HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >


dining group problem

Once a month my husband and i go out to dinner with four other couples. We have been doing this for a year plus and love it. Pne couple a month decide where we are going to go. Several times certain places have been chosen and the rest of the group has said no. Applebees comes to mind. Anyway the august choice is a fusion sushi restaurant. Think rolls with serranos and lots of sauces. I have eaten there and i like it. I love traditional sushi also, but admit to loving a fusion roll. However, the group is now polarized and i am the swing vote. Two couples dont want to, one of which said emphatically no way. But when we go to mexican restaurants and there is cheddar cheese over everything they dont mind. I really dont want to piss off my group but i feel like they are being snobs. I love that we do this, and i have definately gone some places i would never go on my own choice. Im voting for yes on the fusion place (they have great sushi and sashimi that isnt fused) but im bristling at their attitude.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I would go and support the couple who chose the fusion sushi restaurant. If the others do not want to go, that's fine....they can wait for the next get together.

    1. I don't think a dinner group that would consider Applebees (really???) or "Mexican" covered with cheddar (really???) could be considered snobbish in any way, shape or form.

      If you want to try the fusion place, say "I want to try the fusion place". With your head held high.

      Hope you have a great dining experience.

      3 Replies
      1. re: pedalfaster

        My budget is not unlimitless, and this is about us getting together. I admit to my own food snobberies and am actually glad that you made me become aware of them. Im yucking someones yum. I just want this group to be happy together because i enjoy it. Sidenote.. the applebees thing was from our youngest couple, there was a 'great deal' and they feel like this is balanced more towards our group being together. I respect that

        1. re: Goatjunky

          >My budget is not unlimitless
          wow, that's an impressive expression ...
          or "not lacking in non-unimpressiveness", if you prefer.
          a quad negative?

      2. In a group, you don't always get your preference . Support the person's right to choose.

        1 Reply
        1. It's a big enough group that if one or two couples skip, you're fine. I'd pick what you want. The only time I'd say pick differently is for religious or allergen issues.

          1. Put your choices in a hat or bowl, pick one out and that resolves playing sides.

            1. I htink that at the begining of the month everyone should put their ideas in a bowl and you select from them. then there is no hurt feelings

              1 Reply
              1. re: girloftheworld

                We belonged to a food & wine group of about 6 couples. Almost every month, through straight rotation, one couple would host the dinner, and set the theme. One person would ONLY go for big Cal-Cabs, and did not want anything else.

                My desire was to break away from Cal-Chards and Cal-Cabs, though they can be quite good. When it was my turn, we did the wines of the Rhône, the wines of Spain, the non-fortified wines of Portugal, etc..

                Luckily, we had enough folk, so that if some did not want to participate, or were traveling, we still had a quorum.

                Good luck,


              2. I would go for it. Maybe you can convince those hold-outs, that there IS other food out there.

                I was confronted by similar, with my Wine & Food Society group, in that I wanted to introduce other members to great Rosé wines. Many resisted, until I hosted an event, and the first three starters WERE Rosés. They could try them, or have zero. Next thing that I knew, they put together a Rosé tasting. "Sometimes the magic works, and sometimes it does not."

                If things do not work out perfectly, then they can make up for it the next month.

                Good luck, and if it does not work out, tell them that it is Bill Hunt's fault.


                8 Replies
                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  I'm curious as to why your friends initially shunned Rosés. That type of wine is pretty respected in many oenophile circles. Kudos for showing them the light.

                  1. re: globocity

                    Not just "friends," but many wine-drinkers who I knew.

                    I think that many still attached the stigma, of White Zinfandel, to any "pink wine," and refused to even taste them, as they considered all such, as unrefined.

                    It took me years to even get some fairly serious wine drinkers to taste them. Most were from my generation, but were still hung up on White Zinfandels.

                    For me, it is about the flavors, and I could care less about the color, the label, or any stigma. Heck, I have a Gigondas, that looks light pink, until one tastes it - tastes like an Hermatige, at the very least - the color does not belie the flavors, or the body.


                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                      Not an oenophile in any way, shape, nor form, but I wanted to say that I was first introduced to dry "pink" wine via Champagne (a brut rose).

