What are your "do nots" in a fine dining situation?
By - RakiaEscobedo1973
From a chef working in fine dining: don’t stress. It’s just food, and our main goal is that you, the diner, have a great time. Most of us cooks are in it for the love of food and cooking, and we love nothing more than to make people happy with our food.
Order a prime cut of steak well done? We’ll groan and silently judge, but we’ll make it the best damn well done steak you’ve ever had. You only eat steamed vegetables without seasoning? Fine, we’ll make you a beautiful steamed veg platter. Wanna fill up on bread? Great, we’ll pack up your dessert course as nicely as we can. Don’t know shit about wine? That’s what we have sommeliers for - and they work hard with the chef to find the perfect match for everything on the menu. Don’t know which utensil to use? When a server is making $500 in tips on a slow night, they’re well trained to be patient and accommodating to all guests’ needs, including teaching them the finer details of cutlery placement.
The restaurant industry is a labor of love, and those of us in it love nothing more than to share our love of it with others. Don’t be afraid to sound dumb - that’s the only way to learn!
My gazpacho soup is cold! Also can I have some ketchup and a can of coke please.
The look on their faces still haunts me today! No one told me my gazpacho soup was meant to be served cold! I could have been an admiral by now!
You must live on a small maroon ship
The external temperature must be quite low too.
It probably lacks a breathable atmosphere.
They're probably mostly alone, too.
I need to depart
What a smeg head
That warrants two hours of W.O.O....with-out oxygen!
"We had gazpacho soup for starters. I didn't know gazpacho soup was meant to be served cold. I called over the chef. And I told him to take it away and bring it back hot. He did. The looks on their faces still haunt me today - I thought they were laughing at the chef"
I know I've read that before, but I'm not sure where... Is it from Red Dwarf?
Yeah, where rimmer is recounting his dinner at the officer's table
$500 a slow night? NYC?
Honestly, fine dining servers make BANK in just about any good sized city.
Hmmm. I need to move.
I’ve run my ass off (even with DRAs, bussers, bartenders & some pretty amazing hosts working alongside me) in a few larger NE/Midwest cities and haven’t regularly hit $500.
Do you work at a place that runs $100+ a person on just food?
[$100 per person food and beverage minimum.](https://www.steak48.com/steakhouses/philadelphia/)
On Fridays Saturdays at a casual tourist trap type restaurant in a small winery town servers would take home 800-1k Canadian a night. 3 to 500 was a "slow night" for them.
Service industry has huge opportunities for income. As an underwriter, I’ve seen cases where waiters/waitresses are pulling down six figures gross. Upscale dining, resort dining, banquet serving. There are a lot of options that can be extremely well compensated. You can also work at schmuck’s dinner and make $50 a night in tips.
I need to take a restaurant manners course in how to correctly eat beautifully plated food [like this.](https://i.pinimg.com/736x/0d/df/89/0ddf8939f7400d1f877c04499ed904dc.jpg) Do you cut in in half with your fork, or a knife? Do you stab it with your fork and just hork it down in one bite? Are you supposed to eat plant-looking things that are not lettuce?
Fine gourmet dining intimidates me.
So if you want to eat “politely”, you would cut the cubes of meat in half (if they’re bigger than bite size) and daintily eat them between sips of wine. Maybe drag a couple through the sauce on the side. Try to make every bite a little different - eat some of it with the micro greens (little lettuce guys), some with the garnishes that are on the meat, some just plain by itself to taste the meat alone. Enjoy!
This is what I like about living in Vegas. We have all the “fine” dining options that you’ll find in NYC or LA but no one takes it super seriously, we’re here for the good food, we don’t care if you come in looking like a shmuck. The waiters at these restaurants don’t give a fuck either, as long as the tips keep rolling in.
When the waiter brings you your filet mignon and it's medium well instead of medium rare, don't choke them with their uniform tie. It's the chef's fault and most likely intentional so you are legally allowed to challenge him to a duel with either crossbows or swords. You should pick crossbows because most chefs are terrible shots and at least above average with bladed weapons.
Do we no longer get the choice of two short knives? I haven’t kept up-to-date on the Codé de Bataille de Culinaire.
As a clumsy goblin with fancy parents..... if you drop something on the floor, LEAVE IT THERE. Crawling under the table to rescue cutlery is a bigger faux pas than politely asking the waiter for a new fork.
