Enjoying Your Party of One: 7 More Standout Spots for Solo Dining

Dining alone does not have to be a harried, self-conscious affair. These days, people dine alone for all sorts of good reasons. One of the best is the opportunity to eat at your own pace and fully take in the experience of the food and atmosphere around you. And while I often enjoy a seat at the bar, there is no reason not to ask for a table where one can have a more intimate experience.

If you find yourself too embarrassed to dine alone, don’t be. As evidenced by OpenTable’s list of 25 top spots for solo diners in America, there are restaurants that are adept at creating a delicious meal just for you. So skip the bad takeout in your apartment and the lukewarm hotel room service. There are thousands of restaurants on OpenTable that are quite happy to reserve your table for one. Below are seven more standout spots for solo dining.

Barking Crab, Boston, Massachusetts
The Barking Crab is a South Boston landmark and one of my favorite summer hotspots. For 21 years, they’ve been serving up New England seafood and microbrews in a casual clam shack setting that makes me yearn for summer all year round. From crabs and lobsters to fresh fish brought in from the docks each day, this is a place to bucket up and chow down. The lively communal seating makes it easy to feel like you’re part of the crowd without feeling conspicuous.

Solo Dining Barking Crab

Cipriani Dolci-Grand Central Terminal, New York, New York
There’s seemingly no end to the number of great destinations for solitary food and entertainment in New York. But, for me, one stands out among the others for its superb location and life-affirming people watching. Dining beneath the star-speckled ceiling of the Grand Central Terminal offers no end of fascination as you watch one of the most spectacular acts of daily human migration unfold before you. Nestled in an upper corner on the main concourse of Grand Central Station, Cipriani Dolci offers refreshing cocktails, eye-boggling appetizers (try the Prosciutto Crudo di Parma), and a birds-eye view of pure unbridled humanity. You will witness loves both found and lost, trains both caught and missed. You will make groundless assumptions about the lives, personalities, and aspirations of all before you. And you will leave feeling like the great American bluesman Taj Mahal — “satisfied and tickled, too.”

Solo Dining Cipriani Dolci

Cork, Washington, D.C.
With more than 50 wines by the glass, the D.C. wine bar Cork is a fine place to break bread and pay your respect to Dionysus, god of the grape harvest, in simple solitude. Sure, they have dishes to share, but no one says you have to! Prices at Cork are very reasonable, too, with plenty of small plates, cheeses, and charcuterie, and most hot offerings coming in at under $20. Food and wine pairings and wine flights just might make this casual Logan Circle joint your new local.

Solo Dining Cork DCContinue Reading

You’re Not Alone: OpenTable Study Reveals Rise in Solo Dining, Names Top Restaurants for Solo Diners

Do you like treating your favorite person in the world (that would be you!) to a delicious meal? Care to savor the flavor of your dinner on your own? Enjoy Instagramming your dishes dozens of times without irritated commentary from your dining partners? You’re not alone. Our recent analysis reveals that reservations for parties of one have grown nationally by 62 percent, making them the fastest growing table party size.

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The findings indicate that the stigma surrounding dining solo may be starting to lift and that people are eager to savor unique culinary experiences solo. Our analysis also showed that among major metropolitan areas, in rank order, Dallas, Miami, Denver, New York, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, and Chicago have experienced the strongest growth in reservations for one.

In celebration of solo dining and the restaurants that cater to them, we are releasing the Top 25 Restaurants for Solo Diners in U.S. The alphabetical list was generated based on the restaurants most booked for tables of one and the “overall” star-ratings associated with reviews submitted by verified diners as well as our restaurant experts’ recommendations. Check out the full list after the jump.Continue Reading

Where the Obamas Should Celebrate Their Anniversary: 6 First Couple-Worthy DC Restaurants #datenight

Since moving into the White House, the Obamas have done an impressive job of dining out at some of the finest restaurants in Washington, D.C. Almost every month, POTUS and FLOTUS are spotted supping somewhere, doing their part to boost the capitol’s booming dining scene. From Bourbon Steak and Oyamel to Blue Duck Tavern and BLT Steak, they’ve eaten everywhere. Well, almost everywhere. With their 23rd wedding anniversary coming up on Saturday, October 3, we thought we would suggest six First Couple-worthy D.C. restaurants where the Obamas should celebrate their anniversary.

