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Restaurants with the "party of one"

Restaurants with the "party of one"

Old Dec 8, 14, 7:16 pm
  #91  
 
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Originally Posted by VivoPerLei View Post
I want to see all that is going on around me, so back to the wall
Reminiscent of the famous legend of Wild Bill Hickock who is said to have failed to sit with his back to the wall for the first time in 1876 in Deadwood, South Dakota, and was shot to death by Jack McCall while playing poker, holding Aces and eights, which has become immortalized as "Dead Man's Hand." Ideally the aces and eights should be all black cards, i.e. spades and clubs, but that is often relaxed for fun to any aces and eights irrespective of suits. After all, poker doesn't distinguish among the suits, unlike contract bridge for example.
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Old Dec 9, 14, 6:06 am
  #92  
 
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Originally Posted by Cloudship View Post
Facing folks. It is uncomfortable having your back to a large crowd. Likewise I hate sitting int he middle of a room.
Ditto, Ditto! And, they always seem to want to put singles in the center of the dining room. One time, I was even offered a 12 seat table and the joint wasn't half full. I'd think they would like singles who eat early/late because we tend to dine and depart. Couples may linger an hour or so.
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Old Dec 9, 14, 6:57 am
  #93  
 
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Originally Posted by ScatterX View Post
Funny story (to me at least)... I was dining alone on travel on valentine's day. I went to a nice place that was was clearly a spot for "couples" on that particular evening. While I was dressed very well, being a single diner made me stick out like a pink mammoth in drag. I don't remember well enough, but I may have been the only single diner there. This still wasn't an issue; the waiter and I had a good laugh about it and he enjoyed having a patron that wasn't a gooey romantic making endless annoying requests. It was dining business as usual for me, but I'm sure many people would freak out in a similar situation.
My most amusing valentine's day meal was a random Sunday when I'd spent much of the day helping a friend prototype some software for his planned startup. Got it mostly working by 8pm, so decided to go out for some food and a drink to celebrate a successful day. It was only when the restaurant brought a special pink menu with hearts on, and we'd spotted everyone else in the whole place were couples, did either of us (single at the time) remember what the date was...

Back on topic, I dine out a lone quite a lot, both on trips and at home on nights when I decide against cooking. Unless it's something quick, I always take something to read with me, to fill the waits for service / food to arrive / etc. Never really noticed any problems, and never felt too odd, but it does seem that places with lots of business travellers are more used to it.
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Old Dec 9, 14, 8:12 am
  #94  
 
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You guys are doing it all wrong. Sit at the bar! Even when I dine with 1-3 other people, I try to get seats at the bar (a corner if its 3-4 of us is perfect for inclusive conversation). The bar is the most underrated seat in the house. Why? Well, first off you seat yourself. You dont need to wait for permission to sit or be chauffeured to your seat. At the bar, the service is incredible! Why? Because the bartender has nowhere to hide! They usually have less than 100 sqft of room to move around! Need a drink? BOOM! The guy/girl is right there with every fluid in the restaurant located right behind them. Decide to go with the mussels instead of the scallops as your app? They have a computer right there and can usually mod your order before it hits the line. Main course taking too long? The bartender will send a barback or go themselves to inquire right away. Bartenders are there to please and because usually alcohol is involved, the scene at the bar is usually quite jovial. You can strike up conversation with other bar patrons, get ideas on what to eat when their food hits, make friends and get recommendations for other things to see/do/drink/eat from the bartender, and if you're nice sometimes you'll be given some sort of freebie like an order of arancini or maybe a swig of a new whiskey you haven't tried yet. Doesnt matter if it's a hole in the wall or a michelin starred restaurant, the bar is where it's at.
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Old Dec 9, 14, 8:26 am
  #95  
 
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If you all are ever in Amsterdam there is a whole restaurant for single diners http://eenmaal.com/#about
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Old Dec 9, 14, 9:30 am
  #96  
 
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opentable

Opentable either the website or the app is a great way to find nice places to eat solo or with a group. I use the app when i am in a new city and have been very fortunate in the selections
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Old Dec 9, 14, 9:43 am
  #97  
 
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I remember a bit of advice from some years ago on how to get a good seat and be treated well when dining alone. Call ahead and say, "I'm calling for Contessa Von Trapp to make dinner reservations. The Contessa will be dining alone tonight and would like a table...".
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Old Dec 9, 14, 10:24 am
  #98  
 
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I usually eat alone or sometimes with 1-2 colleagues while traveling most weeks. Always go for the bar. Service is usually quicker and bartenders can be fun to talk with. Usually get better pours that way, too. Solo dining at a bar feels much more common and less awkward to me, whether it's an Applebee's or a classy hotel
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Old Dec 9, 14, 12:35 pm
  #99  
 
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Originally Posted by berrythekid View Post
You guys are doing it all wrong. Sit at the bar! Even when I dine with 1-3 other people, I try to get seats at the bar (a corner if its 3-4 of us is perfect for inclusive conversation). The bar is the most underrated seat in the house. Why? Well, first off you seat yourself. You dont need to wait for permission to sit or be chauffeured to your seat. At the bar, the service is incredible! Why? Because the bartender has nowhere to hide! They usually have less than 100 sqft of room to move around! Need a drink? BOOM! The guy/girl is right there with every fluid in the restaurant located right behind them. Decide to go with the mussels instead of the scallops as your app? They have a computer right there and can usually mod your order before it hits the line. Main course taking too long? The bartender will send a barback or go themselves to inquire right away. Bartenders are there to please and because usually alcohol is involved, the scene at the bar is usually quite jovial. You can strike up conversation with other bar patrons, get ideas on what to eat when their food hits, make friends and get recommendations for other things to see/do/drink/eat from the bartender, and if you're nice sometimes you'll be given some sort of freebie like an order of arancini or maybe a swig of a new whiskey you haven't tried yet. Doesnt matter if it's a hole in the wall or a michelin starred restaurant, the bar is where it's at.


