.)

            Putting Cercle Rouge on my list - thank you :)

            -----
            Takahachi Bakery
            25 Murray St, New York, NY 10007

          2. k
            kathryn Nov 7, 2011 07:21 PM

            Somehow missed the Village part of your inqury...

            When you say work is in Greenwich, I assume Greenwich Village/West Village? Not Greenwich Street in Tribeca or Greenwich, CT?

            Solo dining in the Village:
            Babbo - you might have to wait for a seat, or you could go to Scarpetta, both serve the full menu at the bar but Babbo won't do a tasting for the solo diner
            Lupa and Otto - also solo diner friendly, especially at the bar, at Otto the bartenders are great, especially Dennis
            Tertulia - loud/crowded/popular but if you can grab a bar seat, you'll have a good meal, maybe try to get there early
            Pearl Oyster Bar - don't miss the lobster roll
            Perilla - Harold from Top Chef's first restaurant
            Joseph Leonard - they have some neat seats at "the pass" where you can look into the kitchen, don't miss the brussels sprouts with Sriracha if you go
            Spotted Pig - try the upstairs bar for a little more breathing room
            Takashi - Japanese BBQ with premium beef that you cook yourself, I see solo diners here on occasion
            Po - good food, friendly bartender, but the bar is tiny
            dell'anima - excellent Italian from two ex-Babbo folks
            Minetta Tavern - go early or really late to avoid the crowds
            Fatty Cue - great cocktails and Asian influenced BBQ dishes
            Rockmeisha - under the radar Japanese izakaya, good ramen

            -----
            Lupa
            170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

            Pearl Oyster Bar
            18 Cornelia St, New York, NY 10014

            Perilla
            9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

            Po
            31 Cornelia St, New York, NY 10014

            Babbo
            110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

            Spotted Pig
            314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

            Minetta Tavern
            113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

            Otto
            1 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003

            Rockmeisha
            11 Barrow St, New York, NY 10014

            Dell'Anima
            38 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10003

            Scarpetta
            355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

            Joseph Leonard
            170 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10014

            Takashi
            456 Hudson St, New York, NY 10011

            Tertulia
            359 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011

            Fatty 'Cue
            50 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014

            1. s
              Simon Nov 7, 2011 06:49 PM

              i like most of the above (esp Ushiwakamaru) and i'll add:

              Cercle Rouge -- my new fav go-to spot for French brasserie food...perfect location for you in Tribeca just below Soho on W. Broadway...easy bar seating, nice staff, yummy bouillabaise....

              Kin Shop -- Thai-influenced, unique place in Greenwich Village, and a very fun bar dinner...

              and if you want jump up a step in sushi even from the excellent Ushiwakamaru, try 15 East one night...(more refined, elegant vibe, and pricier, but wonderful)

              Scarpetta -- one of my fav bar dining spots -- on W. 14th in the MPD but prob not so far for you...

              -----
              15 East
              15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

              Ushiwakamaru
              136 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

              Cercle Rouge
              241 W. Broadway, New York, NY 10013

              Scarpetta
              355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

              Kin Shop
              469 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011

              1. k
                kathryn Nov 7, 2011 02:09 PM

                For solo dinner, I would try in Tribeca:
                Locanda Verde - great food, great cocktails, can be loud/busy, you can dine at the bar
                Smith & Mills - wonderful atmosphere, very cozy, cocktails are only OK though, you can dine at the bar
                Terroir Tribeca - wine bar that is an offshoot of Hearth, it's all counter/bar seating or high tables
                Marc Forgione - I believe you can dine at the bar here

                In Soho:
                The Dutch - can get kind of loud/crowded though, but they have just installed new soundproofing, so hopefully that will help
                Balthazar- can get kind of loud/crowded as well
                Osteria Morini - can get kind of loud/crowded
                Blue Ribbon Brasserie - might be a crap shoot though as there are only 4 bar stools up front, but if you score a seat, it's really fun to watch the raw bar staff prep
                Ushiwakamaru - but make a reservation
                Peasant
                Boqueria

                For light breakfast of coffee/pastries in Tribeca:
                Grandaisy Bakery
                Birdbath - sister bakery mini-chain, related to City Bakery
                Locanda Verde - also has a small takeout pastry section in front
                Kaffe 1668 - coffee shop
                RBC - coffee shop

                -----
                Balthazar
                80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

                Blue Ribbon Brasserie
                97 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

                Ushiwakamaru
                136 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

                Peasant
                194 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012

                Marc Forgione
                134 Reade Street, New York, NY 10013

                Boqueria
                171 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

                Kaffe 1668
                275 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10007

                Smith & Mills
                71 N Moore St, New York, NY 10013

                Grandaisy Bakery
                250 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013

                Locanda Verde
                377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

                RBC NYC
                71 Worth St, New York, NY 10013

                Terroir
                24 Harrison St, New York, NY 10013

                Osteria Morini
                218 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

                The Dutch
                131 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

                Birdbath
                200 Church St, New York, NY 10007

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