NEW YORK — Carolyn Bongiorno has always been down for an adventure.

On the night we spoke with her, she decided to treat herself to dinner for one at Balthazar in Soho. She said it helps ease stress from her job.

"I work in Brooklyn for the Unified Court System,” Bongiorno said. “I’ve been employed by the courts for over 28 years.”

She chose to dine alone — without her husband, son or a friend — because she wanted some alone time.

What You Need To Know

  • Seven Rooms, a restaurant management system, found the number of people dining alone at NYC restaurants doubled in the past year

  • Clinical Psychologist Dr. Jessica Stern from NYU Langone Health says spending time by yourself can build confidence

  • New Yorkers we spoke with said dining solo helping them unwind

"I would like to say I dine out by myself maybe twice in a month and it is a part of my ‘me time’ and it's a good feeling. It really is,” Bongiorno said. “It's certainly a winding down process.”

Bongiorno said she has gained an even greater appreciation for Balthazar after its owner, Keith McNally, posted a picture on Instagram of steak frites and wine.

She left a comment saying, “I guess since I dine solo a lot, I'd have to sit at the bar. Reservation for one required?”

The owner replied, "Just because you often eat alone doesn't mean you have to sit at the bar." 

In fact, she learned solo diners at this restaurant are offered a glass of wine on the house. 

"I personally know of many, many solo diners that are repeat customers,” Maitre D, Zouheir Louhaichy said. "If it's busy, we tend to go out of our way to try to seat solo diners as fast as we can."

A report called The Solitude Project found, "If people freely choose to be alone, they can feel relaxed and reduce stress." 

Clinical Psychologist Dr. Jessica Stern from NYU Langone Health said spending time by yourself can build confidence.

"To be able to be comfortable with yourself and to like yourself and to feel good to spend time in your own company, it could be a really profound experience in getting to know yourself better,” Stern said.

"I don't see why everyone can't have that level of confidence,” Bongiorno said. "This is what my soul needed, just a little bit of rest, a little time to kick back and enjoy.”

Bongiorno looks forward to her next dinner for one.