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Communal chic

Welcome to the long table. When communal tables first came on the scene, most were plain, long rectangles plopped in the middle of the restaurant. Now that group dining tables have caught on as design and social elements, they’re making more
of a style statement. It’s only fitting: In a time when dining out can feel like more of a theatrical performance than just a meal, sharing it with a group of soon-to-be-friends only enhances the show.

Asia de Cuba, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles

Jeffrey Chodorow’s three Asian-Latin fusion restaurants all feature illuminated communal tables that complement their fashionable interiors. Both New York and L.A. boast ultra-modern Philippe Starck-designed tables, while the San Francisco version is cross-shaped and made of hand-etched Venetian mirror.

Pod, Philadelphia

This trendy pan-Asian spot brings guests together at what is called the “community” table, set in a contemporary, starship-like space designed by David Rockwell. Food is served family style, so guests are able to share meals as well as conversations with tablemates. 

The Kitchen Café, Boulder, Colorado

It’s there all week, but guests seated at the rustic pine community table on Monday nights are treated to a five-course prix fixe of seasonal offerings. “Large groups of friends, families, couples and singles come together for Community Night,” says owner Kimbal Musk. “It gives people in Boulder a chance to get to know more faces and eat great food at their favorite local bistro.”

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