I had dinner at P.J's with my friend Calvin who I hadn't seen in ages. We ate there for about 3.5 hours and just caught up on everything. We talked about anything and everything and it was such a relaxful great night out. He is someone who I think is a very good friend despite not seeing him that often. We always seem to just pick up where we left off and nothing ever seems to change.
The meal was secondary in the whole experience. If the food had been better, we may have noticed it a bit more. Since it was ok, it didn't add much to the night. If it had been bad, it probably would have only detracted a bit to the night since that was not the purpose. We just wanted to catch up and dinner is just the easiest and most comfortable setting to do that.
However, sometimes I go out to dinner to eat some good food. During those times, even if I have good company, because we all have the same purpose of wanting to eat good food, a bad meal can really ruin the night. We still have fun but since we all have high expectations of the food, a bad meal can be a letdown at the end of the night. We become almost distracted by the bad food, since rather than being able to just enjoy what you are eating and continue chatting away, the focus is instead drawn to the food and how bad it is.
Recently I read an article by John Lethlean, chief food reviewer for The Age newspaper where he said that he had such a great meal with one of his best friends that he hadn't seen in a very long time. They ate at Hotel Lincoln and he said that the great food coupled with the company of his good friend was so perfect that he relived all his childhood fun with that friend and it almost brough him to tears. I don't know about coming to tears but a great meal in good company does have a pleasant quality where everything just seems to flow so nicely.