I probably would have been skeptical of The Place in concept only -- one of the benefits of going out to eat is not having to do anything and it sounded like The Place did the easy part (grilling) while guests do the harder part (preparing salads and side dishes.) But I had heard so much about it that I trusted it would be cool, and it was.
First off, you don't *have* to bring any side dishes; there is enough on the menu for a full meal (e.g. protein + corn.) But the magic is in going to The Place with a large group.
As I'm sure anyone who is reading this review knows, sometimes it's not fun to go out to eat with a large group. It can take forever, there's a lot of sitting, and with some people ordering a lot (especially drinks) and others ordering much less, there can be surprises or awkwardnesses when the bill comes. The Place is a great solution. In our group, everyone brought something -- a salad, a plate of cookies, wine, etc. The seating is very casual so people stood, moved around, etc. and I didn't feel like we were bothering anyone. We ordered clam appetizers and a bunch of corn to share, and everyone ordered their main dish.
The service was prompt, but we were not rushed at all. The food was tasty. I don't like corn much, but this corn was delicious. Our group lingered a while and as there were a few empty tables, didn't feel pressured to leave. The price was very reasonable.
As it was our first time there, others in our group took the lead on some of the details (e.g. cutlery) so I was off the hook for what might have been a bit of a hassle, but given that everyone else had been there before, I can only assume that whatever work goes into it is well worth it.
I would definitely recommend The Place!