Single Traveler in Town for 4 Days
Will be in New Orleans alone for four nights, and looking forward to some quality chow. I prefer sitting at a bar or counter (instead of at a table by myself). Money isn't the main concern, though I don't have to spend a lot to enjoy a good meal (it does, however, have to be good). Staying in the Commercial Business area, not far from the Quarter. Any thoughts?
There are so many options! If you like barbecue shrimp I've heard that the bar/counter at Mr. B's bistro in the quarter is great! I've been to NOLA many times by myself-you should not be limited. I went to Commander's Palace by myself once for lunch and LOVED it! The amazing service made me feel awesome. The servers were falling all over themselves to make me comfortable. Really-it was a memorable lunch. And the food was amazing.
There are so many great places in town with either bar or counter service that "where to avoid" might be a more apt question. Since, like me, you prefer a bar or counter seat to a table when dining solo, I'd say avoid the perennial favorites Commander's Palace, Galatoire's, and August (which does allow dining at one of their few bar seats - although the last time I did it I was literally the only person in the bar, which is not unlike sitting a table for one albeit from a higher perch). Cochon (in the Warehouse District) at either the bar or back counter would be a fine choice, as would a stool along the wall next door at Cochon Butcher. R'evolution and Sylvain are both in the Quarter and both great solo. If they're not too busy, Arnaud's French 75 will let you skip their limited bar menu in favor of the full menu from Arnaud's next door (which can be rendered serviceable if you order wisely and consume a couple of their perfect Sazeracs in the process). I also like eating by myself at the Hermes Bar adjacent to Antoine's, but that's as much confession as recommendation. For something a little more downscale but still delicious, the po' boys in the back of the Erin Rose bar are a good late-night option. Back in the CBD, Luke, Domenica, and Borgne are all John Besh restaurants and all nice for bar/counter seating. There are many more choices, but I hope that helps...have fun!
Now, I am just the opposite, in that when dining solo, I prefer a table, as I WILL have many wine glasses in front of me. As NOLA is my wife's hometown, I do admit to not dining solo there, that often, but then she does attend meetings there, and they often include dinner meetings, and then, I am solo.
I am a big fan of Galatoire's, going back maybe 5 decades, and have also come to love Restaurant August. Those would be my "Top Two."