Saturday, April 5, 2008

Communal Table Dining

I had breakfast at the SoHo branch of Le Pain Quotidien a couple weeks ago. It is one of the many restaurants in New York City that offers communal table dining. I love the idea of sharing the table with total strangers, especially when I am eating alone, because I get to meet all sorts of people. But the restaurant does have smaller tables for those who do not want to dine with strangers.

So what is your opinion of communal table dining?

23 comments:

Sonia said...

Le Pain Quotidien looks a place very agreeable and charming.

About communal table dining I think if the table is larger and comfortable, it's OK.

Anonymous said...

I recently enjoyed lunch in downtown Nashville, at a restaurant which featured southern specialties and only communal dining. It was wonderful. I shared the table with a pair of tourists from Kansas, an attorney, two neurosurgeons, a city employees and a a Vanderbilt math professor. The conversation was lively and the laughter infectious. It is unlikely any of us would have met under different conditions, and it was a treat to have shared our common meal.

Chuck Pefley said...

Communal dining can be fun, but it's nice to have an option as in this case. Sometimes I'm simply looking for a corner to myself and. However, a bottle of nice wine on the communal breakfast table would soothe the stranger introductions. (Oh, that's not wine? It's water?) -:) I like the look of this place. Nice post, Ming.

Grand Life said...

I'll put this on my "must eat at" for the visit in September.
Beautiful picture. Thanks
Judy

b13 said...

I did this at Republic in Manhattan (Asian noodle house). Good experience.

Le Pain Quotidien looks nice. I'll have to go one day.

alice said...

I didn't know this idea but I do think it's a great one! And, seeing the name of this restaurant, the bread is be good, I guess!

oldmanlincoln said...

I just thought eating around the same table or sharing a table was so common to not even mention. In a land where you don't know you neighbors I suppose this is a big thing.

Your photography is very nice. Nice post.

I posted my hospital experiences this morning. Hope you can read them.

Abraham Lincoln in Brookville, Ohio

Kitty said...

I really love that place, but so rarely go. I love the decor. Country French.
great photo, Ming!

Paz said...

The idea of the communal table dining is nice.

Paz

Jilly said...

I love this idea too, Ming. This looks a great place. Love the photo. Looks so fresh and clean and doubtless full of healthy food.

citygirl15 said...

Love the idea of communal tables....it's a great way to meet people, especially in New York.

AND, of course you know I love Le Pain.

DeeDee said...

I for one think it a grand idea..reminds me of the old "boarding house" gathering...In Little Women...Jo met her true love at just such a communal table...I do so enjoy your post...Dee Dee

marley said...

I prefer sitting with people I know. Only because they aren't shocked by my eating habits and lack of table manners!!

Sara said...

Having traveled a lot - mostly alone - I would love it if more restaurants had communal dining tables. It is a wonderful experience - if you are open to it - where one can learn about the people in the city you are visiting.

It is such fun to be able to enjoy a wonderful meal and be able to say to someone "isn't this great?!!!"

I've only been to one restaurant - Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House - in Savannah, Ga where all the tables are communal dining. Not only are they communal dining - but, the meal is served family style! It's one price - same food for everyone! The tables are big - and the lines are long to get in.

delightful-d said...

I enjoy communal dining also! At the MN State fair there is a Church dining hall that offers communal dining and we always make a point to meet the guests we are dining with. This is a very fun and interesting way to spend an hour or so!

teahouse said...

Yeah, communal dining, much like communal bathing, is not always that great. But it's good that Le Pain Quotidien gives people the option.

Nathalie said...

I'm all for communal dining for those who feel like it. I must check if Avignon has any restaurants offering such an option!

lv2scpbk said...

I like this photo. Love how you took the photo.

Joy said...

I loved NYC when I visited. We hardly ate at restos, but greatly enjoyed having picnics everywhere - buying our food from the best deli we've ever visited!

Communal eating is only enjoyable for me if it's not with 'funny' strangers.

Thanks for visiting Norwich Daily Photo and leaving your comments. Have a great week ahead!


joy
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tigerfish said...

Wooo...lots of communal table dining in Hong Kong! I wonder if you will like it :P

Jun said...

hmm... i've nvr heard of the concept of communal dining in restaurants till now. dunno wat to make of it, but sure sounds interesting!

picked up any hot chicks yet? ;P

• Eliane • said...

PQ is very nice, although it is not exactly as if people really mingle there. I've been a couple of times at night and I found it very nice to see an eldery woman or an old man, eating alone but surrounded by people.

ศศิณันญ said...

I'd like same you because I love to meet many people around there and also can share idea to another people anymore.