HowTo:Dine at a fancy restaurant
A college kid’s worst nightmare has just come true: you’re home visiting your parents, and to celebrate the occasion, they decide to take you out to some place called Le Tuyau d’Arrosage.
Oh no, bro. Oh no.
Dress to Impress
This is the most important factor that will determine your survival. If you do not dress properly, you will be escorted from the establishment the minute you walk through the door. Never ever go to a high-end restaurant in a drawstring hoodie or a Yu-Gi-Oh T-shirt. To strike an impression, you must dress like you are attending a funeral.
Wear a blazer and tie. Never get food or sauce on either. Khaki pants work best, but any kind with 10 or more belt loops will do.
Keep your Composure
Keep this rule of thumb in mind: the more robotic your movements and actions, the better. Do not fidget or hike up your pants. Stand up like you just took a yardstick up the rectum; do not walk like you are packing heat, or just crapped your pants.
Keep a straight face or small smile. NEVER scowl, mope, or show that you don’t want to be there in any other way. Honesty counts for nothing here.
You may realize that people all around are staring at you. Disregard them; try not to think about the fact that they are staring at you, or what they are thinking.
Order like a Pro
Now comes the frightening part: ordering. Fancy restaurant waiters are cold, heartless lifeforms that know neither humor nor joie de vivre. Angering one will surely see you escorted from the establishment. Stay calm and remember these tips.
Waiters will refuse to take your order if you don’t have your napkin in your lap. Be quick about it! If caught bare-lapped, you will rarely be shown mercy. Don't ask for a 'serviette' as this will betray your pretentious aspirations and that the last time you went dining out was at McDonalds.
Your party will be offered water before the real drinks are ordered. Whatever you tell your waiter, he will still bring the water. Refusing it, therefore, is a rude gesture that will see you escorted from the establishment.
Know the Culture
You must be aware of your restaurant’s culture of choice, then spend at least twelve hours language-learning beforehand, or you may order kimchi by mistake, or be escorted out of the establishment.
Some high-end restaurants are known to offer a kids’ menu. Do not be tempted. More likely than not, this is a trap -- classless patrons who order pizza or mac ‘n cheese will be escorted out of the establishment.
Know When and How to Eat
The eating itself can be stressful as well. Beware these common pitfalls of unwary patrons.
The Three Forks
Any fancy restaurant worth its salt will provide you with three forks; no more, no less. These are not for you to use at your liberty. Take heed to these instructions if you do not wish to be escorted out of the establishment.
- Salad fork: The longest and furthest right of fine-dining forks. Use only to eat salad.
- Layman’s fork: You may be most familiar with this one. Use just as you would for microwaved ramen, but take note: in any event where you must use two forks, use this and the dessert fork for salads, and this and the salad fork for desserts.
- Dessert fork: For eating dessert, as the name implies. If you wish to signal your waiter, you must tap your plate with the third tine of this fork. Do not tap with any other tine or use a ‘’saucer’’; in that event, you must use the salad fork, second tine.
There are no workarounds for this system; its memorization is vital. Do not bring your own silverware. You will be escorted out of the establishment.
You must take into account that high-end dining establishments will often garnish your food; that is, add extra stuff on the side that you pay extra for but aren’t supposed to eat. Do not eat your garnish.
Examples of garnishing may include:
- Parsley sprigs or other herbs
- Pigs’ ears
- Whole lemons or tomatoes
- A fourth fork
Don’t Be Disrespectful
We've covered plenty of specific situations, but don't forget to keep a few specific guidelines in mind at all times.
Fancy restaurants demand top-flight manners 24/7. Heed these rules:
- If you must relieve yourself at a fancy restaurant, do not ask for the bathroom; ask for the establishments.
- Do not call your waiter “bro”, “man”, or “homeslice”. Doing so will elicit an awkward look; this is your warning. Doing so again may see you slapped, or escorted out of the establishment.
- Scratching your palm will see you escorted out of the establishment.
- So will removing any shoe, glove, or toupee. Take caution.
Pagers, however, are just fine.
- If you have not ordered salad, you should probably not be at the restaurant in the first place. You will be escorted out of the establishment.
- You will not need to use two forks for your entrée; doing so will see you escorted out of the establishment.
- Do not so much as pick this one up!