1 a) I have a good group of friends whom I would like to enjoy and spend time with
2 a) I am living in a city with fantastic food, lots of it even within walking distance
1 b) I would like to get to know my friends better, and expand my circle of friends
2 b) I never venture beyond the same few places to eat
3) Dinner Club!
In January, I sent out an email to my friends proposing a "Exploring Food" dinner series, where we would try a new restaurant close by once a month, or every few weeks. People were just free to come if they could make it.
I was a little nervous, because if nobody wanted to go eat with me it was going to be pretty lonely sitting by myself with a menu. It's a little like asking someone out on a date, I imagine. Will anybody like me?
And wouldn't you know, our inaugural dinner we had nine people! We had to push two tables together. In my head I was going, Yay - they like me!
Our first place was an Ethiopian restaurant, which is a kind of food I'd never tried. It turns out that they serve the food on a big huge platter (well, two platters for nine of us...). They put down a layer of teff tortillas, and then put piles of food clumped on top.
Then they hand out towels to wipe your hands. "Huh?" I wondered, "I guess that's a nice gesture." But soon it all became clear. The staff brought out piles of more tortillas, and the way you eat is to tear of pieces of bread and pick up the food with the bread and your fingers.
We all loved it. Of course it didn't hurt that the restaurant also makes it own wine out of honey, and a bottle of that gave us each half a glass to try. All in all, quite a success!
Tonight was the second outing. This time there were seven of us, and we went to a seafood/grill place. Again, the conversation was good, the food was good, and I got several suggestions for the next place people wanted to visit.
I'm very excited about this dinner club, and I'm especially pleased that so many of my friends have expressed interest. I imagine the group will always be a little different each time, depending on people's schedules, so it'll be a new adventure each time.
And what's not to like about that?