Posts tagged ‘dining ‘

Communal Tables: Jump right in

Communal tables, common at many popular Chicago restaurants, make me uncomfortable. I found myself at a dreaded communal table while dining with my family at Little Italy’s newest offering, Davanti Enoteca. How can you carry on a conversation within your party, comment on your food, and eat with gusto, knowing your opinions and eating habits are within sight and hearing distance of a group of strangers? Or do you edit yourself?

Usually, I find myself sitting up straighter, a little more careful with my table manners and servings, and more reserved with my tone—not the makings of a comfortable evening. Tonight was a little different; the restaurant was noisy and everyone had to speak up to be heard. Or perhaps because the waiter pointed to our side of the table when our fellow diners inquired of the evening’s special. Maybe because I had a BiG glass of wine with dinner. But probably because the conversation at the other end of the table was so freaking interesting…I couldn’t resist but, “excuse me,” jump in.

And I’m so glad I did. We talked about a soon-to-air remake of the classic, Mildred Pierce (Joan Crawford vs. Kate Winslet!) and traded stories about their craving for a particular thin crust pizza, which by coincidence is less than a mile from my parents’ house. Conversation was short and sweet, and after the bill was paid we said goodbye. However, the outcome was exactly what restaurants desired from a communal table–interaction.

Communal tables are still not my first choice of seating, but next time I’m in the same situation, I’ll skip the self-editing, and jump right in.


2 comments March 21, 2011

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