That shouldn’t be the case. Why do you think we were taught table ethics in home economics class? Just in case you have forgotten, here are a couple of fine dining tips to help you not make your next big date into the next big disaster.
1. When dining in a restaurant, make sure you are “dressed to the nines.” For men, a suit is suggested. For women, a dress or a skirt. A restaurant is different from a fast food chain. Besides, you will feel better about yourself when you’re all dressed up and shining like a new penny.
2. Once you are seated, the napkin must be spread flat out on your lap. If the dinner napkin is larger than usual, fold it in half. If these are small napkins, then they must be opened in full-size.
3. Sit up straight. Your elbows must be tucked in. Do not stretch them outright. It will not only make you slouch, it will also make you look like you’re owning the entire area.
4. Look around the table and wait until everyone has been served the meal before you dig into yours.
5. Just like how Molly (Kathy Bates) and Rose (Kate Winslet) taught Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) in Titanic, the silverware you should use first is the one that is located farthest from the plate then work your way in.
6. When you’re done with a particular piece of silverware, put it on the dish which you used it for.
7. If it is buffet-style, pass the food to your right.
8. You wouldn’t want to seem hungry to your date or those around you, so for ethical purposes, cut the meat in small pieces. You must also put food in your mouth in small bites. Chew slowly. You wouldn’t want to choke, now would you?
9. When you’re done with your meal, leave the napkin semi-folded at the left side of your plate.
10. Here is a general rule once you have to remove things from your mouth. Always remember to remove it the same procedure it went in. For example, a chicken bone must be returned to the plate by using a fork.
11. Eat chicken with a fork and a knife.
12. If you are served with oysters and clams that are still in their shell, simply place the shell firmly within your grasp using your left hand and pull out the clam using the oyster fork that is provided for you.
13. Use a cocktail fork when eating lobster, shrimp and crab cocktails.
14. Pick up fried shrimp with your fingers.
15. Using a nutcracker, crack crab and lobster claws. Take out the meat using your fork.
16. Put butter on baked potatoes using a fork. Most people do it with a knife. Upon reading this article, you know better.
17. Eat chips with your fingers. Use the fork when the host serves you French fries. Do not pick one whole piece only to bite parts of it off.
18. When served with soup, dip the spoon and move it outwards, meaning away from your body. Do not slurp. Sip it from the edge of your spoon. Do not insert the whole spoon into your mouth.
Now let us go back to the scenario we described in the beginning of the article. Here are some tips just in case you experience dining accidents:
1. If there is a spill, do not clean it with your napkin. Your napkin is there to protect you from spill not to lure it all in. Politely ask the server to clean it up for you and ask for replacements if the napkin or utensils have been soiled.
2. Another accident you may encounter is choking. Do not panic. Simply motion to anyone closest to you that you are having a hard time breathing. It may be comical like that scene from “Mrs. Doubtfire” when Pierce Brosnan choked on a piece of meat spiced up by Robin Williams, but, hey, there’s nothing a Heimlich maneuver cannot do.
The key is do not be conscious of your actions. Be confident. By knowing what you must do and how to do it, then you shouldn’t worry. Most importantly, enjoy the meal with your date.
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Articles - This Issue
- Get in the Holiday Spirit at Henry Mayo’s Holiday Home Tour
- Make the Holidays Brighter with the SCV Jaycees 15th Annual Santa’s Helpers Toy Drive
- A Note from The Publishers - December 2013
- Gingerbread House Contest
- Holiday Classic on Stage at the CTG
- JAZZ in the Afternoon, Relax and Enjoy
- Justin Time Children’s House Grief is love, with no place to go.
- Good News and Great Joy For SC Master Chorale’s Holiday Concert
- The Treasured Talent of Santa Clarita Ballet’s Nutcracker
- A Pictures Is Worth a Thousand Words Wedding Photo Contest