I was not aware
Also a faux pas if you hiss and growl at passersby while you're down there in your goblin cave.
My kids loved doing this. Embarrassed the fuck out of me but damn it. They needed that crayon.
Full disclosure, we did not eat at fancy places.
You are giving too many fucks if that embarrassed you.
Yes. It actually took me a little too long to realize what fucks were not worth giving.
Hell when I was small enough, it became a game after dinner that I would scoot beneath the table and "attack" my dad. Then I'd climb up into his lap and sit there for a while. Obviously we didn't do this at restaurants, though kid me did try it once. My mom was mortified, the waitress couldn't stop laughing.
But it’s a trip hazard!
I think the table is a bigger trip hazard
You're right- I should remove the table too. Thanks!
Don’t forget to wash your hands after though, that table was on the floor!
BUT THEN YOU'D BE EATING WITHOUT A TABLE!
Oh my god- what kind of fine dining is this?! They don't even have furniture!
Besides, if you pick it up, where do you put it? Not on a clean tablecloth.
And, go wash your hands after contaminating them with floor filth.
Don't lose out on enjoying the meal because you are concerned about etiquette you don't know. The staff have seen it all, and in fact if you're uncertain about something you can just ask. "How do I eat this?" "I've never had this here, what is it and what is it like?" "How can it be safe to eat raw beef?" are all legit questions.
Had to kinda do this when I was eating at a restaurant that put as much effort into their plating as their food (Central in Lima). It got very tricky at some points to identify the food from the inedible garnishes. The waiter was nice enough to point out the first time I left some of the food behind because it looked like it was just igneous rock and from them on I just double checked with each course.
There really shouldn't be anything on the plate that isn't edible, other than the obvious seafood shells, bones, etc. Garnishes should at least be edible, if not palatable.
It was a pretty fancy "dining as a journey" kinda place where each dish "told a story"
Normally, I'd be less on board with it, but since they are consistently ranked one of the top restaurants in the world, i figure they earned their right to be a little eccentric.
The most recent Trip advisor reviews are brutal one stars. The review entitled "An intricate web of lies with a melting heart of deception" was my fav. Thank you for sharing. :)
Very kind of the waiter… but what were they serving you that looked like rocks? I’d have to ask for everything too. Or I’d just eat everything, rock or not, to be polite.
Honestly can't even remember. If you Google the restaurant, the pictures will give you an idea of why it was confusing. It was all incredibly delicious once I knew what to eat though
The “How do I eat this?” aspect of fine dining is honestly what scares me off from it. The idea of paying so much to have an evening of anxiety - how do I eat this, am I doing something wrong, they’re all gonna laugh at me! Is this a garnish or food? Is this foamy part meant to be eaten? I’d be so embarrassed to ask all my questions.
In general, they aren’t going to present something as food that isn’t safe to eat. And yes, eat the foam.
Do not click your fingers in order to summon the waiter or waitress.
This goes for non fine dining as well.
This goes for any normal human interaction as well....
I even feel like a dick when I snap my fingers to get my dog's attention.
UGH, there's a diner that I love that's right across the street from me. I eat there with my wife and kids all the time.
My d-bag cousin came to town and wanted to stay with us (he's rich, but cheap. we're not close enough relationship-wise that him staying would have been my idea). We took him out to our diner and he snapped his fingers to get the waitress. Twice.
I wanted to crawl under the table and hide.
Don't be that guy.
Stick your fingers in your mouth and whistle instead
I prefer to repeatedly open hand beat the table while bellowing “MOAR WINE!” Regardless of my request. That’ll get them there right quick.
Okay Robert Baratheon.
FINE DINING, NED! ON AN OPEN FIELD!
"Don't whistle at me, I'm not your fucking dog. You look more like a dog than I do." -Gordon Ramsay
When I worked in retail, I most certainly had people snap their fingers or whistle to summon me from the other end of the aisle.
My mom was a waitress, when someone did this to one of the new girls she almost physically threw the man out
No! They tell you their name at the beginning for a reason. You are supposed to yell their name at the top of your lungs. Then casually mention what you need.
KEVIN!!!!! ...more water please.
Everyone knows you're supposed to bang plates together for that!
