The scenario is very familiar to us at this point. We take our son out to eat at a restaurant and people compliment us. No, not just because he is the cutest kid in the world but also because of how well behaved he is at the table. He has his bad days just like anyone else, but they are few and far between.
As soon as our son was given the go-ahead by his pediatrician (in other words, after all of his shots) that he could be in public places we started taking him with us everywhere. To the store, to Starbucks, to restaurants. Obviously at the beginning he was not eating the same food that we are - it was either a bottle or some variety of baby food. But then he progressed to eating food like we eat (though in much smaller bites) and he began to join us at the table not just sit in his stroller.
He is now accustomed to sitting at the table with us. He generally has a book or a small toy to keep him entertained. He does not have a tablet put in front of him to watch a show or movie and ignore the world around him. We do not permit that at home and we do not permit that in a restaurant. Through our efforts he has learned to sit patiently (everything is relative) and eat along side of us. And he loves every minute of it. He is still developing his fork and spoon skill set but he tries. And he is pretty quiet. He knows how to ask for more food, how to drink his water, how to wipe his mouth with his own napkin.
And because he is able to behave he is able to accompany us more and more. The more time he spends with us, the more he learns to behave properly. As much as he is a child, he also needs to learn and develop.