Dining establishments are a cultural and societal universal. Historically, we know that street vendors and caterers existed in Ancient Rome, and medieval travelers stayed at inns and taverns that sold food.
The word restaurant has an unlikely etymology. It actually comes from the French word meaning to restore. In eighteenth century France, prior to the revolution, these establishments were regulated and sold broth to sick patrons. However, they also sold food, and with the French Revolution, it became more common and more popular for many establishments to follow suit.
A bistro is a small restaurant that serves food on a very casual basis. Cafés are also smaller food establishments.
Restaurants generally specialize in a specific type of food. They may specialize in a cuisine such as Italian or Mexican. Others may primarily offer breakfast, lunch or dinner. Restaurants that cook seafood and steak, commonly have their own establishments. Many restaurants have buffets, usually for a lunch or dinner. Vegetarian restaurants are growing in popularity. Bar and grill type establishments are particularly popular.
Expensive restaurants commonly require reservations. High quality fine dining restaurants often offer fixed menus or tasting menus, in which the chef decides what to serve the dining patrons. Lengthy wine lists are also common.
More casual establishments may serve dishes family style, with entrees being placed in the center of the table and diners partake in trying all the food that is ordered. While not romantic, this setting is very popular with large groups. Casual restaurants often have a brunch menu. When the climate allows it, outdoor seating is often offered. Diners, which serve simple meals in a very simple setting are a cultural tradition. Many casual restaurants also offer food takeout or delivery. Don't forget to make a reservation at a fine dining establishment for your next romantic date.
If you and the family are looking for an enjoyable night out, or you are trying to have a romantic date, you are looking for a dining restaurant. Dining restaurants incorporate many different types of dining and styles of food. Some diners will service breakfast, lunch and dinner with food like sandwiches and soup, promoting a casual, family environment. However, higher end establishments require customers to call ahead and make a private reservation to enjoy one of their five star meals. These places usually serve food like steak, seafood, and higher end Italian cuisine. These are ideal spots for private, romantic dinners, where you are usually able to order a fine bottle of wine from the menu. You can also check out local cafes and bistros, where they usually have enjoyable breakfast menus and excellent coffee. While you are there, ask about any brunch buffet options that they might occasionally serve. Once you have determined which sort of dining you would prefer to do, you can start to look for that Mexican restaurant around the corner, or the casual dining establishment to take your family. Begin by asking friends for recommendations on diners that they have visited. You can also try searching the web or the phonebook for other local listings. If you are online, check out restaurant reviews, menus and specials. Once you have found a restaurant that you want to try for dinner, be sure to call and make a reservation. These tasty establishments fill up quickly on weekends!