The best food photographs are done with studio type lighting, so don't expect perfection.
For low light....the Fujifilm F50fd is likely your best choice.
If you are dining by candle light, that could get tricky without flash. Difficult but possible.
I'm in the market for a new compact camera, and my priority is taking the best possible pictures of food in restaurants without resorting to flash. I can spend up to $500, but would prefer $300-$400. I can't really whip out an SLR discretely in restaurants, so I really need the best possible compact point and shoot camera. I've heard that Fujis are the best for this -- is this still true? Would the F50fd be the best? I'm suspicious because of its low price. I'm also condsidering Panasonic and Canon models but have heard their performance at high ISO levels is not as good as Fuji.