Welcome to Ask Eater, a column from Eater New York where the site’s editors, reporters, and critics answer specific or baffling restaurant requests from readers and friends. A new question and answer will run every Thursday. Have a question for us? Submit your question in this form.
I don’t have any plans on Friday night, and I could easily order in and watch Netflix, but I’d like to be a bit more ambitious than that. I love to dine solo, especially at a big bar and with an interactive staff where I can try new things and be alone, but not lonely. Small plates are not ideal, since it’s just me, and I want to feel part of a scene and not drop a ton of money. Any ideas?
Table for One
Dear Table for One,
This is such a great question. I, too, love to dine solo, and agree the bar is definitely the place to do it. There’s nothing worse than being greeted at the host stand by, “Is it just you tonight?”
I believe a place to dine alone should be intimate but buzzy, accessible but with a slight scene. And I think that Dell’anima in the West Village fits this bill. Now 10 years old, Dell’anima used to be a supremely hot ticket, one that in the decade since has settled into a still-happening but more relaxed Italian venue. It’s a tiny rectangle of a room, with good vibes helped along by lively music and flattering lighting.
There is also, in addition to a decently sized bar, a kitchen counter, where sitting alone means you have plenty of action to watch just feet away. Perching at either counter with a plate of comforting pasta and a salad or side is, for me, an ideal evening. And it’s one made even more ideal with wine suggestions from the staff, who have a larger-than-average by-the-glass list to work from. I hope you enjoy!