“Garcon means boy.”
Whatever you say, hunnybunny.
I love you too, hunnybunny.
jesus my husbands brother would do that and yell waiter too. he’s not american so i tried to explain but didn’t work.
Jesus is your husband's brother? I live in a Buddhist country but still think that's pretty cool.
Don't flap your napkin, just fold it in half and put it on your lap.
Wait for the host (if you are not the host) to take their napkin before you take yours. It can be used to indicate that the party is complete, the party is ready for the service etc.
Observe as you enter to see if a maitre’d is placing the napkins on diners (sometimes ladies only).
Small napkins can go on a single leg (usually left), larger ones across the lap.
Napkin doesn’t go back on the table until you are done with ALL the courses. It’s a signal that the meal has ended for you as a diner or for your party if you are a host.
Suppose that you were sitting down at this table. The napkins are in front of you, which napkin would you take? The one on your ‘left’? Or the one on your ‘right’? The one on your left side? Or the one on your right side? Usually you would take the one on your left side. That is ‘correct’ too. But in a larger sense on society, that is wrong. Perhaps I could even substitute ‘society’ with the ‘Universe’. The correct answer is that ‘It is determined by the one who takes his or her own napkin first.’ …Yes? If the first one takes the napkin to their right, then there’s no choice but for others to also take the ‘right’ napkin. The same goes for the left. Everyone else will take the napkin to their left, because they have no other option. This is ‘society’… Who are the ones that determine the price of land first? There must have been someone who determined the value of money, first. The size of the rails on a train track? The magnitude of electricity? Laws and Regulations? Who was the first to determine these things? Did we all do it, because this is a Republic? Or was it Arbitrary? NO! The one who took the napkin first determined all of these things! The rules of this world are determined by that same principle of ‘right or left?’! In a Society like this table, a state of equilibrium, once one makes the first move, everyone must follow! In every era, this World has been operating by this napkin principle. And the one who ‘takes the napkin first’ must be someone who is respected by all. It’s not that anyone can fulfill this role… Those that are despotic or unworthy will be scorned. And those are the ‘losers’. In the case of this table, the ‘eldest’ or the ‘Master of the party’ will take the napkin first… Because everyone ‘respects’ those individuals.
Don't fap under the napkin either.
That’s why most fine dining establishments provide a fapkin.
If you can’t distinguish between your napkin and your fapkin you must be some sort of barbarian.
Don’t fill up on bread like my dumb ass. I paid $140 for 2 meals and I could only eat about 1/4 of mine because their bread was so amazing.
Nah see eating the bread is smart. You walk out feeling full, but you've still got leftovers for lunch tomorrow
~~I think you need to pick one. I haven't seen a lot of doggy bags at high-end brie cheese and grapes up your ass places. But then again, I don't really go to those places.~~
Apparently the previous comment is derogatory and insulting to fine dining and I should be ashamed. So I put a line through it. *scratches ass*
They wrap it up in that duck thingie.
> duck thingie.
I have no clue what that is but my imagination is keeping me quite entertained!
"Here's your hollowed out duck to carry your leftovers in, sir. Freshly plucked."
What’s a duck thingie?
Where can one find one of these places that put high end Brie cheese & grapes up your ass? Asking for a friend.
You can definitely get a to-go container for a main course, but not apps or the starter salad (speaking from the customer side). I bet they would wrap up whatever you want, apps included, but if you're on a fancy date I would think that looks tacky.
It wasn't fine dining, but I was once in a restaurant and they (very unwisely) put the bread basket next to me and would refill it every time it was empty - I think I probably ate at least an entire loaf's worth of bread as well as my actual meal that dinner.
Did they take too long to come to your table?
No I inhaled the bread and a beer within like 7 minutes
We are kindred spirits
In fine dining it's actually considered rude to bring everything out in a timely manner.
This is gonna make me sound like a bougie douche but when i was too little to appreciate the experience the nice restaurants my grandad liked to take the fam to were little adhd me's nightmare because it would take 2.5-3 hours every time. Like I'm talking two drinks before appetiezers
My grandpa grew up poor as dirt orphan though, he didn't come from old money, so if he wanted to spend it pampering his family i do not fault him for that
This is the pro tip right here.
