with a newspaper...
along something to read. If you forget, enlist your staff
person. Since a "reading meal" is traditional entertainment
for solo diners, increasing numbers of restaurants maintain
a selection of newspapers and magazines for their guests.
Contrary to popular belief, rather than frowning on reading,
fine dining restaurants welcome this activity, especially
when it enhances a solo diner's comfort. They believe the
more comfortable you become dining out alone, the sooner you'll
relax into savoring all aspects of their dining experience
-- including the ambiance of their restaurant. Solos, in their
unhindered singular state, are better able to appreciate restaurateurs'
efforts in this regard --- and they know it!
Be a restaurant
one city for a longer period of time? Then you need an extended-family
connection in your life --- a place where they know your name.
Cultivate a restaurant that feels "just right." From a casual
corner mom 'n pop to a fine dining classic, the choice is
yours. Once you decide on a restaurant, stake out your favorite
spot --- perhaps a tiny table tucked by a window overlooking
the ocean, a booth for two as comforting as a hug, or a stool
at a bustling food counter --- and frequent the restaurant
regularly. Tell them you're a traveller who's chosen their
spot as your home-away -from-home. As a cherished regular,
you'll probably receive insider treatment, like helpings of
in-house gossip and preview tastings of new wines and dishes.
with the cook...
Choose your restaurant
and where you sit with care. Want to pick up free cooking
tips from celebrity chefs? Check out the growing array of
restaurants offering chef's counters that cozy up to the kitchen.
Besides getting a taste of how restaurants work, you'll find
yourself kibbitzing with culinary kings and queens and with
Read the "Dining Out"
sections of local newspapers. Check out the gossip columns.
Hot, trendy restaurants --- magnets for celebrities --- are
perfect for people watching. You never know who you'll see!
When you decide to sample one, survey the seating layout ahead
of time. Note tables with unrestricted views, especially those
including the entrance, and specify one of them when you make
with communal diners...
Ask your hotel concierge
about restaurants in the immediate area that integrate solo
diners. The concept of communal table dining, also named (friendship,
captain's, networking, maverick, chef's, etc.) is popping
up in a variety of sizes and configurations. This
type of seating ranges from intimate --- accommodating three
or four diners --- to grand --- seating 30 or more. Whether
this dining option appears as a circle, rectangle or oblong,
it's as beloved by couples and groups as it is by solos. Communal
table dining is an incredible way to share a meal and it offers
singles an opportunity to meet with the locals. A real bonus!
Fantasize about your
fellow diners. The
world's a stage and your surrounding cast performs just for
you. Their snippets of conversation will spark your imagination.
That couple to your left --- married or unmarried? Such a
heart-warming display of fond glances and murmured asides
--- wouldn't it be wonderful if this represents married bliss?
Glance again at the woman just seated nearby. (Everyone else
in the restaurant is!) Attractive and self-assured she commands
attention --- why, they've given her the best table in the
room. M-m-m-m.... I wonder who she is?
Solo dining is a delicious
opportunity for note taking; for catching up on your last
business meeting or, gathering material for that novel you've
been meaning to write. And if the staff mistakes you for a
food critic and treats you accordingly, so much the better!
what you want, when you want it! Solo dining is an elegant
opportunity to celebrate yourself. (especially recommended
for those known more for lavishing generosity on others, rather
than on themselves!) Tonight, there's no one to say "But that's
so fattening..." when you announce, "I'm having only desserts
this evening. I'll begin with the double devil's food cake
and don't you dare spare the whipped cream". Just enjoy and
allow others to minister to YOU for a change.
And here's more good
news - the suggestions above are simply entrees. Once you
begin asserting your right to entertainment-enriched solo
dining, you'll discover the world is your oyster. The more
you indulge yourself, the more your options for entertainment
Savvy solo dining!