Eating expensive tasting menus solo?
So I would love to experience meals at Minibar, Rogue 24, Suna, Komi, etc but my friends are not exactly keen on spending $150+ on a meal so I'm the only one interested. Is it unusual to make reservations for one at these places?
I've done Rogue as a solo, and I think it's the perfect place to do it given the layout of the restaurant.
Rogue is great as solo diner. If you do the 24-course tasting, there is very little, if any, wait time between courses. There's also a lot happening on the main floor to keep you entertained.
I would also recommend the omakase at Sushi Taro. It is a very interactive dining experience.
I'll be trying Suna solo. Suna has a kitchen counter which sounds good for solo dining- we'll see! note they said you have to get the 8 course menu at the counter.
Nothing wrong with solo courses. Some of my best meals are solo. Makes you less distracted and enjoy the food for what it is.
In and of itself, fine.
Many restaurants will treat you poorly. You will not always get a good table, and you will be rushed. How a restaurant treats a solo diner is a good test of the restaurant and its staff.
You sometimes need to put down your foot and direct them in the service.
Many restaurants see a solo as wasting a seat (the empty one at your table) and the wait staff sees a cut in tips. If they insist on seating you in the bar, refuse.
Usually the first thing they ask when I go to a restaurant myself, whether it's casual or a little more formal is "Would you like to sit at the bar?" I always ask for a table and usually the first one they lead me to is next to the kitchen door or some other high traffic service area. When I see plenty of empty tables, I ask for another, and only once has my request been refused. That was at a restaurant in Seattle about 30 years ago where they told me that the only seating for one was at the bar, it didn't matter how long I was willing to wait or how many free tables there were, it was policy.
It was my policy not to eat there.
I eat out alone a lot and have no problem with it, but for something like a tasting menu, part of the experience/fun/enjoyment is in the discussion about it for me, so I probably wouldn't do it. Just like I wouldn't go with someone who is not a foodie or if I pay for someone to go. It would kill the enjoyment for me.
And as stated, some places do not like solo diners. It has not been the majority of my experiences, but I've had it happen a few times.