“For me, New York is comfortable, not strange.” – Karl Lagerfeld
I love to travel. I love to explore. I fly alone a lot, but oftentimes I meet up with friends and family. I enjoy experiencing new places by myself, as well as with others. I am comfortable in my own skin.
However, we all have our quirks. One of my quirks is that I haven’t ever dined by myself except at an airport bar. I am very good at amusing myself, and I am not afraid to dance to my own beat. But for some reason, the thought of eating alone at a restaurant has always been a little intimidating to me. I’m not sure why, as I have done much more daring things.
As I made my way down Park Ave in search of a place to eat, I wondered what my experience would be like. Knowing I had a solo dinner reservation the following night at an extremely fancy restaurant, I figured there was no better time than the present to squash this fear.
I wanted something close and easy to my hotel, the Lombardy, which led me to a cute, little, outside restaurant next to a church, St. Bart’s. I could hear music and festive voices of a crowd who was obviously enjoying its evening. Thus, I ventured into this place known as Inside Park at St. Bart’s.
I took a look around the bar, but it was packed. There was a happy hour crowd of young professionals who were probably just beginning their career. The scene reminded me of working in downtown Boston with Erin and Sandra in our early twenties. We would oftentimes grab a drink after work in the city. This is what I thought of as I scanned the crowd. I opted for a table.
Although the bar was hopping with young twenty-somethings, the restaurant area attracted an older crowd — late 40s to 60s. It was an interesting contrast.
I scanned the menu and asked the waiter what he liked. I went with his salad recommendation, which I had been debating, but chose a different entree. I opted for a tomato, mozzarella and basil salad, followed by a half portion of seafood and linguine.
The mozzarella melted in my mouth and I thought, ‘God, everything tastes better in New York.’ Yes, it’s true. My pasta dish had lots of fish and less pasta. I was very pleased with the ratio as usually it is the other way around. However, the main course wasn’t my favorite New York dish. It was good, just not fabulous. I bet the burger my waiter recommended would have been a better choice at a happy hour venue.
This is an awesome spot to meet friends after work, relax, and unwind. The atmosphere is fun and trendy, while the scenery is gorgeous. The food is tasty, but not the best of the best in the city. It is a super happening place for young professionals to meet up and chill after a long day at the office. I would go back for the atmosphere — outside dining next to a pretty church and great people-watching.
Ironically, the next day, my friend, Erin, recommended Inside Park to me. She said it was a fun and trendy place. Not the best food, but it would still be tasty. It’s a place she would venture out to after work long before she started her family. And I just happened to discover it on my own… Not bad.
Tip: I sat down just after 9:00 p.m. A party of four arrived shortly after me and they were turned away. Go on the earlier side as they don’t serve dinner late.
I then strolled around a little more, snapped some pictures before my cell phone died, and was thankful I had looked up the hotel address at Inside Park. Otherwise, I would have been wandering around Park Avenue aimlessly looking for my hotel. When I returned, I was proud of myself for going out on the town, exploring, eating on my own, and enjoying my evening in the city.
A special thanks goes out to Mandi who convinced me to venture out… “Go take a walk and find a cool place, then blog about it. Don’t be afraid to eat alone. Everyone in NY does. Take your computer and type up your story Carry Bradshaw-style.” Thanks, Mandi, for the encouragement.
More NYC blogs from this trip:
- NYC: Let the Adventure Begin
- NYC: Asiate, a Restaurant with a Spectacular View
- NYC: Fun Times at Whiskey Park
- NYC: Eataly, an Italian Dream
- NYC: The Sketchy Subway
- NYC: 9/11 Memorial… Never Forget
- NY: Le Jardin Du Roi