On a trip to California's Napa Valley a few years ago, we were dying to try out Bistro Jeanty but were disappointed that the charming French restaurant was booked. But not to worry, the hostess told us. The front section of the restaurant has a large community table, where strangers can dine together on a first-come, first-served basis.
We stopped in and had one of the most amazing dining experiences of our trip and met some new friends as well.
The idea of community tables has not caught on in Houston, where diners are loathe to share a table with people they don't know. But as the month-long Houston Restaurant Weeks nears a close, CultureMap has come up with the idea to help change that attitude.
We've dubbed this Monday night CultureMap Community Table Night and selected four Houston restaurants that offer a community table in their main dining room. We're fanning out to each restaurant, along with Cleverley Stone, host of The Cleverley Show on Talk 650 (Saturdays Noon-2 p.m.) and founder and chair of Houston Restaurant Weeks, to host a community table at each selected location.
If you want to join us, here's what you do: Call the restaurant and request a place at the "CultureMap Community Table." Then show up at 7 p.m. Monday.
Each participating restaurant offers a delectable multi-course Restaurant Weeks meal for $35 (with $5 going to the Houston Food Bank). Guests are responsible for their tab, including food, drinks, gratuity and tax. We'll provide the scintilating conversation!
Dining options include:
- Benjy's on Washington, hosted by associate editor (food) Sarah Rufca and assistant editor (arts/entertainment and food/drink) Caroline Gallay. Call (713) 868-1131. Click here for Houston Restaurant Weeks menu.
- RDG + Bar Annie, hosted by editor-at-large Shelby Hodge. Call (713) 840-1111. Click here for HRW menu.
- Eddie V's City Center, hosted by editor-in-chief Clifford Pugh and Cleverley Stone, host of The Cleverley Show. Call (832) 200-2380. Click here for HRW menu.
- The Tasting Room City Centre, hosted by listings editor and writer (arts/entertainment and food/drink) Joel Luks. Call (281) 822-1500. Click here for HRW menu.