Take the Cake: Bite-sized Inspiration for the Savvy Baker

Dining Solo: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you absolutely dying to try that new French Cafe that just popped up on your block and get your escargot on? Do your friends prefer to stick to their sacred order of mac and cheese and a side of fries? Well fret not my sweet, here are ten hacks to dining solo.

Number One: First and foremost, ALWAYS bring something to read. Not only will the cute guy across the room know just how smart you are but you’ll finally be able to catch up with the world, the election, or that Hemingway book you were always embarrassed about never picking up. Your possibilities range from Bon Apetit to The New York Times, so go forth and use your alone time to learn something new.
Bonus tip: Read the Art of War or The Prince in public if you wish to avoid conversation by scaring your potential suitors. 

Number Two: Grab a seat at the bar…or don’t. Our personal favorite place to sit on our solo dining excursions is a booth — then again the booth is always our favorite place to sit. It is time for us to rise up against the notion that we can’t have huge tables and fluffy pillows all to ourselves. The booth is comfy and comfy is what we want to be. But if you want to have a nice chat with the bartender and don’t want to wait a half hour for a table at some new hip spot, grab a seat at the bar and settle right in.

Number Three: Now this is not only a tip for eating alone but also a tip for life in general; small plates. Whether it be tapas, sides, or appetizers, we are huge proponents of the small plate. Personally we just want to dive into everything on the menu, and entrees just don’t grant us the freedom we need to let our palettes soar. So try a little bit of everything whether or not somebody is there with you to fight over the last dumplingPro tip: Tasting menus.

Number Four: Time it out. Maybe Thursday night at 8pm isn’t the greatest time to wine and dine yourself. Dim lighting, candles, maybe even gentle piano music just scream awkward first date; which is the antithesis of your adventure.  Head over to the place you’ve been dying to try and grab a lunch menu. Trust us, you’ll feel a lot more comfortable around the daytime crowd than the romantic one.

Number Five: Grab a seat outside, or facing a window. We would be lying if we said our favorite pastime wasn’t eavesdropping. Whether it be in a crowded subway or the lawn of a park, we absolutely love hearing about the whirlwind lives of strangers. So pull up a seat in the sun and open both your ears and eyes to the adventures and outfits of everyone around you. People watching is basically the original reality tv.

Wait, there’s more…

Number Six: Order a drink. Especially if you’re posted up at the bar. Grab a glass of Merlot and enjoy. This is your time to do what you want, so go for it.
Bonus tip: Sitting at the bar means great drink suggestions, and if you’re lucky a few free glasses passed your way. Extra points for becoming  friends with the bartender. Not only have they seen it all (and have stories to prove it) but they’re the perfect people to keep you company if your newspaper gets dull.

Number Seven: Become a regular. We pick up our breakfast coffee and donut from the same street cart every morning, We wave to the same doormen on our way home from work, and we go to the same cocktail bar every weekend. Strike up conversations. In a city like New York people may find it odd at first but you’re fantastic, so why wouldn’t they want to talk to you? Now take that practice into your dining habits. Find a restaurant whose menu you are as in love with as Carrie is with Big. Now go there. A lot. We mean a lot. Go there so much that the waiters cheer your name when you walk in and sit at your table to chat when it’s slow. Congratulations, you are now a regular, so do as you darn please.

Number Eight: Just do it. We know putting pants on and stepping outside your door can be hard, especially when fuzzy socks and seamless exist. But you got this. Bite the bullet. Go for it. And remember in a city this weird nobody is watching.

Number Nine: Dress to the nines. Look snazzy and sharp. Like the kind of lady who is too busy running an empire to phone a friend for lunch. The kind of lady who deserves the best seat in the best section with the best service. Command respect with your amazing wardrobe, and a matching attitude. You’re important so you may as well look important.

Number Ten: Reward yourself. You made it! And to be honest, it was pretty painless. The food was great, the waiter was cute, and your book was a page turner. So now it’s time for a treat. Perhaps you want the delicious lava cake on the menu, or perhaps you want the sleeve of thin mints in your freezer. Who cares? Nobody is looking anyway.

Go forth and conquer ladies. And just know that no matter what happens, we’ll be waiting at your door with comfort food wrapped in a big red bow.

Visit Red Velvet NYC

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