If you order lobster, it's okay to wear a bib, but you're still not allowed to ask the waitress to burp you.
I've always seen the bibs as a tourist thing for people who don't know how to crack lobster, nobody I knew growing up would ever wear them. A friend of mine went to Boston College and her roommate was from the midwest. When her parents came to visit they drove their RV and got permission to park it outside the dorm for a long weekend. They invited the daughter's roommates out to a seafood restaurant with the family. They drove everyone there in the RV and had it valet parked, which I think is hilarious. Then they insisted that everyone get lobster. Everyone put the bibs on and my friend didn't want to seem like a snob so she put hers on too but said she felt like a dweeb the whole time.
Do not bring your baby to a fine dining establishment.
...and nobody put baby in a corner.
And do not bring former professional basketball player Glen “Big Baby” Davis.
Or rapper da baby
Don't kick da baby
KICK DA BABY
Do not make a baby in a fine dining establishment.
Also don't bring DaBaby
I’d extend that to young children in general. If your kid can’t keep it together and avoid disturbing the other people in the restaurant, you shouldn’t bring them. Of course there’s probably 3 year olds that would be perfectly fine, but that’s a decision for the parents to make knowing how their kids act.
I agree, but only for fine dining. Kids need to develop their social skills in public. Casual restaurants (not fast food) are a great way to practice.
There are restaurants that you should avoid if you do not like kids. We have a chain know for being a family restaurant. Play areas, singing for birthdays, crayons and balloons were an integral part of their setup.
Then one day a lady complained about our kids. Their balloon bumped into her when they were going past her table. If that irritates you, you probably need to go to a restaurant without a play area...
Funny story, I was at a place where steaks run around $60 (not super crazy i know compared to NYC) and it wasn't the baby at the other table that disturbed us, it was the table of 8 adults screaming and cheering while they watched a playoff game (first round) on their phones.
Unless you're pregnant.
If you can afford to go to a place like that, you can afford a babysitter.
I was thinking of asking my pregnant friend to leave her womb at home. Do you think that's too rude?
Do not be intimidated.
Ask the waiter what you want, and how you want it cooked.
Relax, it’s going to be expensive. You are there for good food, and to relax. If the waiter is pompous, or looking down on you, ask for the head waiter, tell him the issue, and have him replaced.
The only rule in a very expensive, high end restaurant, is do not annoy the other diners.
If you’re there for business, on someone else’s dime, use your manners and proper etiquette.
Avoid slurping the soup or smacking your lips when something is tasty.
Let's just avoid this all together, unless it's a cultural norm where you are.
As a misophonic who lived in S. Korea... but the PAIN. The pain of hearing a lone Korean eat lunch in the office OH MY GOD I'm having flashbacks
I feel you. I once went to a trade show on a packed subway train and I could hear some chinese dude chewing across the entire car. The pain is real and the pain of people not understanding is even worse...
My mom does this even when we eat at home. And she usually doesn’t eat the dinner she makes she just sits down with a bowl of lettuce and Italian dressing. My siblings and I are pretty sure she slurps and smacks her lips and makes yummy sounds because she’s trying to convince herself that she’s not missing out on the fried chicken.
Hey, if it works :)
I think slurping is a sign of respect and showing that the food is delicious in some cultures though. But obviously not in western culture.
As a waiter of fine dining who works in fine dining daily, I can honestly say a lot of these answers are trying way too hard and are overly pretentious. Eat your food, pay your bill, tip 20%, and gtfo just like any other place lol.
The majority of response of this thread is either:
i) Common sense
ii) Way too fucking specific
You don’t even have to eat the food. Just pay, tip, leave.
I serve at a pretty fancy restaurant. It’s amazing how many grown-ass adults have atrocious table manners. I don’t mean snotty etiquette, I mean like chew with mouths open, yak on the phone loudly, put their feet on the seat and just bark orders like a spoiled child who spend their youth screaming at their parents and caregivers without being told no.
I can also generally tell what kind of tip I’m going to get based on how polite/rude you are.
Don't tell that you're allergic to something if you just really don't like it.
Server at a fancy restaurant here. It is staggering the amount of allergies that disappear when you tell them what they can’t have.
