The short answer: Don't!
Whatever effort you think you're saving by taking the toddler out will be spent entertaining and worrying about him.
At the very least you should avoid this situation:
A very busy restaurant on a Friday night.
A waitress who forgets ketchup and silverware.
A late dinner and a light snack makes for a hungry and cranky baby.
Putting napkins, paper, crayons, silverware, plates, or food in front of a long-armed crankpot who likes to throw things.
Yes, I am guilty of all of those things--not over the course of the last few times we went out. All of them occurred last night. The good news is that my husband and I met at the restaurant. After he communicated his desire to leave the restaurant by flinging macaroni and cheese at the couple next to us (only close--no actual hit), I took my separate car and hit the road right after I had my salad and long before my food.
The doggie bag was my consolation prize.