Tips and Tricks for Fine Dining
Fine dining? Aren’t those the types of restaurants with a billion forks and fancy waiters? Well, yes and no. Upper scale restaurants can have all those things (though it’s not a billion), but they are not as difficult to navigate as you may think. In fact, they can offer an invaluable dining experience.
Classifying “fine” dining
Also known as “white tablecloth restaurants,” fine dining establishments have a more formal atmosphere than your usual bar and grill. They offer costlier menu items to cater to a high-class clientele and usually require a dress code. Many “fine” dining experiences that Alan Sheinwald has experienced throughout his professional career include important business meetings, interviews, company celebrations and events, and more.
When you arrive
While you may not be turned away from a reservation if you show up in jeans, such attire is generally discouraged and can be intensely embarrassing. You may not have to arrive in your old prom clothes, but you should count on more formal attire. Men usually wear collar shirts, ties, or jackets, while ladies are expected to wear skirts, dresses, or some other kind of nice clothing.
What to expect from the food
The portions are smaller than a family restaurant, but provide a higher quality of cuisine. The menu is also more exotic; you’re not likely to find a stadium burger and fries. Some of these food items include foie gras (liver) and escargot (snails). Alan Sheinwald advises to try something different but to also be a little conservative. You don’t want to close your eyes and guess at a menu item to end up with something on your plate that your not sure how to handle. Being surprised at your dish will not impress the guests you are with.
While some things are just common sense (don’t talk with your mouth full), other forms of etiquette can be harder to spot:
- Don’t leave your phone or keys on the table. It can be distracting for your fellow diners, the waiters, and also just clutters up the dining area.
- If you’re the host, make your role clear by letting your guest order first (for example, you might say, “my guest would like to order first” when the waiter arrives).
- Set up payment ahead of time to avoid the awkward grab for the check at the end of the meal. If you’re hosting, pick up the bill. Generally, the person who invites is the one who pays.
- Don’t tell the sommelier (or “wine steward”) what you can afford on the wine list. Simply point to the wine in your price range and they will know how to stick within your budget. Also, don’t try to act like a wine connoisseur; it’s okay to just taste the wine when it arrives without pretending you’ve done it a thousand times before.
- If you get up during the meal, place your napkin on your chair, not the table. When the meal is finished, it goes on the left-hand side of where your plate used to be. Also, don’t put your utensils on the table. Arrange them on your plate at a 10:20 angle.
No matter what your budget may be, fine dining is definitely worth experiencing at least once. Next time you feel like a night on the town, be adventurous. You’re bound to have a meal you’ll never forget!
To learn more about Alan Sheinwald and his experiences in the professional world, connect with him on his About.me page: https://about.me/alansheinwald.