As a reward for his sacrifice, I have promised not to attempt to acquire a taste for oysters natural, so there is still one thing he can order without having to share it with me. I think his habit of always ordering soup as a starter in Chinese and French restaurants is also protective - it's quite difficult to pass a spoonful of soup over the table.
Sharing food "tapas style" is quite chic at the moment. From Wahaca's Mexican street food with its little plates of tacos and tostadas, to Polpo's chichetti, there are lots of places doing small plates of little tastes, designed to be ordered en masse and shared. I love it. For a greedy person who wants to taste everything on the menu it is ideal. Other people are less convinced.
Paul has also been very patient in accepting the sharing plate concept as it has drifted into our house. At home, it is much more likely to be due to my laziness, in only wanting to wash up one communal dish, but I also like the comfy, romantic part of sitting together over a single plate.
Beth's tomato, bacon and feta bake is a gorgeous dish for this style of eating. Of course you could make individual gratins, or dish it out into separate bowls, but plonking it, sizzling and bubbling from the oven, on a cork mat on the table between you is really nice. A good chunk of crusty bread each and some wine are all you need.
Pan bagnat is a delicious sandwich, pretty much impossible to make in individual portions. It's basically a salad nicoise stuffed into a slightly hollowed out crusty loaf, which is then pressed to make slicing into tranches possible. You can do it with just grilled vegetables (aubergine, courgette, peppers) or with tomatoes, tuna, radishes, anchovies, olives... pretty much anything with that sort of Provencal robust flavour. It makes a great picnic dish and a really substantial lunch. I'm sending it over to Deb's Souper (soup, salad and sammie) Sunday.
For something particularly special, this baked spider crab dish is really delicious. Lacking the patience for picking a crab myself (and lacking access to really fresh seafood) I used tubs of pasteurised brown and white crabmeat from the supermarket. The flavours are much gutsier than I would usually put with crab, but it holds up to the chilli, tomato and saffron really well. Again, wine and some crusty bread are all you need with it. And if you have to let your other half mark a line across the dish to show their portion, well, that's all part of the compromise.