Plus, for at least some of us, it is much more comfortable seating.
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Old Dec 9, 14, 2:53 pm
  #100  
 
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Solo female traveler here, eat out alone at restaurants all the time and enjoy it. A high top table inside the bar area of the restaurant is perfect -- I can people-watch and meet other diners, but I'm not trapped talking to someone for an entire meal like I am sitting at the bar.

Two minor pet peeves:

- The "just one?" question mentioned above
- Being seated alone in a room or in the corner of a room like I'm a leper

My best experience dining solo was taking notes in a Michelin 3-star restaurant in San Sebastian, being mistaken for a food critic, and being treated to a private tour of the kitchen by a famous chef:

http://www.esmetravels.com/arzak/
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Old Dec 10, 14, 7:01 pm
  #101  
 
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Never had a massive issue dining alone, anywhere in the world. I definitely prefer not to seat at the bar though, because of the height and the usual bar stool arrangement.

My oddest experience dining alone was in Bangkok. I was seated at a beautiful 6-top in a nearly private alcove on the balcony, looking out over the city (restaurant was on a high floor). It was like a throne, and I was king of the world...but there was also an adjacent 6-top, in the same alcove though respectfully separated, and there was a solo female diner at THAT table, also looking out over the world. It felt a bit...odd. We weren't close enough to interact, but we were both seated in the same position (the one with the view) so there was an implicit pairing.

<and no, for the wits out there, it wasn't that kind of woman. Just a standard business traveller type >
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Old Dec 10, 14, 7:52 pm
  #102  
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I eat most of the time alone and one of my best partner is any thing to read on a book or a magazine or my mobile phone checking my mails just to make use and maximize my time while waiting my orders or while waiting they will entertain me.
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Old Dec 12, 14, 1:32 pm
  #103  
 
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I (a woman) dined alone frequently when travelling for work for a few decades, so from a social perspective, it doesn't bother me at all now that I don't travel so much for work anymore.

I'm fine with eating at the bar, except for one thing -- the crappy ergonomics of most bars for eating a meal. Some bars have a foot rail that sticks out so far, and/or a big curved piece of wood molding on the edge of the bar, that it is hard to get close enough to the bar to eat comfortably. I understand the practical purpose of the foot rail but not so much the big bar molding --- are glasses and plates and bowls sliding off bars really that much of a problem? Never seen one slide off once in all my life.

These things aren't such noticeable obstacles when you're reaching for a drink or a slice of pizza so much as when you're trying to lean near a bowl of soup or plate of food (the bars at the Flat Top Grill chain come to mind).

This may be less of an issue for the average man, who is about 5 inches taller than the average woman. Frankly, the foot rail is often of no use to most women, who are not tall enough to be able to put their feet on it and sit comfortably on the bar stool at the same time. All it does is make it hard for them to move the bar stool as close to the bar as they would like to be able to eat comfortably. I'm 5'5", by the way, which is the US average height for a woman. I would usually prefer to sit at the bar to eat, drink, and watch TV when I'm out alone, but if I'm trying to eat a meal and the foot rail and bar rail make it too uncomfortablle, I'll ask to switch to a table.

Last edited by cubbie; Dec 12, 14 at 1:39 pm
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Old Dec 12, 14, 3:54 pm
  #104  
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Originally Posted by cubbie View Post
I (a woman) dined alone frequently when travelling for work for a few decades, so from a social perspective, it doesn't bother me at all now that I don't travel so much for work anymore.

I'm fine with eating at the bar, except for one thing -- the crappy ergonomics of most bars for eating a meal. Some bars have a foot rail that sticks out so far, and/or a big curved piece of wood molding on the edge of the bar, that it is hard to get close enough to the bar to eat comfortably. I understand the practical purpose of the foot rail but not so much the big bar molding --- are glasses and plates and bowls sliding off bars really that much of a problem? Never seen one slide off once in all my life.

These things aren't such noticeable obstacles when you're reaching for a drink or a slice of pizza so much as when you're trying to lean near a bowl of soup or plate of food (the bars at the Flat Top Grill chain come to mind).

This may be less of an issue for the average man, who is about 5 inches taller than the average woman. Frankly, the foot rail is often of no use to most women, who are not tall enough to be able to put their feet on it and sit comfortably on the bar stool at the same time. All it does is make it hard for them to move the bar stool as close to the bar as they would like to be able to eat comfortably. I'm 5'5", by the way, which is the US average height for a woman. I would usually prefer to sit at the bar to eat, drink, and watch TV when I'm out alone, but if I'm trying to eat a meal and the foot rail and bar rail make it too uncomfortablle, I'll ask to switch to a table.
Maybe the molding is for spill containment.

I'm almost 5" taller than you and I sometimes can't touch the footrail. It's just something to trip over on my way out of the stool after a couple beers.
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Old Dec 12, 14, 6:51 pm
  #105  
 
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The molding is for comfortably leaning your forearms on between sips.
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