5 Reasons to Dine Out Alone
Recently while in San Francisco for business I found myself flying solo for dinner when my client had to cancel at the last minute. So, after some fast and furious SF Eater stalking I decided to give Trestle a call to see if they could fit me in for dinner that evening. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they could accommodate a party of one for 8:00 pm that evening.
Trestle is a casual fine-dining establishment with a three-course menu that changes nightly based on local, seasonal ingredients. The best part, it’s only $38 a person! Now, while I can tell that what I had for dinner was delicious, I’m only able to share one photo because I decided to challenge myself to an evening without screens. Yes, that’s right folks, I spent an entire dinner dining alone without taking photos of my meal, checking social media or texting.
I’ll be honest, it was f*ing hard!! At the same time, it was just as liberating. It also forced me to spend time observing the world around me and being present and in the moment. Why should I spend my entire evening looking at everyone else’s life on Instagram when I could be living my own? As a result, it was one of the most fantastic dinners I’ve had this year and I managed to keep my phone in my purse the entire evening.
So, without further ado here are my top five reasons why dining out by yourself can be beneficial for your soul:
A restaurant is the perfect environment for using all five of your senses to experience the world around you. Not only will you be able to taste your food better but you’ll have time to soak up the restaurant décor, observe and smell everything around you and listen to everyone’s conversations.
If you’re dining along, your waiters are more apt to try and get to know you as a person and not just as a diner stopping in. They staff quickly learned that I was here on a short business trip from Chicago and wasted no time shoving their shy host over to tell me about his experience working at Owen and Engine and Fat Rice in Chicago. They were super attentive to me throughout the evening and when it came to dessert brought me a sweet Moscato on the house!
In a small restaurant like Trestle tables are often seated very close together so it can be a chance to get to know your fellow diners (if you’re interested). The couple sitting next to me ended up striking up a conversation with me by asking if I’d ever been to Trestle before. They quickly learned I was visiting on business and gave me a whole list of places to try next time I was in town. I also learned that they currently live on the Big Island of Hawaii and run an Air BnB property which they invited me to check out should I ever be in town!
It’s a great chance to check-in with yourself and daydream a little bit. When I’m bored I often find myself turning to my phone to entertain me, but there are studies that prove that it’s beneficial to be bored! These days we all pacify ourselves with our technology, including our children, and it’s ruining our imaginations. It was nice, although challenging, to just spend an evening sitting with my own thoughts.
Dining alone without technology is a challenge and that itself is a reason. It’s beneficial to challenge both your body and your soul and it is EXTREMELY difficult to completely unplug when you’re by yourself. In the end, it’s good for you and I felt so rejuvenated afterwards.
Have you ever dined alone without your phone? How was your experience?