Thanks for the many different threads on dining alone in Manhattan. I was here on business last night and after scouring many great chowhound recommendations, I settled on Babbo.
I was not disappointed! Thanks to 'hounds advice, I arrived before 7pm for a seat at the bar, had to wait about ten minutes for a seat, and found the host and bartenders very hospitable and helpful!
The bar was busy but extremely comfortable with many solo and couples dining. The food was simply outstanding, from the amuse bouche to the cheese plate dessert... and there was absolutely no rush. I enjoyed a leisurely and relaxed meal.
Conclusion - this is a GREAT spot to dine alone and enjoy superb food. I can't wait to go back and very much appreciate your recommendations!