Neighbor-food watch

illustration By mark stivers

Do you ever start chatting up the people next to you at a restaurant? These days, you just might even ask your neighbor to pass the peas, as more and more restaurants are offering communal dining. Luigi’s Pizza Parlor (3800 Stockton Boulevard) has had big tables for neighborly eating for years, and Luigi’s Slice (1050 20th Street) does, too. But how about the chance to break bread with a stranger or two at higher-end places? Mulvaney’s Building and Loan (1215 19th Street) has had great success with its Family Meal Next Door events, where once a month they serve a prix fixe menu family style. Everyone sits at large tables, where you’re likely to know someone who knows someone. Masullo (2711 Riverside Boulevard) has long wooden tables where you might end up sharing a pizza with your neighbor. And the kids can swap crayons. So mind your manners, you never know who you might be eating with.