Growing up, my family always, always ate dinner together. I have many memories of eating meals together and talking. The TV was turned off, the phone wasn't answered and no reading material was allowed at the table. We talked.
When I was single and living alone, I usually splurged on an apartment with a separate dining room. I really liked sitting at a table to eat even if I was eating alone.
When DH and I started looking at buying a home, I had to have a dining room. I wouldn't compromise. It's great. We spend every evening together at the table eating dinner. We talk. No TV, electronic devices, phones, or reading material. That's our time together to sit and talk about our day or whatever comes up. Neither of us would give up that time together. We work different shifts so our evening meal is the time that we connect with each other and share what's going on in our lives, what's going on in the world that interests us, our hopes, plans, general thoughts, etc.