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May 30, 2011 07:25 AM

Making New Friends When Dining

This does not happen to me all the time. I am starting this topic because we ended up making friends with a couple seated next to us in a fancy Italian restaurant in the North End. I went to the bathroom. When I came back my hubby and the other man [Mike] were chatting it up. We all returned to eating. When their check came, we started talking again....ended up exchanging numbers....we all ended up spending the last day of our vacation together.
To be a bit more clear, both my hubby and I are very gregarious people. That being said, I hope you don't get the impression that we are intruding into private conversations when we go to 5 star restaurants. I think of it this way; people give off more body language than verbal. My hubby and myself, Linda and Mike [the other couple] picked up from each other that we were open to conversation. In short, they're now coming to visit us next month in the city.
Has this happened to anyone else? Or has anyone found love this way? :}

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  1. We had the same thing happen to us many years ago in Venice at a casual wine bar. Ended up spending the evening with the other couple but it was just a one night thing. We also once stayed at a farmhouse in France that also served dinner. The service was very strange and disjointed so we ended up talking to a French couple and having some good laughs. We invited them to have some cognac with us after dinner--they suggested we offer a glass to the couple that owned the place, they accepted and then left us the key to the restaurant, telling us to lock up and drop it in the mail slot when we were done. Stayed up a little too late but had a great time. No romance involved though.

    2 Replies
    1. re: escondido123

      Years ago, before i got married to my husband, we went to Paris together. we were dining and we started to chat with this Japanese lady who was there with her boss on a business trip.
      Since then we became good friends...we went to visit her in Osaka where she is from and gave us a wonderful tour of Osaka and Kyoto.

      1. re: escondido123

        We had the same problem with service; that definitely may have contributed to this situation. Great food but slow as s**t:}

      2. I was dining in a restaurant many years ago with my father when his health was in decline, but even though he had no appetite, he had longed for some dishes served at this restaurant, so the two of us were there. with 10 or so items ordered for the two of us. Adjacent to us were an elderly couple who were looking over at the amount of food ordered and innocently mentioned we must be very hungry, or celebrating something important.......I indicated it was the latter. They also said that the food looked very interesting and asked what each dish was.......I don't recall what the dishes were, but I'm sure I gave them the dishes names and they thanked me, saying they never knew what to order whenever they came to the restaurant......after a couple of minutes, I could see them still peering over at the table and the food, so I said they had to try the dishes and invited them over to our table and insisted they had to help us eat the food. They accepted, and we had a very pleasant meal and conversation together.....all while my father was visibly and obviously in discomfort. They thanked me and insisted they would like to return the favor and take us out to dinner on another evening. We said that was not necessary, but they insisted we accept, otherwise they would feel terrible for we accepted and met out another night, and also few more times afterwards. This relationship lasted for six months until my father could no longer go out to eat due to his health. About a year after my father's passing, I entered another restaurant and the couple saw me (first), and invited me to join them. I accepted, they asked about my dad and I told them he had passed peacefully at home with his family beside him. They gave me condolences and we shared some nice stories. At the end of the meal, they graciously said they were surprised by my gesture to originally invite them to our table and share dinner with complete strangers.....they were truly thankful for having the opportunity to meet me and my father........but really, it was I , who was thankful that they accepted and befriended me and my father to make our difficult times more comforting.

        8 Replies
        1. re: fourunder

          that is such a sweet story fourunder.... thanks for it.

          1. re: mariacarmen


            thanks for the kind words.....I'll admit it brought a tear to my eyes when I

            1. re: fourunder

              I too enjoyed your story and I thank you for that.
              Your father was a true foodie.

              1. re: Monica


                thanks for the kind words as well...My father owned four restaurants, all four running for over 20 years for over 40 years.

          2. re: fourunder

            thank you so much for sharing your story. i was deeply touched by it

            1. re: fourunder

              I didn't expect to tear up like that, thank you for sharing that wonderful story fourunder.

              1. re: Niblet


                Maybe I should submit to Reader's Digest......:0)

            2. Year ago my ex and I were at a lobster pier in Maine. Table space was scarce and somehow we ended up sharing a table with another couple. The conversation was great and there were a lot of mutual interests. They invited us to their campsite for s'mores later that evening.

              We ended up staying in touch for many years. We visited them when we were in their city for business. We joined them in the Keys on vacation too. It was a wonderful serendipitous meeting!

              Over the years they split up and we split up - all amicably. But the changes in partners and new directions resulted in the friendship slipping away.

              1. Does eating hot dogs in the bleachers at Fenway Park count? 'Cause that's how I met my husband 22 years ago.

                We have met other families in restaurants and pubs a few times and had additional meals together, but none of the friendships were lasting, mainly due to geography.

                1. Not a long acquaintance, but a happy memory: Paris, spring, my first night in town, a solo dinner at an outside table at a bistro in the 4th, a nice little place that served good food AND was right on the Seine. At the next table on one side of me was an American actor who was visiting a friend who lived in Paris. We got started talking. The conversation was then picked up by a gentleman on my other side who was Swedish. Pleasant evening, broke up, Swede said how about a walk and a drink. So I said yes. Lovely walk, nice drink. He was an observer at the disarmament talks then going on and quite interesting.

                  No, Nothing Happened. He walked me back to my nearby hotel and said if he didn't have to leave town the next day, he'd call and we'd have dinner. He didn't, and that was fine. It was just a lovely interlude like something out of a film.