Some people can track years by songs or jobs or relationships. We keep them straight based on our extracurricular dining experiences.

In 2005, we went to more supper-club dinners than weddings; in 2009, the pop-up ruled our world. Now, because the state of amateur dining has evolved, there are a plethora of new sites that serve as the infrastructure for this once-rogue dining approach. Check out these online tools that connect would-be diners with would-be cooks.

Still in beta, New Gusto helps individuals around the country host or attend dinners in private homes. Hosts have the option of making their event invite-only or charging money if they'd like to be reimbursed for food costs.

For those who would rather leave the cooking to the experts, GrubwithUs.com offers a mash-up of a dinner-party atmosphere in a restaurant setting. Users in more than 10 cities can suggest an outing to a specific spot, then other interested individuals can sign up to join the group.

Loneliness is for the birds.