7 Fine Dining Etiquette Rules to Follow

Dining etiquette is a complex subject.

While some restaurant etiquette is simple—do not speak when your mouth is full, do not reach over someone to get something, and the like—not all rules are as well known.

Proper, acceptable dining etiquette is nuanced. Upscale dining establishments expect refined manners and certain behaviors from their diners.

7 Fine Dining Etiquette Rules to Follow

If you have been invited to a fine dining experience and are not sure how to conduct yourself, follow these seven rules below to look like you know what you are doing:

1. Dress Code

If you are unsure of what to wear or how to dress, check the restaurant’s policies online or the details on your invitation.

Business casual will suffice for several formal occasions. For men, a button-down collared shirt and jeans will work. Elevate the look with a sportscoat.

In a few cases, formal attire is the required dress code. For these events, men should wear a dark suit or tuxedo, and women should wear an evening gown.

If unsure, ask the restaurant or your event’s host for guidance.

2. Napkin Etiquette

As surprising as this may sound, there is napkin etiquette that should be followed.

Your napkin should never be tucked into the front of your shirt or blouse, regardless of how it is folded or presented. It is considered distasteful.

Gently lay your napkin across your knee and use it to dab (not wipe) when needed. Leave your napkin on your chair if you need to be excused from the table when you still need to finish your meal.

If you are finished with your meal and have excused yourself, you may leave your napkin on the table on the left-hand side of your plate—do not fold it; lay it gently next to the plate.

3. Cutlery Guide

The vast array of cutlery typically found at a place setting at a fine dining event can be intimidating—even at home.

Follow the lead of others around you, or start on the outside and work your way in. Start eating your first course with the knife, and fork set furthest away from the plate and work your way in as the evening progresses.

If you see a spoon, fork, or both set horizontally above the plate, do not fret – those are usually for the dessert course and will only be used once all the other courses have been served.

4. Pronunciation

Formal eating experiences are different, but they share some similarities, one of which is that they often have items on their menus that are hard to pronounce.

Fine dining will include premium ingredients such as truffles and caviar. Learn more about caviar prices and types online.

If you have ever been faced with a dish name or cooking term that you cannot say, you will know how embarrassing it can be. The fine dining world is made up of an amalgamation of terms and words from all over the globe, some of which are hard to pronounce.

Research online to help you navigate some of the more complex terms on fine dining menus and use one of the handy guides available.

5. Oyster Rules

If you do not spot an oyster fork on the table, do not ask for one; the absence of the fork indicates that the oyster is loosened and ready to go.

If your oyster is still attached in a few places, use a knife to loosen it completely. Once you have finished eating each oyster, turn the shell over on your plate to indicate that you are done.

Remember to chew. It is a common misconception that oysters should be swallowed whole, and eating any item whole will always be a choking hazard.

6. Glass Etiquette

There are a few rules when it comes to glasses.

It would help if you sipped from the same spot for the rest of the evening to avoid a lip ring and never clink the glassware. Clinking for a cheer could damage fine glassware.

Apart from that, in formal dining environments, the less noise you make, the better.

7. Breaking Bread

Some restaurants and dining establishments will offer bread during the evening.

Always keep the bread on your plate, apart from when you are eating it. Butter the bread while it is on the plate, but only butter the piece you have broken off to eat. Break off pieces and butter them one at a time; once a piece is buttered, you may lift it to your mouth.

To End

As complex as some of these rules are, they are the backbone of the fine dining world. While no one will arrest you for ignoring them, they are part and parcel of the entire experience, making them worthwhile to follow.

1 comment

  1. thanks for very informative and help full info,how to eat soup and use tableware properly will be at help for food and beverge serving staff thanks


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