The first Tuesday of every month, we meet somewhere. gamethyme and setauuta will probably determine where that somewhere is - it could be as far South as Olympia or as far North as Mount Vernon. We give plenty of notice for where we are meeting so that people can check schedules and research local restaurants.
Once we have met, each individual puts one restaurant name into the hat. It could be a real hat, it could be a chart involving a die roll. It will not be a consensus discussion. The randomness is important, as it forces us to step a bit out of our comfort zones. Be aware that we may go somewhere you don't like. Or that has very limited options for you - Eric, for example, has a slight seafood allergy, which limits his options at a seafood restaurant.
The restaurant must be: 1) Near where we are meeting. If we meet in Tacoma, no Seattle restaurants. This means that once the next meeting place is set, you need to DO YOUR HOMEWORK. 2) Not fast food (unless there is some unique local fast food). We want to stretch a bit. And, while Frugal's in Tacoma is unique, we can't sit there and chat while eating. So it's right out. 3) Ideally not a national chain. While P.F. Chang's is tasty, we pretty much all know what it's like. 4) Not too expensive. The target is the $20 average per entree range. Or less. Since this is only once a month, that shouldn't be a significant hardship. 5) Somewhere we haven't been in six months or more. By "we," I mean, "the group." Since there are hundreds of restaurants in Seattle itself, this shouldn't be too difficult. 6) Able to handle us.
There are a few rules for us, too: 1) Unless the service is terrible, tipping is not optional. Even bad service should get around 10%. 2) I shouldn't have to say this, but please act like a grownup. It's not that hard. This means keep drama to a minimum, don't whine about the restaurant selection, and make an effort to interact with the rest of us.
To this end, we have created seattledining. It's for us to post the meeting point of the month, for the rest of you to RSVP, and for all of us to discuss the food and atmosphere afterwards. The community membership is By Approval or Invite, so you need to request membership and gamethyme or setauuta has to approve you. The community also allows us to gauge interest - as in "Are you interested?"