Dining out post pandemonium

Thread in progress here (which I see you posted on four days ago):

Are we post?

I can’t help but think there will be regional variations. Continental, countries, and in the US, states and even counties. I live near Napa and we are hoping to go this evening for the first time in more than a year. It was awkward (choose a definition) the last time, and I expect it will be awkward again, but hopefully on a more positive note.

Yes, but I think that thread was asking something else. I am focusing on the concerns/issues/comfort you may have with regard to dining indoors at a restaurant. I think I may recall reading somewhere that you might be only doing outdoors. Is that right?

To paraphrase Churchill, it may not be post yet, but I feel that we are at least at the end of the beginning.

What was awkward? The one defining awkward thing I find is the mask. Wear the mask on the way in. Try to remember to put it back when the server comes. Put it on when you go to the restroom. Put it back when you get out. Take it off when I’m outside. Remember to wash it when you get home if you don’t use a disposable one. Otherwise the next time you use it it will smell like that last meal but not in a good way.

Thank you. Last time, a year ago, I thought the server looked scared to death, and we were having a pretty good time. That was awkward.

“we are at least at the end of the beginning.”
I’ll buy that!

I was. But as you can read on the thread I linked to…

Not by a long shot, despite some people trying to will it so.


Just so we are on the same page, and hopefully not heading off topic, the title is "dining out post pandemonium ".

Search for a word




  1. wild and noisy disorder or confusion; uproar.

“pandemonium broke out”

Last year, when lockdown started, due to being on IV antibiotics for 9.5 weeks, and a stern warning from my doctor, I was pretty damn careful. That said, I did go out a handful of times between surges, and ate outdoors a few times. (I still have yet to go to a grocery store!)

Now that I’m fully vaccinated, I’m totally embracing things, and intend to make up for lost time! We don’t have many great dining options in our smallish town, and pre-pandemic, we saved our treks to Seattle for weekends. Assuming we’ll be dining there before too long, since we’ve got some special occasions coming up. Hopefully our state will fully open up before too long, since restos have to limit to 50% capacity, and are operating with limited menu options. Can’t tell you how happy it makes me that we’re moving towards a more normal life.

Great topic!

There’s nothing in the OP (or the thread itself, as far as I can tell) about pandemonium, only pandemic. Because (also as far as I can tell), we were never mid-pandemonium, so I don’t see how we can be post-. I’m not sure why the OP used that word, to be honest. We may have been mid-misinformation, or mid-confusion, but we’re not really post- that, either.

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We ate out a few times last summer when restrictions were briefly lifted. Now we are still under some considerable lockdown. Restaurants with outdoor space will be allowed to reopen from tomorrow but it’s going to 17/5 before indoor dining is permitted. We’ve made a reservation for that week at a local bistro which we thought did very well in adapting to the new circumstances last summer. If we feel OK there, then that’ll be a good omen. But, as at today, infection rates and deaths are still quite a bit higher than last summer. And there are areas where numbers are stubbornly high - scientists are warning that this could be a source of a third wave. By early May, we’ll both have passed the three weeks “lead time” for the 2nd jab to become fully effective.

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I used pandemonium rather than pandemic because at times that’s what it felt like. Deliberate choice. Also I thought amusing in a Fran Lebowitz sort of way. Just didn’t want to panda to public opinion.

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Lol, I kind of extrapolated your meaning…it has been just that in many ways.

John, I’ve been following what is going on in the UK much closer than most people in the US. I work for a UK firm. I was supposed to be in London at the end of February 2020 for a conference. I was talking to some friends about meeting for drinks when I got there. Obviously didn’t happen. Still waiting to meet for drinks. Crazy in comparison how much more in lockdown London was than NYC.

Where in the northwest are you? Manchester or further north like Lancaster? A mate at work is from York but I guess that’s more like northeast. Used to work with a fellow from the far north and he hated that everyone thought he was Scottish.

Tonight in Napa



We’re near Manchester. I’ve always lived in what’s now the metro area.

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Looking forward to the “post” period, we’re still at the peak right now in France. Restaurants are closed from late October except for take out, no date for reopening. Rumours said mid May, no confirmation. I believe it will be June…for outdoor dining. Everyday we have curfews from 7 pm till morning. One can order delivery food until 10 pm.

Since last 2 weeks, first there have been a few scandals of really expensive illegal private restaurants in apartments with menu 190- 490€ per person discovered by some TV journalists, another one organized in a private hotel, customers included government ministers. Then over the weekend there were more illegal restaurants busted by the police, with at least 110 people dining together.


The BBC reports that story:


Exactly. The Twitter with the video on the BBC link, you can see the first scandal of meals of the rich. For the whole week, there was a witch-hunt of who’s the minister and down with him. Turned out it was an ex minister…

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We have enjoyed dining in since it was originally allowed at 25% in NJ. It is now up to 50%. We only go to a handful of restaurants that we feel comfortable in (that are following Covid protocols). We also dine early at 5PM before it gets busy so we have the restaurant to ourselves for a while. The tables are also nicely spaced. We finally were able to get our first Moderna shots last week and have our 2nd shots scheduled for May 4th. I’ll feel a lot safer after that. I am trying to support my favorite restaurants as much as I can. I already lost a few favorites to Covid. Below are links to our last two outstanding indoor dinners this past weekend.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold