Sometimes it might have happened that you were out for dinner and had no clue why there are so many forks and knives besides your plate. Or you were confused about what to do with the napkin placed on the plate. This can happen when you are not aware about the fine dining etiquette. Although the rules can vary from place to place, here we will discuss about what is fine dining etiquette generally.
Top 6 Fine Dining Etiquette That You Should Know
Always Dress Nicely
It is important to dress properly for fine dining. Men should be dressed in suits or jackets. If you are entertaining guests from other countries, which means this dining is quite formal, you should wear jacket and tie. Women should wear dress or suits with shoes instead of sandals.
The first person to take the seat is the host of the dinner, whether it is at home or in a restaurant. The seating arrangement will be mentioned at the door or cards will be placed on the table. If you are not sure, you can wait for the host to seat you at the right place. The hostess with govern the table and the rules for seating are very strict. The head of the table will be the host, with the wife of the guest of honour on his right and the wife of next important gentleman to his left. Hostess will have these men to her left and right. The remaining seating in fine dining will be gender based. Besides, men should always pull out chair for women and stand up when any woman stands to leave the table or returns to it.
Knives & Forks Etiquette
In fine dining, the forks are placed on the left of the plate and on the right you will find knives and spoons. The easiest way to remember the usage of them is from outside to inside. The cutlery placed outside is used for the first course. Or you can always follow the host or hostess if you are unsure. The knife and the fork should always be held, you should not cut up food first and then use the fork only. Ensure that the tines of the fork always face down and you do not use it as a scoop.
Wine glasses are usually placed on the right side of the plate and the order might be arbitrary. The glass used for port wine is usually smaller than the one used to serve red wine. The glasses for white wine are petite and placed alongside the red wine glass. Champagne goblets are placed on the top right of the table and are petite and thin. The glass for water is kept at bottom right. You should not drink loudly and never gulp down the drink. Do not touch your glass to anyone else’s when toasting.
Do not blow the food to cool it down. Let it cool slightly on its own. Avoid stuffing your mouth with too much food at one time. Fork is meant for picking up food only, never scoop. Foods like peas should be smashed with knife or held steady with knife to be picked up by the fork. Do not slurp the soup or place the spoon completely in the mouth. Try everything that is served, especially if you are eating at someone’s home. Place the cutlery across the place when you finish eating.
The napkin should be unfolded and placed on the lap once you are seated. If you excuse yourself from the table, place the napkin besides the plate, never on the seat. Use the napkin only to dab the mouth instead of wiping the mouth. Once you are done eating, place the napkin on the left side of the plate, not on the plate. It should not be refolded but placed tidily.
General Don'ts for Fine Dining Etiquette
Given below are some general don’ts for fine dining:
If you do not like something, don’t make a fuss. Leave it.
Wait for the food to cool by itself; do not blow on hot food to cool it.
You should never smoke on the table unless the hostess has invited you to.
Do not photograph the table as it looks desperate.
After the meal is served, do not move the plate.
Never treat the servers badly.
Do not use your fingers to eat chicken or chops.
Never point with your cutlery.
When drinking wine, do not hold the fork.
Do not overstay your welcome.
Never leave without saying anything. Thank your host before leaving and send a letter of thanks the following day.