It is funny what different people expect when dining out. For example, my parents and I don't like "overly chummy" waitstaff. Of course they should smile and speak in a pleasant tone, and it's expected that they might push their daily specials unasked or something like that. But we don't want several lines of actual small talk--"How's your day been? Are you guys out shopping? Are you celebrating a special occasion?" or rapturous paragraphs about multiple dishes in a row. Greet us, bring our drinks, and let us have a few minutes of peace and quiet to look over the menu. Generally we are not the type to have many questions.
My friend Amy's family, on the other hand, is quite different. They love the small talk. They'll initiate it. In a college town where a lot of servers are students, they'll ask them what their major is, for example, and chat further if it's anything they know about. And, they ask a lot of questions about the menu, like what the server's favorite dessert is, or if X soup goes well with Y salad.
I don't think either way is wrong; but a server going too far in one direction could easily alienate customers who are expecting the opposite. My dad gets really irritated with chatty servers, for example, and those who don't bring the bill the instant we're done eating; and since he usually pays, it can be reflected in the tip. Sometimes I feel bad for servers, having yet one more thing they have to juggle in addition to all the other stuff.