                      I tend to dislike "sweet" anything, and this was a pleasant mind-opener for me.

                      1. re: pedalfaster

                        For me, that is still a go-to wine, with so many foods. Champagne is so often overlooked as "a wine," and is relegated to JUST celebrations. I think otherwise - while good for celebrations, it pairs well with many foods.

                        Good point, and glad to hear that the Brut Rosé was your starting point. I will not tell you mine, but then, I have moved on... [Grin]


                      2. re: Bill Hunt

                        I love rosés. I don't really know why, but when warmer weather rolls around in May and June, I particularly crave pink wines. I somehow really enjoy them in the summer...with cold poached salmon, salads, and so many of the lighter foods that we enjoy when the weather gets warm. Of course we enjoy many of the dry rosés from the south of France, but many of the dry rosés of pinot noir from California and Oregon (which has many great pinots) are especially delicious.

                        Hunt, I'd love to know what wine was your starting point. One of the most knowledgeable oenophiles I know started out on Lancer's Rosé and some G-d awful sweet Italian wine whose name eludes me at the moment. It's not where you start out that matters...it's where you finally arrive!

                        1. re: josephnl

                          not hunt, but i'll confess: i was chugging boone's farm in the woods while in high school and had more than a few sips of yago sangria in college.

                          am certified level 3 with the wset and am under study for advanced level 3 with the court of master sommeliers. lol.

                        2. re: Bill Hunt

                          Ahhh yes the association of the (Beringer) White Zinfandel makes sense. Thank you.

                          1. re: globocity

                            LOL That brings back memories of my very long ago ex-husband. I can't even look at a bottle of Beringer White Zin in the liquor store without a cringe.

                    2. Either way you are going to piss off someone, two couples for, two against. So go with your gut. You've been there and enjoyed it.

                      I guess the snobishness is that the naysayers are sticklers for traditional sushi?

                      Your group needs to set a ground rule that either majority rules (3 out of 5) and the others have to be good sports and try it, or one veto and you move on to another restaurant. It doesn't really matter which you choose, as long as the rule is established and you don't have to argue about this every month.

                      1. Would they really get pissed? That seems a little extreme.

                        1. How about some plain communication between friends? :)

                          "Hey, Dawn-Ann and Bluto, the restaurant that Gertrude and Jedediah picked is really quite nice, I think you'd both love <dish A> and <dish B>. Here's a copy of the menu; they're happy to leave the toppings/sauce off rolls if you ask. We'd really love for you to try it with us but if you can't, we'll see you next month. Luv, goatie."

                          (ETA: I don't mind fusion rolls but the freakin toppings/sauces are often a deal-breaker for me lol.)

                          1. Sounds like you've already made up your mind. Does that mean that one or two of the couples won't be coming, and they're going to hold it against you? Or will they come anyway, for the sake of the group (and hold it against you)?

                            1. If someone was really really against a place for whatever reason I think I would just pick a different spot, then go enjoy that restaurant with my date later. The only thing worse than bad food is company that is bitter about being there eating the food.

                              1. I've been in a similar situation. If any couple of the group refuses that couple probably shouldn't be in such a group. I can understand that for a dinner group Applebee's might not be what most here would have in mind. My thought would be if I have to go to their Applebee's then they have to go to my fusion sushi place. Otherwise, someone can just sit it out or drop from the group. Life is too short.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: HoosierFoodie

                                  But they never went to Applebee's. The group vetoed it.

                                  1. re: dmjordan

                                    That's not the point. My point was about doing everyone participating for the sake of the group. Or, bail, either one.

                                2. To me it depends why the couple who doesn't want to go feels so strongly. Have they heard terrible things about it from someone whose tastes aligns with theirs? Is it more money than you usually spend? Does the food just sound really awful to them or they've had similar cuisine and just plain dislike it?

                                  I really resent spending money on restaurants I know from the get-go I won't enjoy, so i see their point. But if up until now this hasn't been a group decision, then it's hard to draw a line in the sand now.

                                  Are the Applebees suggestors the ones who are pushing back on this choice?