My friend is a server at a fairly nice restaurant. They told me the other day a woman came in and told them specifically that she was deathly allergic to all dairy and to make sure nothing they ordered had any dairy anywhere near it. Okay, easy, done! Then she ordered the cake, which has buttercream frosting, for dessert. When my friend told her that, she just said, “oh no, that kind of dairy is okay.”
Went from “deathly allergic” to “that’s okay” over the course of a single meal. A real medical miracle!
A restaurant served their caesar salad with an anchovie. My sister doesn't like fish and wanted a new one without fish on it, so she told them she was allergic. She didn't know caesar dressing is made with anchovie and had to order something else. Serves her right
I waited tables and had a group of high school kids where one was a vegetarian and was trying to figure out what to eat. The options were fairly limited so I rattled off what we could do. She didn't pick any of those, in the end she decided to have the French onion soup, which obviously was not on my list. I just kept my mouth shut and got her the soup as I had already wasted several minutes while she struggled to decide what she could have.
You didn't tell her about the Frenchman in the soup? Monster
What you mean broth that was made by boiling Boones is not vegetarian, who would of thunk.
This reminds of an old coworker. The decided to tell me they were going vegan. She didn't understand why I told not until she stops eating the Jello brand jello she was eating.
People should learn about their diet choices before committing.
I worked with a guy from south Asia who was bummed when he realized that Altoids had gelatin in them. It meant the end of him enjoying those curiously strong peppermints to adhere to his religious beliefs.
I am in a weird gray area on this one. I have chronic migraines. I have certain trigger foods that will cause a migraine almost every time. Every product I buy, every meal I purchase I check for the ingredients. I’m not technically “allergic.” I don’t get hives or stop breathing. But I also don’t feel like explaining my medical situation to avoid having a day or days ruined.
As someone with actual food sensitivities (celiac disease, for one), please don’t fake allergies. I’ve been cross contaminated with gluten more times than I can count because of people like this. It’s not just digestive discomfort for me. My body attacks itself, and it takes me about a month to recover each time.
It’s ok to tell a restaurant that you just don’t like something.
Also: they may actually prepare something you normally don't like so well that you do like it. I've had that before with mushrooms.
Are we talking "sort-of upscale Olive Garden" fine, or "Le Bernardin" fine?
The former, I don't ask "What has the most shrimp?"
The latter, I don't order anything I don't recognize. Or that won't be spoiled just by knowing the price.
"The shrimp linguine, sir"
"Very good, I'll have that, but hold the noodles and add more shrimp. For the sauce can you blend up some shrimp and pour it over the other shrimp? Instead of bread we will have shrimp, and to drink can you squeeze some shrimp and pour that into a glass?"
I was with you right up to the shrimp juice.
And for dessert?
"We have have the chefs towel he used to wipe the counter after making our meals, warmed to 115 degrees, and placed gently over our faces while you pour the water from the shrimp tank over us"
Yes hello police, this comment right here.
At Le Bernardin you can’t take off your suit jacket. Made that mistake and was promptly corrected.
Been to Gaggan, Osteria Francescana, and Le Arpege as well as many other fine dining places and never had an issue with attire.
At Red Lobster you can't take off your pants. Made that mistake and was promptly ejected.
The problem wasn’t that your pants were off, it was that your underwear was filled with cheddar biscuits
Years ago my dining companion arrived at Le Bernardin without a suit jacket and they offered him one in his size to wear at the table...and he politely refused. Then I was having such a grand time at our 10-course tasting menu dinner I decided to pause and go out for a cigarette halfway through. :( (I know now this is really difficult for the servers and the chef.) Surely we were that evening’s nightmare guests. But they made us feel special and welcome. That is where I first learned the true art of subtlety. I was looking around for my lighter and a waiter appeared with a packet of matches and set them on the table without a word.
Well, that's a really fancy expensive place. You have to wear a tie as well?
You can wear shorts and flip flops to olive garden. It's fast food spaghetti, not up scale in the slightest.
I try really hard not to cuff my runny nose. I was brought up with "fine dining" table habits by parents that valued proper children over happy children (thankfully, they're totally on board with having happy adult children), and it turns out I'm a few steps away from being a wild animal, so some really uncouth habits have formed. Plus, I have a perpetually runny nose.
I never know what to do about this! My nose runs like crazy when I eat food. It's especially awkward if they only have cloth napkins. I try to bring a bunch of kleenex in my pocket just in case..
