When my daughter was very little, my partner and I would head out for happy hour at a local place around the corner just to get out of the house. One margarita and some chips and queso later, we'd feel a little like our pre-baby elves. However, once our daughter started to wiggle around and move a little more, she wasn't so content sitting in the stroller for an extended period of time. In other words, we had to create a few tricks to get the kid to sit nicely at a restaurant.
If you have a baby, and only one baby at that, take advantage of the fact that they might sit in the stroller and chew on a single toy for an hour. That phase is fleeting and what proceeds after it is 100 percent more exhausting. Now that my daughter is a toddler, my partner and I try to find a spot that has an outdoor patio where we can just roll her up in the stroller. The longer she's willing to sit in that stroller, the more peaceful our meal is going to be. Kids that age (kids most ages, really) want freedom to roam, and in a restaurant that's exactly what parents do not want. Chasing an exploring toddler around a restaurant is my idea of hell (and a waste of time in a restaurant) so if we can keep her entertained outside, we're winning.
I can't tell you every trip to a restaurant is a win, but the following tricks have helped us get through the majority of out out-of-the-house meals in peace. Of course, we've also had to abandon ship mid-meltdown, but we try to remember that's par for the course when you have a toddler. IN the end, all you can do is use the tricks you have and promise yourself that, yes, this too shall pass.