Under all social status, manners are always significant. For some especially for first timers, eating at fine dining restaurant has always been a challenge particularly in the corporate world where there is no close friends around that you can actually admit that this is your first time and you don’t want to embarrass yourself with any possible mistakes you could possibly make. Might as well not eat at all, right? We’ll get you to enjoy your specific food or any particular food and avoid one of your nightmares with the help of some basic do’s and don’ts on particular kind of food.
Let’s start with the wine. If you want to decline another drink of wine, hold your hand over the glass which means that you don’t want any more wine. You may just let the wine be poured and just not drink it. There may be times that different wines are served for each course, in such case, not to finish your wine is acceptable. NEVER turn your glass upside down just to decline a wine.
Olives, pickles, nuts, canapés, deviled eggs, and chips often fall as appetizers, Hors d’oeuvres, and canapés. These are often eaten with fingers especially when served on a pre-cocktail hour. You don’t have to push yourself to use any utensils for your hands, as long as clean will do just fine.
Breads may be served in different manner. When there is a bread and butter plate, break slices of bread, rolls and muffins into small pieces not larger than one bite. Apply butter for each bite at a time. It is not necessary to cut biscuits with knife and keep in mind that it is NOT appropriate to cut a roll with a knife. If rolls are served, take one and pass the basket to your right. Your butter knife will not be used to slice the roll but to spread butter only on the surface. Leave the butter knife on the plate at the end of the meal.
Cheese often comes as accompaniment to a dish such as apple pie. At this case, the cheese is eaten with fork. However, if it is served as an appetizer, it can be eaten with fingers. If served with caviar, control your appetite and limit it with just two ounces or two spoonfuls for it is considered bad taste if served as a hors d’oeuvre.
Though there was a time when using fingers to pick up food from bone such as chicken, Chicken are always better eaten with spoon and fork especially in a public place or at a restaurant. For clams, crabs and oysters, you only have to use your hands once and that is by picking it up. Use your oyster fork and your left hand to lift it. Use a nut cracker to crack the shell and claws and take out the meat with the miniature or oyster fork.
For pasta particularly spaghetti, fork is twirled around the long pasta and can be cut with a knife or fork. Use spoon if needed. NEVER slurp a mouthful of trailing pasta to your mouth. It is messy, loud and never good manners, though there are places like China were noodles are eaten load to signify that they enjoyed the food.
Dip your spoon into the Soup moving it away to your body. Don’t overflow your spoon with the soup. Just acquire 2/3 of the spoon and sip it without slurping aloud. Don’t put the whole bowl of spoon into your mouth. Just sip it from the side of the spoon. If you want to fully finish your soup, it is acceptable to tilt your bowl away from your body to acquire the last spoonful of the soup.
Shrimps can be served in stemmed glass (shrimp cocktail) or on a platter with tails still on. If on a stemmed glass, use oyster fork to pick them up and bite off mouthful at a time. On the other hand, you may fingers to pick up the shrimp through the shrimp tail when served on a platter. DON’T eat the tail. Discard it as if it were toothpicks. For hygienic purposes, just dip the shrimp on the sauce once unless you have a separate sauce plate.
Salads particularly with those big lettuce cut can be sliced into smaller pieces using the knife provided. Cut one bite at a time. Take note that when salad is served before or after the main course, the smaller fork should be used. If the salad is the main course, use the entrée fork (large fork).
Food is one of the basic needs of life. Unfortunately, eating has been used to declare social standards. The world has developed in such a way that even your way of eating may define the type of person you are. Still knowledge is always power. May this tips help you face this demanding world full of social standards and help you enjoy your meal.