Discovering that great hole in the wall place, finally getting to eat at the hot four star bistro, or simply becoming a regular at a favorite restaurant so that the waiter has the drinks coming before he has even greeted the table are all exciting moments in dining out. Food lovers and restaurant patrons go out to eat not only for the amazing food (and night off from cooking) but for the unique experience that dining out provides. Dining out moments run a gamut as wide as the many different types of food eateries, but take a look at the top ten.
1. A first date at an amazing fine dining restaurant.
Candles on the table, white tablecloths, and at least three different forks set the mood for romance. Treating a date to the best of the best makes anyone feel special and loved.
2. Crossing over from repeat guest to recognized regular
Having a favorite local haunt where the food is consistently superb is one thing, but being recognized by name is another. Once the staff knows one’s name and favorite order it adds the ultimate touch of comfort and hospitality to any meal.
3. Closing the place down
Going out to eat can be as much about community as it is about the food. When the perfect balance of excellent food is paired with delightful company, one can easily get so lost in the meal and conversation that suddenly hours have flown and they are the last guests to leave. Experiences like this are remembered for a lifetime, and often reminisced about.
4. Treated as an insider
Many restaurants may have special dishes off the menu that only those in the know are aware of. Getting a tip to request a special item, or even better, being offered one of these special treats boosts a diner’s status from everyday patron to respected insider. There is nothing a foodie loves more than being offered something exclusive.
5. A dining discovery
In the modern world of online reviews, check-ins, and dining apps it may be thought that everything there is to know about eating out is already out there. And yet there are still those moments of happy accident where a hidden culinary gem is found, perhaps on a trip or simply by good luck. It is exciting to feel like the discoverer of this unknown talent and delight, and even more so to share that find with others.
6. Ritual meals
Is every Sunday morning met with brunch with friends, or is Tuesday evening taco night? Whatever the ritual and wherever it takes place the joy of that moment extends all day as there is a known dining out delight awaiting you. And as soon as it ends, simply look forward to it happening again the following week.
7. A food trip
Many food lovers plan vacations around where to eat, with meals mapped out well before leaving home after many hours of research. Experiencing local cuisine is always best when the time has been taken to research where the locals like to eat it.
8. A first Mother’s Day brunch
Not until one has experienced parenting and all the work that goes into it can a single meal out be so appreciated. Someone else cooks and cleans, sounds like heaven to a mom.
9. Anything in New Orleans
Few cities have such a love and passion for food, as well as the historical roots. Here is where bananas foster, the muffaletta, BBQ shrimp, the po’boy and more were invented. Hundred year old restaurants are the norm, and cocktails are a must with every meal (even breakfast).
10. Celebrating with an amazing meal
The big promotion was landed, the wedding date was set, or a myriad of other life achievements, either way nothing says celebration like a dinner out. In celebratory mode the meal starts with cocktail and appetizers and stretches to dessert and after dinner drinks. Long lingering moments savoring tasty morsels while feeling high on life, it doesn’t get any better than that.
Kelly Watson is a professional blogger that writes on a variety of topics including Miami restaurants. She writes for Restaurants.com, a leading restaurant search directory of fine dining establishments.