Fine Dining Etiquette

Forbes-Dining-Top-PhotoFine dining restaurants are artisan eating establishments that focus on food and service quality, offering upscale items prepared expertly in a lavish atmosphere. Ironed table linens, an assortment of silverware, an extensive wine selection and sophisticated customer service offer guests a posh, high-end experience at top dollar. Dining at restaurants like these take some know-how and etiquette, from which silverware to use to how to sip your soup, there are social norms within fine dining culture to accentuate the rich experience.

Dress Code

Most fine dining restaurants have instituted a dress code, such as casual elegant, formal or jacket required. Generally, this means no jeans or hats are allowed, and guests are expected to be in spruced up clothing. Jacket required is the most strict form of dress code, expecting ladies to be done up in formal ballroom attire and men with jackets or blazers. Ties, shined shoes, coiffed hair and jewelry are all encouraged in this code.

Understanding the Silverware

The basic rule of thumb when handling fine dining silverware is this: work from the outside, in. The salad fork and soup spoon are placed on the outer perimeter of the setting as those dishes are ordered as appetizers or small plates. Then comes the entree utensils, with a larger fork and a knife. Some restaurants choose to include their tea spoon in this lineup, however most place the tea spoon across the top of the setting, near the tea cup and saucer. Tapping or clinking silverware is frowned upon unless calling upon someone for a toast. Never use silverware that has been dropped on the floor.

Then There’s Glassware

If you’re not already confused about all the components of a fine dining setting, you’re doing great! Not only is there an array of eating utensils placed thoughtfully and strategically, but there is usually an array of glassware to be used for your various beverages. A water glass, white wine glass, red wine glass, champagne flute and coffee/tea mug and saucer might be found.