Sharing at Restaurants

The first time Fred and I went out on a “real” date, we went for Chinese food in Brookline, MA.  During the meal, I reached across the table and starting eating off his plate.  He was shell-shocked as he had never shared the food on the plate or had a communal meal like that.  He obviously had a lot to learn.

There was a hilarious article this week titled “Are You Secretly Tired of Sharing at Restaurants?”  I am.  There are places that make sense to share.  Chinese food is a share situation.  Pizza (based on the size of the pie) is a shared situation.  Momofuko’s Bo Ssam is a shared situation.  All of these dishes are large and interactive and there is something about having that same experience together.

My brother and I have bemoaned the share for a while.  When I make a meal at home, it is pretty balanced.  Perhaps a salad, a vegetable, a starch or a second vegetable and a protein.  I don’t do four proteins, three salads and four vegetables.  I’d love to see a restaurant have the family share vs the small plate share.  The concept of the “small plate” is that the patron is lucky enough to taste all these different experiences and concepts that the chef is putting out.  Really?  You get one bite of each plate that is just truly a new way to serve Brussel Sprouts, and you end up eating just a bunch of random things that don’t even make sense together.

I would much rather go out for a nice dinner and have my own appetizer and my own main course.  I’m done with the small plate share.  I don’t want my palette finding itself all over the place.  Certainly, I can pick up my fork, lean across the table and take a bite of someone else’s meal but we really don’t have to share if you don’t want to.

Comments (Archived):

  1. LE

    Business wise it makes sense for restaurants to encourage sharing in certain situations. Why? Because there is more of a likelihood that someone will order an expensive dish or a dish that they don’t know, or an appetizer/dessert, if they feel that others might share it. That way you don’t feel wasteful. Or guilty for making a mistake. And how many times have you been with someone and not really wanted desert but when you found out the other person would have some of it (or vice versa) you ended up ordering? (Ditto for appetizer or soup).

  2. Sofia Papastamelos

    AMEN! I am so tired of splitting a bacon wrapped date between three people and paying $10 a bite. Getting tired of the shared plate trend.

  3. Kirsten Lambertsen

    That image is *exactly* the image that comes to mind when I think about “sharing at restaurants.” Ha!

  4. Pointsandfigures

    Spanish tapas, great share. French bistro-not a great share. But, you can have a bite.

  5. AMT Editorial Staff

    We like sharing when we order too much!