Why Ina Garten Always Eats At The Bar

It's reasonable to assume that the most famous celebrity chefs prefer to eat at the most high-brow eateries. However, people like Ina Garten prove that isn't always the case. The Barefoot Contessa, known for her empire of cooking shows and cookbooks, revealed that she doesn't need to patronize the dining rooms of exclusive restaurants to find a good meal. When it comes to a night out, eating at the bar suits her just fine.

Speaking to Food Network, Garten said that she and her husband "like to eat dinner in a bar; the food is more casual." One of their favorite bars is attached to The Mark Hotel restaurant in New York City and owned by world-class chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. "We eat in the bar and have a glass of wine and a truffle pizza," continued Garten. "We love that. I don't need a big menu, there's always something delicious." The food options at bars are usually limited, which often means that more care is put into each dish. Meals and snacks also tend to be more straightforward, with a focus on quality and items that will go well with your drinks so you can relax.

Garten enjoys the casual vibe of bar food

There are more benefits to eating at the bar than just great food, as long as you choose the right location. Depending on how busy the bar is, it's likely you'll receive your food and drinks faster than you would if you were sitting at a normal table. This is because instead of waiting for the waiter to come to you, you can immediately tell the bartender when you're ready for another side, a dessert, or the check. Sitting at the bar is also more intimate than a booth or table, especially if you can snag seats on the corner or side of the bar. You and the person or people you're with will be side-by-side rather than across from each other, making bar seating perfect for date nights.

Plenty of new bars are popping up in 2023, which means there are tons of options for your next night on the town. Eating a meal at the bar helps you take control of the tempo and focus on the experience, so whether you're on a date or just enjoying your own company, take a page from Ina Garten's book and grab a stool instead of a chair.