I had to get over this pretty quickly when traveling by myself through Europe. Because, really, there wasn't much of an option. As soon as I hit Rome, and left all of my superb ship dining companions behind, I learned that it was going to be me, myself and I for quite some time and I better start enjoying it.
At first I was a little apprehensive. I'd bring along lots of goodies to keep me occupied during dinner. My little bag would be full of journals and guide books and other interesting reading material.
Once I did that once or twice, I realized I was kind of missing the point.
I really wanted to grow on this trip, push my comfort level, expand. I wasn't going to do that with my head buried in a book. So, I changed my approach and started taking myself on little solo date nights. Kind of fun getting all prettied up and heading out not knowing what the night would have in store. Things opened up for me at this point and I had a blast meeting lots of people from different parts of the world. An eye opening experience.
I will say that dining solo in Rome was easier than in Paris. Perhaps I was more comfortable in Rome, but it always felt more relaxed. Paris kept me on the edge of my seat quite a bit. Besides, I found that although there seemed to be a lot more solo diners in Paris, they kept to themselves quite a bit more.
On one of my last weekend's in Paris, I planned a special evening out. A date night... with myself. I hadn't had steak frites since I had arrived and decided that this was the night. Found a recommendation somewhere for a fantastic spot, le Relais de l'Entrecote, that really only had one thing on the menu. Steak frites. This came with a yummy walnut salad and a choice of wine and dessert. Other than that, the only thing you need to do is tell them how you want your steak cooked. Pretty simple.
There are several locations throughout Paris and the lines out the door can be long. If you go, go early or you will wait. I ended up getting (very) lost on my walk over, in the rain, and having to stand outside for quite awhile. Even that was fun as the people surrounding me were a pleasure to talk with. The place has a convivial, relaxed feel in a very french way. Traditional, pleasant service. The food was fabulous. There is this amazing sauce on the steak. I have no idea what is was, but it was really really good. The fries were fantastic as well.
(PS - I apologize for the quality of this picture. The soft romantic yellow light inside didn't help the photography situation.)
I had a wonderful time on my last real date night in Paris. The conversation at dinner was a lot of fun. I felt at ease and very comfortable with my new found ability to actually enjoy dining solo. I should say, that like in many spots in Paris, the tables were literally on top of each other, so engaging with others is definitely part of the experience. I would go back to this place in a heartbeat next time I am there, especially on a non solo date night as the food would be right up a certain someone's alley. Just a fun spot.
But the night isn't over yet.
Here's just a little taste of what's to come. Definitely one of my most memorable evenings on this trip! It is also a good thing that I ate a decent amount at dinner as little did I know I'd be out walking the streets of Paris until the wee hours of the morning.