Woah, I'm not the only person this happens to! I don't go out to eat much, but I'm always nervous when I do because no matter what I eat, my nose will run like a faucet. I don't know what to do about it because I don't know what causes it, but it's so frustrating! Fortunately (heh), I have ulcerative colitis so nobody will question me if I have to use the bathroom a few times to blow my nose.
Doing lines on your bread plate. Use the back of the toilet in the bathroom like a normal person.
Back of the toilet? You mean the shelf for my magazine and chocolate milk?
Always order meat that is already deboned... Or else I'm going to reveal my working class background by grabbing that lamb chop with my bare hands.
Tbh, i always do that
Never drink from a glass without wiping your lips first. The other people at the table don’t want to look at your greasy food residue left behind
Wow I never thought about this before
This is a good one.
There are a lot of fine dining rules that feel very arbitrary and might vary depending on where you are, but this is just plain practical. I’ve definitely been grossed out seeing residue before, so it’d be a bad impression to leave.
Most high etiquette rules are actually pretty practical and based on making other people more comfortable. Like: Don't eat before everyone has been served (they don't want to sit there for 5 minutes watching your eat); drinks go on the right (so that you and the person next to you don't confuse your drinks, and it's easier for the wait staff); put down your knife when using your fork (so that you're not clutching your knife the whole time).
Etiquette rules are 100% bougie, but they developed over centuries, usually for very good reasons. The random arbitrary ones eventually die out.
"put down your knife when using your fork (so that you're not clutching your knife the whole time)."
Are you American? If yes I have an honest question, hope I don't seem rude.
I heard that you tend to cut the food up first, then put the knife done and eat this then, by switching the fork to your right hand? And don't doing it this way is seen as rude? Or is that just an "stupid americans, they do stuff different, eugh" rumor?
>put down your knife when using your fork
This is so interesting to me that you say this here. Are you American? I just ask because this is always how I would pick out Americans at restaurants when I was growing up.
Americans always put down the knife and use their fork with their dominant hand, whereas Germans and other Europeans always just used their fork with their "off" hand.
And for women wearing lipstick?
Do your best to stick to your server. I can't get your bill or get you a new bottle of wine if I'm not your server. Also dudes, don't pretend to be a wine snob to impress your date. It is so easy to see through and I get embarrassed on your behalf.
Contribute to the conversation, but do not dominate it; Do not tuck your napkin into your shirt collar - it goes in your lap; Do not forget to offer to pass the bread/butter/sugar/cream; When you need to get up from the table, excuse yourself but do not make a giant scene/deal about it; DO NOT order anything you need to eat with your hands - or spaghetti
If you’re not supposed to order things you need to eat with your hands, why are those things on the menu?
So the French waiter can have a scoff at your expense.
Fine dining or not, you leave the table and you return my mate would call 'did you have a poo?'
Utensils are outside first, work your way in.
Don't tuck you napkin under your collar.
Don't scarf your food down.
Don't start eating before everyone else is served.
If you're at a dinner party, don't start eating until the host sits and picks up their utensil.
When you're finished, place your utensil at the 4 o clock position.
Say please and thank.
Don't reach over anything except your own dish.
> Don't start eating before everyone else is served.
For anybody complaining about this, if you're really at a "fine dining situation", everybody's plates are coming out simultaneously. One person is not making multiple trips to carry everybody's plate.
Even at a moderate dining restaurant, everybody's food should be up at the same time. Even if it does take two trips, you're waiting a minute at most. Your food isn't getting cold that fast.
If you're in a situation where one person's food comes out, then you have to wait 5-10 minutes for the rest of the food, there's an actual problem here. That problem might be that you're at an Applebee's, but it shouldn't happen at any place respectable.
To add to this, while waiting for everyone to get their meal is the polite thing to do in general, it’s also better to wait until the host starts eating because they may be religious and say grace (prayer to bless the food and thank God for quality time with the dinner party) first. Even if you yourself are not religious, it’s still respectful to participate, and pretty much essential if it’s a situation where you need to leave a good impression. I was caught unaware at *non-fine dining* outings before a couple of times when I was young since my family doesn’t regularly do this, and the embarrassment scared me out of eating before everyone gets settled among people I don’t know well since lol.
