WASHINGTON (AP) _ Al Gore and his vice presidential running mate, Joseph Lieberman, emerged from a day in seclusion to have dinner at a downtown restaurant.

The patrons at the Mexican restaurant, Lauriol Plaza, applauded the Democratic runningmates as they walked upstairs to a private dining room, and once again when they left the restaurant late Tuesday.

Gore and Lieberman, after spending the day out of public sight at Gore's Naval Observatory home, waved and shook hands with other diners and gave a thumbs up to the wildly cheering crowd.

Except for a press conference in front of the White House on Monday and a few photo opportunities with his family, Gore has kept private, following the Election Day standoff.