New Gusto + Grub With Us Offer Dining Opportunities

A new way to meet and eat

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, 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.