Many situations in life can get awkward and may get difficult to handle if no prior warnings have been issued. One such situation is being to fine dining restaurant. Don’t worry- it is quite natural to get confused by the forks, knives and spoons. At times, you may even forget which hand is used to hold which, but the trick really lies in adjusting to the situation and acting as comfortable as you can.
- Forks and knives– If you are unsure how to go about using the forks and knives, learn to follow the host. In case you do want to take a try, the way to go about is to work from outside towards the inside. Forks are on the left while spoons and knives on the right- remember that these are always set for a right-handed person by default. While trying to cut a tough piece of meat with the knife, remember to hold it in place with a fork in the left hand. It is advisable to eat only small portions of food at a time, and cutlery must be put down on to the plate while having the mouth full. Crossing cutlery at the centre of the plate indicates to the server that you are still eating while keeping cutlery straight and parallel to each other show that you have finished the meal.
- About napkins– Unlike ancient times, napkins do not have to be tucked into the dress. They must not be used to wipe or rub the mouth, but only to dab. The napkin needs to be unfolded and kept on your knees. In case you have to leave your seat in the middle once you ask the host/hostess to excuse you, keep the napkin on your seat.
- Glasses– In a classical layout, 3-4 glasses are usually kept to the right of your plate. The largest glass is for red wine, while the one that has a smaller bowl is the white wine glass. A long glass kept next to the white wine glass is usually the champagne flute. When someone gives a toast for you, everyone else stands while you remain seated. Do not raise a glass for yourself. You should touch others’ glasses while toasting- raising the glass in their direction is enough. Also, in case of wine, remember to sip it over a long period of time and do not gulp it down.
- Allow your guests to order first– If you are the host, remember to allow your guests to order first. You could say something like, “My guest wants to look at your best wine” to avoid any confusion to the server.
- Dress code– An unspoken, and sometimes spoken rule at most fine dining restaurants is to be dressed in formal attire. Jackets, bowties and formal shirts are suitable for men, while the ladies would look good in cocktail attire.
The correct approach towards fine dining is to display finesse in everything you do. This starts with opening the car door for your lady and also includes extending your right elbow to lead her.