Every so often a flock of Chowhounds meets by prearranged plan at a local restaurant that's been praised on the boards. This is a great opportunity not only to meet some nice people but also to try a wide sampling of the restaurant's dishes. I'd like to try this the next time I'm in New York, but I'm wondering about the etiquette.
Normally, unless food is served family-style in large platters, I eat what's on my plate, and don't try to cadge a sample of somebody else's. But since the whole point of a Chowhound outing is to taste as many different things as possible, how is it done? Do all the entrees get put in the center of the table, for people to reach in and try? Does a host divide each entree among the diners?
And what about the bill? Separate checks, or do we just divide the total evenly? Since I don't drink anything but water with my meals, I might regret paying for somebody's Latour or Romanee-Conti.
And I have to put in some humorous questions that sometimes give me a smile. Does everyone wear masks to conceal their identity? Do we use Chowhound handles or do some people actually (gasp!) reveal their real names? (A whole second set of names for me to learn...) I wonder if people look as I imagine them.