This essay, about eating out alone, mostly stands the test of time.
I love eating alone (also, going to the movies alone), and always bring a book or some long article.
The service counter is a great tip to look for when dining alone.
Oddly enough, i just recently dined alone at a restaurant, not something i usually do but i had a gift card and it was lobster fest at the tigard red lobster.
I eat out alone a lot, and feel many of the same things.