The New Restaurant Dining Experience after Bariatric Surgery

After bariatric surgery, you are faced with a few phases of eating requirements which takes you from clear liquids to moist and mushy foods before you can have most foods without restrictions. Also, your GI tract seems to be taking it’s revenge on you after what you did to it. These items may hold you back from getting out there again. But as soon as you feel almost well enough, you should start to make plans to go out on small excursions that will allow escaping if you G.I. tract starts to revolt.

Double Date Dinner

Last night, we had a nice night out with friends at Robert’s Scratch Kitchen in Totowa, NJ. This restaurant had been on my radar for a while. It serves seasonal fare (four seasons) and it’s menu offerings are unique, and fresh. And RSK offers most, if not all, meals, breads and pastas with or without gluten. The staff is really amazing and with a lot of attention to detail, especially John. I’ve never had that BYO experience before – even if you don’t drink, I suggest bringing a corked bottle to be wowed.

It’s been five weeks post surgery and we have moved on to the soft foods stage. The menu had plenty of soft food-type items to choose from. We haven’t tried dinner out with other people yet, but we were at the point where it wouldn’t be a problem.

Recently, dinners at home shrunk from the pre-surgery 30 minutes to the post surgery 4 minutes. After my SO finished her 4-6 ounces, she didn’t want to be around food. And seeing someone drinking water made it harder for her to wait the requisite 30 minutes (which has since shrunk to about 22 minutes). I wasn’t sure how dinner out would be since post surgery (a handful) of meals at home ended with a rush to the bathroom or the nearest sink.

Bariatric Dining Tips and Tricks

I had read some restaurant tips and tricks that we used:

  • Order an appetizer as a dinner
  • Soft foods are your friends
  • Use small utensils (My SO used an oyster fork)
Oyster Fork – This is perfect! BYOF

The table started off with a stuffed artichoke which was seasoned and we were given small forks to use.

Then my SO ordered the meatball with fresh ricotta and salad appetizer. This was the perfect meal for her. I had handed her my unused small fork and this helped her eat slowly and not overdo it.

The Rest of the Story and Summary

Inconsequentially, I had the grouper which was perfectly seasoned, moist, and served with smooth garlic mashed potatoes. Janet and Martin each had the lobster rigatoni which was eaten entirely without complaints.

We ended with two desserts that the table shared, the chocolate peanut butter cake and an ice cream topped with espresso coffee. I enjoyed much of the espresso ice cream with my after dinner cup of coffee and needless to say I was unable to fall asleep until after midnight.

To summarize, immediately post surgery can be a stressful time as new habits are learned and old, lifelong habits are hard to break. Many social interactions revolve around food and drink so get back out there with baby steps. You can have your date nights again and not be stuck with 4 minute mini meals.

My SO’s doctor recommends waiting six weeks after surgery to introduce alcohol. I’m looking forward to seeing how my SO’s first post-surgery martini experience will be. Stay tuned!


Please post in the comments what you have been recommended for a meal size. I have seen four and six ounces but my SO thinks eight. I’m worried about pouch stretching, which overtime, will negate the effects of the new “tool” for weight loss.

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