Any tips on dining ettiquette?

Recently for my wife’s birthday we went to a great restaurant that was far & away the best I’ve ever been to. Trouble was, I had no idea how to behave, which for to use, or even how to interact with the guy when he handed over the wine menu. It probably sounds a little odd, but…does anybody have any tips on dining ettiquette? I feel out of place when I don’t know what to expect or how to act, however the food at that restaurant makes me want to eat more often at places like that.

Any tips on ettiquette like interacting with the maitre’d, ordering wine, or how to tell what fork I should be using would be awesome. Thanks.

Answer #1

Usually to get a server’s attention, you can usually catch her/his eye, but if not, you may ask a nearby server. If the matter is not urgent, wait until the server checks at the table to make sure everything is okay; be discreetly on the lookout for him/her to do so, so you won’t be caught with your mouth full. Avoid getting up from the table to hunt someone down. Remember the meal is not the main purpose for your being there.

Your salad plate and bread and butter plate are on your left, above your fork. Your beverages are on the right above your spoon. Remember: Solids on the left, liquids on the right.

Always use your silverware from the outside in. So if you have two forks, the outside fork is for salad and the fork closest to the plate is for your main course. The silverware will be removed as you finish each course. There may be a third fork outside the salad fork for appetizers. Usually no more than three utensils are placed on each side of the place setting. If a fourth utensil is needed, it is placed above the plate and is usually for dessert and/or for coffee to be served with dessert. (When you are seated, don't play with your utensils or make them a topic of conversation.) Put the knife across the top of your plate when you are eating, blade facing toward you. The spoons and all utensils should be rested once in a while in the little plates under your soup bowl or on you main course plates.

AHHH!!!!!! for the wine, truly one doesn’t need to be a connoisseur to understand how to act like one in a good restaurant, its good to learn about wines though, so start with this and learn your wines……..there are a couple of things when ordering wines you need to keep in mind, how to select, inspect, the pulling of the cork, and smell/tasting…..and the rest well enjoy….

HOW TO SELECT Option 1 - Ask your server or the sommelier for their advice. In upscale restaurants, servers should be fairly knowledgeable about the wines they offer and how they complement various dishes. Tell him or her your preferences, what you’re planning to eat, and how much you want to spend. Sommeliers, the restaurant’s staff wine expert, will be happy to select a wine for you. Let them know your preferences and, to silently communicate your price limit, point to an appropriately priced wine on the list and say, “Something like this.”

Option 2 – If you have a wine lover in your group, let them make the choice.

Option 3 – Forget the wine list. Order 1-2 bottles of the house white and/or red. This can be a good choice for almost every occasion. Restaurants choose those wines to match its food.

Option 4 – Order wines by the glass. This is a good way to try several different wines with a meal and accommodate the varying preferences of the group.

INSPECTION Usually the Inspection is first…….The ritual begins when the unopened bottle of wine is brought to your table and shown to you. This is so you can check that the wine they have brought is the one you ordered. Look at the label and confirm it is the bottle - and vintage - you ordered. Simply nod to the server to show that you approve.

REMOVING OF THE CORK at any upscale restaurant the server will remove the cork and show it to you, why? to place it in front of you to inspect. Don’t sniff the cork; just look at it, then nod. The cork should be neither wet all the way through nor dry. Either condition indicates that the wine was stored improperly. Corks should be moist.

TASTING A small amount of wine will be poured into your glass. This amount is intended to be sniffed and tasted. You are to determine if the wine has gone bad, not if you like it or not. It is only appropriate to reject wine when it has turned, not because you don’t like it. At this pt do what you have seen on TV the guy who swirls the wine and smells it and sips a taste……..

congradulations, you are part of the elite members of our society according to dining etiquettes….

can’t believe all of those lessons mum and dad gave us actually came in handy, its a good thing to know………hope this helps

More Like This
Ask an advisor one-on-one!

Great Secret Of Life

Food & Cooking, Recipe Sharing, Vegetarian Lifestyle


Cooking Tom

Cooking classes, Food blog, Recipe website


Mimi's Cafe

Restaurants, Cafes, Dining


Conejo Valley

Restaurant, Dining, Home Cooking


Cooking Tom

Food & Beverage, Cooking Classes, Recipes