This was published back on May 6, but I couldn't find any mention of it searching this board (sorry if I was wrong). It talks about some of the gripes people have about celebrating birthdays in restaurants with big groups. Main issue, of course, is the fact that those who don't eat or drink much get stuck subsidizing those who do - a topic that's been hot on the CH "Not About Food" board. As someone who typically doesn't drink much in restaurants, I found the situations described in the article very familiar!
Lots of funny quotes:
"It’s not that we don’t wish many happy returns to [the birthday person] ... really, we do. It’s the guy two chairs down who ordered the foie gras appetizer, Dover sole entree, side of truffled mashed potatoes and three martinis made with designer gin whom we never want to see again."
“Vegetarians always get screwed at these things...”
"Large groups of friends going Dutch at birthday parties, at what people persist in calling “ethnic” restaurants, is common practice just out of college. 'After age 30, it’s tacky'... "
I wholeheartedly agree with the first two quotes above (unless said vegetarians are big drinkers!), but I'd say the jury's out on the third one, depending on how fair your friends are!