The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm, Lovettsville, Virginia
Nestled in the verdant hills overlooking the sinuous Potomac River, this backcountry gem is worth the hour-long drive from D.C. The RAMMY Award-winning restaurant is inside a restyled greenhouse at the heart of a 40-acre property featuring a working farm and plenty of woodlands. Chef Tarver King roams the region foraging exotic elements, such as wild mushrooms, pawpaw fruit, and dandelion greens, which are all incorporated into his forward-thinking New American cuisine. Diners choose from one of three tasting menus – Raised, Grown, and Found – each of which is guaranteed to delight and amaze with its unexpected flavors and Instagram-worthy presentations. Given the Obamas’ well-documented love of steak, we suggest they opt for the Raised option, which often features locally sourced beef.

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The Riggsby, Washington, D.C.
Chef Michael Schlow has already wowed D.C. diners with the Latin-loving Tico on 14th Street. Now he’s doing it again at this charming throwback located inside the Carlyle Hotel in Dupont Circle. The menu focuses on continental classics with chef-y accents. We recommend the First Couple start off with jalapeno-boosted tater tots and housemade potato chips with cut-above green onion dip. For a main, the Obamas may want to keep it simple and order the roasted chicken with broccoli rabe, roasted potatoes, and mustard (pictured). Or they can step it up on a notch with the béarnaise-shrouded, barrel-cut NY strip filet accompanied by a passel of fries. For a lighter option, the striped bass on a bed of corn, bacon, and pickled onions is the way to go. No matter what, they should definitely save room for a giant wedge of chocolate cake.

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The Partisan, Washington, D.C.
If POTUS and FLOTUS are in the mood for meat – and don’t mind the inevitable jokes the press will make if they eat at a restaurant called the Partisan – this Penn Quarter standout is where they should go. Co-chefs Ed Witt and Nate Anda oversee a masterfully inventive menu that takes a tip-to-tail approach and leaves no cut untouched. The celebrating couple should begin with charcuterie, making sure not to miss the pickled half smoke, pastrami terrine, or curried pork pâté. The beef tartare with fried egg yolk, marrow crostini, and grated horseradish (pictured) also offers meaty satisfaction. The bo ssam-style slow-cooked pork shoulder would be an epic entrée. The pair would surely have leftovers to take home, but the tender roast would make a memorable sandwich the next day as a tasty reminder of their date night.

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Osteria Morini, Washington, D.C.
In our book, carb-loading is the perfect way to celebrate a lifelong commitment. Plus, it reminds us of that sweet spaghetti-slurping scene from Lady and the Tramp that makes us tear up every time we watch it. We know we’re saps, but we can’t help ourselves! Anyway, Barack and Michelle would undoubtedly enjoy digging into executive chef Matt Adler’s flawlessly executed pastas at this waterfront eatery in the Yards. Top of the list are the sunny ravioli pocketed with truffled ricotta glistening with brown butter sauce and pappardelle dressed up with lamb-neck sughetto. When agnolotti make an appearance (pictured), they, too, are not to be missed. Further carb-loading can be easily accomplished by sampling a sweet selection from executive pastry chef Alex Levin. Peanut butter and chocolate budino, riso (rice pudding) enlivened with vanilla bean and plums, and the Italian-inflected lemon meringue tart are all worthy closers.

Osreria Morini, Washington, DCContinue Reading

Save $20 on Fall Dining When You Pay with OpenTable This Week

PAY_twitter-falldining-rv2 copyGet into the spirit of pumpkin spice season this week by saving $20 on delicious autumn dining. When you book a table and pay through the OpenTable app* for your next meal on Tuesday, September 29 through Sunday, October 4, you’ll save $20** on your experience — while you get to savor the flavor of fall. Here’s how it works:

* Make a reservation and dine September 29-October 4 at a restaurant that accepts OpenTable mobile payments.

* Add the promo code pumpkin in the top right when you view your check in the app. (You can only use it once!)

* And there you have it —  a $20 credit toward your bill. (Now if only we could explain precisely what pumpkin spice is.)

View participating restaurants in BostonChicagoLos AngelesNew YorkSan Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Find all participating restaurants here. Book a reservation today to save $20 on fall dining when you Pay with OpenTable!Continue Reading