Dinner for one can feel a little lonely, but at any of the following bars you can count on intensely satisfying non-pub grub and good conversation with your newfound bartender buddy.
Call it a gastro-vinateria. If you’ve gotta have a burger, the lamb sliders with date ketchup are a fresh, grown-up riff on the drive-thru staple. But where else in town can you get grilled octopus with fried chickpeas and wash it down with a glass of Pinot Gris on tap?
The National Exemplar
Technically a hotel bar, the 1920s Tudor revival style feels anything but HoJo. The aged paneling, fireplaces, and half-timbered ceiling make this one of the coziest spots for food and drink in town. Tuck into the braised beef short ribs with barley, glazed carrots, and hazelnut gremolata.
Slowly savor a bowl of agnolotti with sunchokes or tagliatelle with Bolognese sauce at this Sycamore Street mainstay while bartenders eagerly expound on the heavily Italian wine list, stocked with gems aplenty.
Ready to get a little rowdy? Grab your noisy crew and stake out the kiln seating for some virtually soundproof socializing. Munch on the candied bacon and truffle-flavored deviled eggs but save plenty of room for the Berkshire pork belly.
The kitchen is confident that the barflies who nosh at this favorite French restaurant come for the food. While the foie gras torchon, surf and turf tartar, and skate wings bathed in vinegar sauce are all top-shelf, many also come back for longtime bartender Jeannie Murray’s signature joie de vivre.
Originally published in the March 2014 issue.