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: LeoLioness

                                    "Are the Applebees suggestors the ones who are pushing back on this choice?"

                                    I was wondering this... sometimes groups can get lopsided... my parents supper group can be like this because my mom has teacher friends and my dad has tech friends.. teacher friends sometimes cant afford what the tech people can..but sometimes the tech people are less adveturesome...

                                    they also use Survey Monkey to send out an email of places
                                    this helps keep things annoymous.

                                    on the really expensive places my mom has been lucky enough to get special group chef tastings at special prices

                                  2. What I don't get is, one couple a month decide where you are going to go. So why does anyone else have the right to say anything about it. It's not a democratic vote, from what I'm understanding.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: coll

                                      One can be sensitive to other's likes and dislikes. Usually makes for a more harmonious gathering. But from what I have ascertained, this is as much eating as socialising. And it is your time to pick. I trust that the place will have non-roll options. Send them all the website for the menu and tell them this is your choice.

                                      Unless it is your boss that is saying "hell no".

                                    2. I think the rules should be modified so that if you rotate the choices between 5 couples the choice they make should not be subject to a vote. However, specific dietary requirements of members of the group should be honored. If you have a vegetarian in the group, the chosen restaurant should have some vegetarian choices...and you wouldn't pick "The Whole Pig Rib Joint" if your group includes an observant Jew or Moslem. Otherwise, the month's choice should not be subject to a veto!

                                      1. if you want to, then go.

                                        what is the objection from the couple who doesn't want to? have been out to sushi places with people who were terrified of raw fish. there are plenty of cooked options.

                                        part of belonging to a dinner group is stretching your wings.

                                        1. I think you need to clarify the rules with this group. Everyone should get a turn to pick a restaurant. For example if you have 5 couples in the group you should not be able to repeat a type of cuisine until each couple in the group has picked a restaurant. Or have a meeting a draw up a list of acceptable restaurants with acceptable budget before all this decision making commences.

                                          1. Well..I think the key statement in your post is this "several times certain places have been chosen and the rest of the group has said NO". So..you've set a precedent here. Why should some get to say NO but not others. I agree that the rules of your group need to be changed. If one couple picks..then one couple picks. This means no voting after the fact..otherwise you wind up with a situation like you are in. If you are the deciding vote..it sounds like your group is pretty split.
                                            At this point you all need to decide what is the most important objective of your group outing. If the most important objective is to spend time together as a group and have fun..then there needs to be consensus on the restaurant choice...otherwise you are going to have two couples who are spending money on a meal that they don't really care for.
                                            There are certain cuisines that I simply don't care for. Sushi is one of them.
                                            I think it is somewhat unfair of them to put the deciding vote on you. After all..you are all adults and should be able to discuss this. If my friends did that to me..I would pick option #3...a restaurant of MY choosing :-)

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: BlueMagic

                                              so youre the one always making things even more complicated haha

                                            2. That's kind of stubborn and pigheaded on their part to be so adamant about not wanting to go there. That's kind of the spirit of the get togethers I would assume, to go outside of your comfort zone and trying some other places you wouldn't normally go to.

                                              1. I would position it this way -- you are not the swing vote; you are simply one of 3 couples who voted yes in a 3-2 vote. Why should you bear any more anxiety than either of the other two who voted yes? I would try not to get into any discussion about the votes themselves, nor feel any responsibility to show them the menu or potential choices from it. By the same token, people should feel comfortable skipping a month without being judged for that.

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: sweethooch

                                                  Thank you for all the supportive comments. We just went, had a nice night, AND discussion about how to choose. Funny thing is the most anti fusion sushi couple just ate about 6 pieces of rolls with jalapeno and eel sauce

                                                    1. re: Goatjunky

                                                      Green eggs and ham springs to mind.

                                                      1. re: Goatjunky

                                                        HA!! happy ending.

                                                        hope everybody in the group keeps this as a lesson for maintaining an open mind.

                                                          1. re: Goatjunky

                                                            I never did get this straight from the thread. Were the couple against the fusion sushi place against it because it was not 'authentic' sushi or because it was sushi?

                                                        1. I would vote based on what you want to do. <go for it>