Last night was a dream. Meal cooked at a hound's apt plus three other hounds and SO's, plus a star from the Paris food scene. Names are not necessary. Evening was half in English and half in French. Nine people,one glorious dog, nine bottles of wine, 6 cheeses, 2 chickens, 5 breads, innumerable shrimp and scallops, a huge glorious dessert. It was loud, full of laughs, and just plain wonderful. Yes, l go to many restaurants while here, yes they are fun, no the food last night and the bonhomie was so far superior to any restaurant, we realized this is the night we all want. We were looking forward to it, and it paid off in spades. Thank you all. So, while Chowhound is considered a food discussion group and not a social organization, sometimes the social part overwhelms the food part in such a nice way. Try the social part in your area, it has worked for me in many places where l had no other ties, eg:Tokyo. It does not change the meaning of Chowhound just enhances it in a natural way.