Going out to eat is such a production when you have a little one. I have to bring his silverware, snacks, his tray, sippy cup, and something to distract him. If I keep everything organized, we do pretty well.
However we started relying on the fact that every place would have a highchair or booster seat to use. Unfortunately that is not always the case, and you can't really get around using one. We can try to hold him on our laps, but that usually means the meal will be anything but enjoyable. We have a highchair with a detachable booster seat, but some meals out are not planned. We obviously can't leave his highchair in the trunk. So I started my hunt for something portable, yet still safe.
After a lot of research, we decided that the Brica Fold N' Go Travel Booster was the way to go.
It is soft, and made of fabric that you can easily wipe clean. The seat boosts my son up enough, so that he can reach the table. It is also very safe! There is a 3 point harness to secure him to the seat, and then the seat straps firmly to the chair.
It says that the seat is safe for children up to 40 pounds, and the straps are adjustable. But my favorite part of the seat, is how easy it is to fold it up and go. It collapses so small, that you can easily store it in your trunk...and you will not knock into people as you walk through the restaurant.
The key to "restaurant gear", is finding a way to bring everything that you need without looking like "Cousin Eddie." :)