restaurant

(redirected from Restaurants)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

restaurant,

a commerical establishment where meals can be bought and eaten. In the 16th cent. English inns and taverns began to serve one meal a day at a fixed time and price, at a common table, and usually distinguished by a special dish. The meal was called the ordinary, and inn dining rooms and eating places generally began to be called ordinaries. Famous among those in London were the Castle, much frequented by luminaries, and Lloyd'sLloyd's,
London insurance underwriting corporation of many separate syndicates; often called Lloyd's of London. Founded in the late 17th cent. by a group of merchants, shipowners, and insurance brokers at the coffeehouse of Edward Lloyd, the association is now international in
..... Click the link for more information.
, a meeting place for merchants. In the 17th cent. the ordinaries became fashionable clubs, gambling resorts, and eventually centers of such intense political activity that they were closed by Charles II in 1675. In France, a loose equivalent of the ordinary called the table d'hôte, which served a standard daily meal, usually roasted meat, at a communal table, was popular by the mid-18th cent. The name restaurant was first used (c.1765) for a Paris establishment serving light ("restoring") dishes. By the late 18th cent., the Parisian restaurant had become a place offering single servings from a somewhat varied menu and seating at private tables. After the French Revolution, many former chefs of aristocratic houses opened restaurants. While the revolutionaries had favored the egalitarian table d'hôte, the bourgeoisie of the Restoration transformed the restaurant into a French institution that flourished in the 19th cent. and thereafter.

Early American taverns and inns resembled those of England. The White Horse Tavern in Newport, R.I. (founded 1673), claims to be the oldest. Fraunces Tavern (see under Fraunces, SamuelFraunces, Samuel
, c.1722–95, American innkeeper, proprietor of the historic Fraunces Tavern in New York City. This building at the corner of Broad and Pearl streets was the De Lancey mansion before Fraunces purchased it in 1762 and opened it as the Queen's Head
..... Click the link for more information.
) in New York was a famous meeting place. The first modern restaurant in New York City was opened (c.1831) by John and Peter Delmonico. The self-service restaurant, or cafeteria, was originated in the United States by philanthropic organizations to help working women secure cheaper meals. The idea was rapidly adopted by commercial restaurants, business organizations, and schools. An outgrowth of the cafeteria was the automat, which first opened in 1902 in Philadelphia and offered prepared food that was displayed behind small glass doors and could be purchased by depositing coins into a slot, which opened the doors. Although the last automat closed in 1991, the idea survives in the fully automated vending area, in which prepackaged food and drinks are dispensed from coin-operated machines. In the 1920s and 30s, dinersdiner,
restaurant resembling the railroad dining car. In the mid-19th cent., the first dining cars that appeared on trains were nothing more than an empty car with a fastened-down table. George M.
..... Click the link for more information.
, quick, cheap eating places resembling railroad dining cars, became popular places to eat. Car service restaurants, or drive-ins, first appeared in Florida during the 1930s. The foods sold at lunch counters and drive-ins was called fast food: hamburgers, hotdogs, french fries, and milk shakes. The franchising of fast-food restaurants has led to a boom in these establishments, and today millions of people throughout the world eat at fast-food chains such as McDonald's. Since World War II, most major cities have experienced a proliferation of ethnic restaurants.

Bibliography

See J. Finkelstein, Dining Out (1989); R. L. Spang, The Invention of the Restaurant (2000); A. B. Trubek, Haute Cuisine: How the French Invented the Culinary Profession (2000); A. Haley, Turning the Tables: Restaurants and the Rise of the American Middle Class, 1880–1920 (2011).

Restaurant

A commercial establishment where meals to order are served to the public, either in a separate building or within a hotel or other facility.

restaurant

A building (or part of a building) or any place used as a place where meals or sandwiches are prepared and/or served to its clientele.
References in classic literature ?
Of Claire's movements between the time when she secured her ticket at the steamship offices at Southampton and the moment when she entered Reigelheimer's Restaurant it is not necessary to give a detailed record.
She was still in this hesitant frame of mind when she entered Reigelheimer's Restaurant, and it perturbed her that she could not come to some definite decision on Mr Pickering, for those subtle signs which every woman can recognize and interpret told her that the latter, having paved the way by talking machinery for a week, was about to boil over and speak of higher things.
The presence of Lady Wetherby acted as a temporary check on the development of the situation, but after they had been seated at their table a short time the lights of the restaurant were suddenly lowered, a coloured limelight became manifest near the roof, and classical music made itself heard from the fiddles in the orchestra.
Why was not restaurant dining the vogue when I was a girl!"
They made their way through the foyer to the round table which had been reserved for them in the centre of the restaurant.
On the opposite side of the street was a restaurant of no great pretensions.
It was at about five minutes after one that afternoon that Constable Thomas Parsons, patrolling his beat, was aware of a man motioning to him from the doorway of Bredin's Parisian Cafe and Restaurant. The man looked like a pig.
'In dere,' cried the stout man, pointing behind him into the restaurant, 'a man, a--how you say?--yes, sacked.
A more surprising feature was the appearance at the coast-town station of the little priest of the restaurant; he alleged merely that business led him also to cross the mountains of the midland.
First of all I must tell you I was lunching in that restaurant at the seaside.
We adjourned soon after the first ballet, and wended our way back to the restaurant, where supper was already awaiting us.
Wilcox made some preliminary inquiries about cheese, her eyes surveyed the restaurant, and admired its well-calculated tributes to the solidity of our past.