I grew up in the southern US. It’s fairly common among family dinners there, but also not unheard of for more formal occasions.
Make pig noises while eating
Make pig noises at your date while they're eating.
Make pig noises at the server while ordering
Have the server make pig noises at your date when they bring the food, but not at you
"This will surely get me laid"
Fine dining, especially like in a traditional setting in Europe, is a dance. They are career individuals whose joy is to make your experience the best it can be.
If you are not sure, ask their recommendation or ask for a little help. In the same vein, if you are experienced, respect their craft and the evening will be like a dance. Everyone will be happy, laughing, and engaged. Treat them as partners and I guarantee you will have an experience like no other (of course, they have to be up for it as well).
Learn your part - what smells, tastes, sights, and textures you like and don’t like. There are options and there are some limits. Listen and look for hints, ask questions, be engaged.
I remember this as happening once for me and some extended family in Paris on a trip. It was magical.
Please don't "help" the staff clearing the plates.
The staff has a system and your "help" is slowing them down tremendously.
Not to mention the much higher chance anything will be spilled on you because you never learned to lock the rest of the cutlery with the forks.
Just let them do their job and enjoy your evening.
To add to that, don’t put used napkins into your coffee mug/tea cup/wine glass. It may look like you’re helping, but it’s more time consuming (not to mention disgusting) for the staff to deal with. Especially if there’s still liquid left in the mug.
Don't: shit yourself
"Do not ask for a third bottle of wine this time"
Just hope someone else will order it
Don't bring small children with you. They won't enjoy it, you won't enjoy it, and if you can afford to go to such an establishment, you can afford a babysitter.
When taking butter, don't use the serving knife to spread it on your bread. Use the serving knife to take a slab of butter and deposit it onto your plate, then use your own knife to spread it on your bread.
If you are at a restaurant, any restaurant not just fine dining, that serves a cuisine that is not of your cultural background, do not mock the accents of people from that cultural background. Not when ordering, not when discussing the menu, and not when conversing at your table you think is private. Don't do it at all, ever, but certainly not in public and at a volume where other people can overhear.
It may sound hard to believe that there are troglodytes that would actually behave this way, but money does not buy class.
This is just common sense and human decency
Fine dinning waiter here:
We’re taught to pass food with our left had over your left shoulder. We pick up food over your right shoulder.
So, my advice is, when the waiter comes over:
1. Have some situational awareness and sit back. People see me take food from the person to their left and they keep leaving forward. Sit back, asshole.
2. Don’t move around too much.
Too bad casual restaurant servers don’t know this either.
I have some hand tremors and coordination issues with my left hand. Spaghetti means mess unless I lower my face to the plate and shovel.
Either way it's not a good look.
If there are no prices on the menu,
I do not eat there.
Don't show up in a hoodie, jeans with holes in them and sneakers.
Unless you're a rock star.
Pour your companions wine/tea/sake/champagne.
Do not butter your whole piece of bread. Take butter from the butter dish and put it on your bread plate. Then only butter each bite. Also, if you don’t know which bread plate is your, make the OK hand signal with both hands. The left one forms a b and the right forms a d. So bread plate is on your left and drink is on your right.
the bread and butter thing! my mother in law asked me about this when we were out somewhere. she's from long island and 70; i'm from north carolina, in my 30s, and took cotillion-esque manners course in elementary school.
she was like, "why did you do that with your butter?"
and I explain about my-family-was-too-poor-for-real-cotillion shit and she's like "we were taught the exact opposite in (Jewish neighborhood New York equivalent of cotillion for young gals in the 1960s)"
I have a wicked high metabolism & I’ve been told when I eat it looks like I haven’t eaten for weeks. I basically wolf my food down, not on purpose really it’s just how I eat. Now I try to VERY SLOWLY eat my food which is annoying. Even after being the first one to finish at the dining table I typically order more food because I’m just hungry lol.
Don’t wear a hat
DO NOT ask for some of my food
So just take. Got it.
That's a good way to get stabbed with a spoon.
JOEY DOESN’T SHARE FOOD!!!
Dont ask for tomato ketchup or HP sauce, it wont go down too well.
A company like Hewlett-Packard isn’t likely to make a good sauce anyway, it’s not their core.
Don't want the chef's head exploding...