Californian restaurants are slowly starting to open again — but why should you care? Well, coming into 2021, you're likely in need of some refreshing quality time with your folks. Here's why dining in Long Beach is the perfect solution.
Dining together strengthens your relationships
Sharing a meal with friends and family is deeply beneficial to establishing and nurturing those relationships. On one level, you get to enjoy quality time with one another.
Now, in the last year, lots of people have gotten more quality time with their loved ones than ever before. Unfortunately, for many, that time spent together was burdened by the stress of the pandemic.
Although this quality time still counts, there is something uniquely special about the intentional act of setting time aside to sit with your friends and relatives and catch up on each other's lives. This helps everyone feel valued, affirmed by the fact that you have carved out part of the day — sacrificing hours that you could spend toiling away at work — to pause your busy life and simply be with the people who matter most.
On another level, humans gathering around a meal together has historically been a product of abundance. This means that there is so much food available that you don't have to stingily conserve it but share it openly and happily.
When food storage was not available in the capacity it is now, sharing food with others was humans' way of seeking and establishing relationships in which another person would be willing to reciprocate the act.
This created a social network where everyone could depend on each other in times of need. Although times aren't so tough now, these patterns still exist in humankind and inspire people to build connections over shared meals.
Family meals support youth's development
Whether you're eating at home or in a fancy restaurant, sharing meals with your family is highly advantageous for children and adolescents.
People of all ages tend to converse with one another when they sit down to eat together.
Depending on the types of conversations you're having, communal mealtimes can be tremendously helpful to your kids' ability to problem solve, develop more mature and complex thinking patterns, and boost their self-esteem.
As mentioned above, you can use this time together to reinforce positive aspects of your relationships and develop them further. Doing so will reduce your kids' chances of engaging in high-risk behaviors, such as drug use, alcohol abuse, and violence.
Plus, dinner time is an excellent opportunity for parents to discuss challenging topics with their children.
For instance, imagine that you've noticed that your child has been feeling negatively lately. Are they being treated fairly at school? Is something going on between them and their sibling?
Dinner is a great time to address possible family problems since eating stimulates multiple dopamine (the "feel-good" hormone) releases. This will help maintain everyone's emotional well-being while you chat.
Dressing up can boost your mental well-being
Many people use dinner events as an "excuse" to dress up in show-stopping outfits. Think about it: How many times have you planned to "save" an outfit until you found the perfect opportunity to wear it on a nice evening out?
This isn't just a silly habit that many people share. There are psychological reasons why you feel this way about certain outfits. Scientists have shown that your clothing choices don't only affect how others see you but also influence your cognitive processes.
Researchers conducted five experiments to show that when people "dressed to impress," their ability to think abstractly was significantly enhanced.
Formal clothing influenced individuals to engage in more "socially distant" behavior and processing styles.
For example, wearing an evening gown might cause you to act more politely toward others and may even influence the formality in how you communicate. This is great if you want to meet a colleague or potential employer over a meal.
On the other hand, choosing a more casual outfit can help you relax a bit more around friends and family. Dressing yourself up nicely in this setting still affects your emotional state and can provide a much-needed confidence and mood boost.
Where should you eat in Long Beach?
Now that you know why you should gather with your loved ones (or professional acquaintances) over a meal, you should consider where you might invite someone to dinner.
The venue is just as important as the food itself — you wouldn't want to eat in a drab diner with mediocre food, would you?
To ensure you reap all the benefits of dining together, you've got to pick a restaurant where you won't have to worry about a single thing, especially the quality of your food and the availability of a relaxing, welcoming atmosphere.
Here are a few of the best spots in Long Beach, where you can have all that and more:
- Parker's Lighthouse: Known for its tasty (and wide) selection of fresh, mesquite-grilled seafood, this restaurant has earned the distinction of Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence. (The 3rd-floor Queensview Steakhouse is great for intimate gatherings!)
- Fuego Restaurant (at Hotel Maya): Here, you can have stunning waterfront views while enjoying their delicious Latin American menu, featuring yummy dishes like choriqueso and ropa vieja.
- The Social List: This "modern European tavern" is an ideal spot for meetups with old friends. The gastropub offers small shareable meals with seasonal selections and numerous craft beers, wines, and spirits.
Carve out some quality time with your loved ones in Long Beach
It's easy to get swept up in the busyness of everyday life. Still, it's important to make time for the people you love. Eating dinner together is a simple yet deeply effective way to build and maintain your relationships.
Visit any of these dinner spaces in Long Beach for the perfect family (or friend) dinner party or choose another Long Beach dinner space that might please your palate and heart more thoroughly.
Parker's Lighthouse, http://parkerslighthouse.com/
Hotel Maya (Fuego), https://www.hotelmayalongbeach.com/fuego-restaurant/
The Social List, http://thesociallistlb.com/about/
Association for Psychological Science, https://www.psychologicalscience.org/news/minds-business/when-clothing-style-influences-cognitive-style.html
The Washington Times, https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/apr/14/health-benefits-eating-together/