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May 25, 2014 07:36 AM

One night in Manhattan

Swinging through town this week for work. I'll have a night alone for dinner, looking for recs. Staying at the Carlton on Madison Ave, so assuming a cab ride. Looking for mid-range foodie spots you can get into at the last minute.

I don't get to NYC often, what should I not miss?

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  1. Most restaurants in NYC are solo diner friendly, especially if you're OK grabbing a seat at the bar. The bar area tends to be first come, first served. So you actually have many, many choices.

    A lot of NYers don't know where all the hotels are located, since we live here :) but I believe the Carlton on Madison Ave is near 28th St, so not actually that far from some good spots like the Breslin, Ilili, the NoMad, etc.

    Can you clarify your budget a bit? How much do you want to spend, per person, before tax, tip, wine/drinks? Mid-range in NYC can be very, very difficult from what is considered mid-range at home.

    What night of the week? Are you willing to wait for a seat somewhere?

    Where are you from? What does your hometown not do well? What kind of cuisines, atmosphere, dishes are you looking for?

    There are lots of foodie spots that don't take reservations at all and/or also hold tables for walk-ins and/or also allow dining at the bar. So your query is actually very, very broad at the moment.

    5 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Well then, let me elaborate! :)

      Yes, Madison and 28th.

      From St. Louis, though I travel a lot. I'm more interested in seeing what's great where I am instead of what's better than where I was. (For example, STL has a pretty great selection of Italian, but if where I am is all about pasta, that's ok with me.)

      Will be there on Tuesday night.

      I'm not a stickler on budget. I've paid $10, I've paid $100. Both were great. Willing to shell out for the good stuff, but I also know that the big ticket places aren't always the best choices.

      Sure, I'd stand around and wait. I'll just have to remember to charge my ipad, I guess.

      And yes, bar seating totally fine.

      Does that help? I appreciate the help!

      1. re: Pylon

        Kind of but not really. :) Tough to narrow down the choices from there.

        Closest and most unique/impressive/New York-y (I guess) choices to your hotel would probably be Eleven Madison Park (bar), the NoMad, and the Breslin.

        Venturing downtown you could do Empellon Cocina, Momofuku Ssam, Louro, Pearl & Ash, WD-50 (bar), Minetta Tavern, Babbo, Balthazar... And sushi is always solo diner friendly though you'd probably need/want a reservation.

        Tough to find one place that really encapsulates the diversity of the Manhattan dining experience/the here/the now/what's hot/what's unique.

        1. re: kathryn

          Actually, you hit it. wd-50. It's been on my list forever.

          Easy for a single seat at the bar then?

          1. re: Pylon

            The bar is small but also you'll be there on a Tuesday... If it doesn't work out you can always try Alder instead.

            1. re: Pylon

              You should have no problems finding a bar seat as a solo at WD-50 on a mid week night.

              As an aside, if you do go to WD 50, might want to consider a dessert night cap at Cocoa Bar down the street. They have a nice wine and chocolate pairing that usually includes some sort of housemade brownie type creation.

              Enjoy your dinner.