The New Normal – Part Two

Through the entire Shelter at Home experience, I cooked every night. Anticipation surged when I was invited to a sit-down dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant. The New Normal, creates a very different dining experience. How did it go?

At the Restaurant:

I phoned ahead and spoke to the manager about  what to expect when dining in under the “new normal”. I also wanted to check the COVID19 procedures, as frankly, I was a bit scared to go out, but was determined to not let fear rule over common sense.

I was told that only two reservations were allowed every half an hour. Capacity was at 50%, and all employees wear mask and gloves.

We arrived for our 7:00 p.m. reservation and entered the restaurant. The hostess requested to know if we had reservations and then showed us to our table. The tables were far apart, the area we were in had three other tables occupied. There were about 10 tables total. This restaurant is normally noisy and it can be difficult to hold a conversation. This was not an issue during the evening.

The tables were covered in a table cloth; but the table items, such as a candle or light for that romantic atmosphere, were missing. There was only a table cloth, napkin and eating utensils. The normal French bread, with oil and vinegar was still served, but the oil and vinegar were provided in individual servings.

Our waitress greeted us through her mask and gave the specials for the evening. We ordered and enjoyed the experience of once again dining in with great food. It was nice to get out, I was happy to support the local restaurant, but the new normal for in-house dining will take a while to get used to.