Who would have guessed when I was growing up that going to dinner at a restaurant would one day be such a delightful event in my life?
I think the only time my parents ever went to a restaurant was when they traveled - and that didn't happen often (at least until they were well into middle-age). They spent Saturday nights often at friends' for dinner, and they entertained a lot themselves, but actually going to a restaurant was rare. In fact, there were not many restaurants around in the 50s and 60s. I remember Rem & Mils on Newtown Lane, and Judges out on the highway where the VFW is now. And there was the Spring Close House, and a place called "The Out of This World Inn" in Wainscott. But that was about it, other than soda fountain type places. So I suppose it wasn't a normal thing for people to eat out much. But times have surely changed! Now there's a restaurant on every corner and more choices than anyone could possibly need!
Cooking complete meals for a family of six for nearly thirty years has worn me out in the cooking department. I don't mind doing it occasionally but not on a nightly basis. These days we tend to eat lighter and simpler too. So I don't cook all that often. But I love going to a restaurant for dinner.
I think part of the fun is going with friends, which is our normal routine. It becomes more of a social event then and the meal is part of the whole. We can talk about our food choices, compare flavors, make comments on the bread or wine (not that I drink it, but the others do. I wouldn't know the difference between a Merlot and a Chianti if my life depended on it!) and beyond the meal do lots of catching up and talking about life in general. A good meal, well prepared and full of flavor, in combination with an evening spent with good friends just talking, is one of my favorite past times.
We don't do it that often but when we do I love it. There isn't much more basic in life than good friends, good conversation, and good food. It's what makes life the pleasure that it is.