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Living in a society means observing certain rules governing your actions. Etiquette imposes ways for human behavior under different circumstances. When it comes to fine dining, the art of etiquette must be followed.
Many five- star restaurants are venues for fine dining that cater to upscale clientele; as they are serving the highest quality of food. The venue exudes formal atmosphere and is always a sit down setting. Menus offered are fancier and more expensive than other eating places. You can choose from a list of wine to complement your entree. There are always ways to assist in food and wine pairing.
What to do:
- Dress code – Inquire ahead about their dress requirement; if you feel your attire is too formal, scale down by taking off your tie, or opening a button or two of your shirt or slackening your collar.
- Using cutlery – There will be several set of spoons and forks placed beside your plate. Start with the cutlery from the outside. In formal dining set, forks are placed on the left with knives & spoons on the right side. For the first course, use cutlery furthest away from your plate for the first course. If you get confused, follow your host.
- Taking your soup – Drink soup from the edge of the spoon. The spoon is used in scooping soup beginning from the center of the bowl and spoon away from your direction. Sip the soup quietly from the edge of the spoon and do not spurl.
- Leaving the table – Ask permission from hostess. When you get up from your chair, place your napkin on your seat so the waiter knows you are coming back.
- When gentlemen rise – Each time a woman leaves her seat or another woman approaches the table, the gentlemen rise up from their chairs.
What not to do:
- Proposing toast – Do not remain seated when someone proposes a toast in your honor. When you are proposing a toast for someone, rise from your chair. But stay on your seat if it is for you. When toasting for someone, get up from your chair and raise goblet to the direction of the guests without clicking glasses with them.
- Placing napkin – Do not place napkin tuck in front of your shirt as was the practice in the past. In modern times, napkin is unfolded and placed covering your knees. Napkins are not used to wipe your mouth but only to dab it and to remove specks of food and grease.
- Turning off mobile – In a formal dinner, keep off wallet or purse from table. And refrain from using your mobile during a formal event. Better turn off the ringer until after the dinner has ended. Turning off and keeping mobile are signs of respect to your dinner companions and the staff of the restaurant.
- Starting to eat – Do not begin dining until all other guests have been served. If there are many guests, the hostess will indicate that dinner starts even before serving is done. If this happens, you should begin per instructions of the hostess.
This is not the end as there are still more rules. However, being familiar with these will give you confidence in fine dining as you know what to do and what not to do.