Many people miss one of the critical steps in serving nice eggplant. Before cooking eggplant, you should cut it into slices and soak it in salt water for a few hours, if not overnight, in your refrigerator.
This take much of the bitterness out of eggplant, and makes it more tender. This is a good trick known by any chef worthy of their title.
In recent years though, I have tended towards the smaller Chinese eggplant. I think they are just superior in taste and texture to normal eggplant, and don’t need soaking a all.