Have you always been in awe of fine dining restaurants boasting of the best in class services, food, and clientele but never had the confidence to ask what really is fine dining? Well then, this fine dining guide on basic etiquettes, what to expect, and what not to do is just the thing you need!
Fine dining restaurants vs. regular family restaurants/cafes
Ideally a fine dining restaurant (sometimes also referred to as white tablecloth restaurant), caters to an elite clientele and serves the highest quality of food. Known for their unmistakable formal atmosphere, decor, and even dress code, a fine dining restaurant almost always serves a sit down meal with a fancier menu on display comprising exotic dishes, wine lists, innovative food pairings, etc. than most family restaurants and cafes. In most cases, you may have to make advance reservations too.
What to Expect at a Fine Dining Restaurant
- Decorum: Fine dining restaurants are not the place to be loud; there is certain decorum to be followed –no flailing of arms to get the waiter’s attention here please. A polite raise of the hand is enough.
- Expert service: Most fine dining restaurants will have sommeliers or wine stewards, who are trained wine professionals, specializing in all aspects of wine service including wine and food pairing.
- World food at its best: The portions served at a fine dining restaurant may be smaller compared to regular family restaurants and cafes, but the food that is served will most certainly be of a much higher quality.
- Pricey on the wallet: For an experience as fine as the one these restaurants promise, you have to be prepared shell out a fancy amount of money. Some upscale fine dining places even charge an entrée fee.
Fine Dining at Home – Yes, it’s Possible!
For all the stiff rules that accompany a fine dining experience, the good news is you can now enjoy the same at home without having to break your budget. New innovative services such as meal delivery kits from AwesomeChef.in help you make delectable restaurant style gourmet meals at home by shipping all the required exotic ingredients in pre-measured quantities with step by step recipe instructions.
Now that you know where to get your fine dining recipes from, here are a few tips and etiquettes to follow to create your own fine dining experience in the comfort of your home:
- Set the stage:
- Dressing up is definitely an important rule for a fine dining experience – don your formal attire and accessories and look your best.
- Clean and spruce up the fine dining corner of your house. Make sure the dining (table) area feels welcoming – throw in a cheerful flower arrangement, dim the lighting, and spray on that room freshener you’ve been saving for special occasions.
- Choose a theme:
- This is where you pick your recipes and fix your menu depending on the kind of crowd you are having (a romantic meal for two or a dinner party).
- You may choose to try recipes from any particular culture (like Indian, Mexican, Chinese, Thai, etc.). Whatever you choose to prepare make sure you pick a cuisine you’re happy and comfortable with.
- Another important point is to pick foods that your guests will be able to eat and savor.
- Drink away:
- This is one brilliant aspect of dining at home that can overtake restaurant dining, since you won’t be paying for overpriced drinks.
- Stock up and get some matching drinks that go well with your chosen cuisine.
- If you are serving wine, then here’s a tip – keep the white wine chilled and remember to keep the red wine open to breathe.
- Setting the table:
- A fantastic opportunity to bring out your exclusive and expensive crockery sets, your delicate and beautiful linen (tablecloths and napkins), scented candles, and other accessories. Tip: ensure the table linen is white or a neutral shade as fine dining calls for understated elegance.
- Make sure your cutlery; wine glasses and other tableware are polished and shining.
- You may place exotic flowers like orchids to spruce up the table décor. Choose colors of the flowers matching the rest of the table decor.
- Remember not to stack stuff high on the table or have tall table arrangements, as this may prevent easy and smooth flow of conversation.
- Attention to detail:
- Fine dining at home really is about the little minute details as much as the food in itself.
- Make sure you remember details like salt and pepper shakers, extra glasses for water, an extra set of cutlery, butter dish, and so on, to prevent you from leaping up during the course of your meal.
- A musical note:
- Choose classical or Jazz music to add sophistication to your meal.
- Remember to choose music genres that are soothing and can easily fade into the background during your conversations.
- Add your personal touch:
- Remember to add place cards to the table for the ease of letting everyone know where they need to be seated.
- Adding your personal touch is something you can’t get at any of the fine dining restaurants. So make sure whatever you do reflects your style the right way.
There’s always a way to make life beautiful and worthwhile and it doesn’t necessarily involve a great deal of money. Enjoy your meals with a fine dining experience in the comfort of your home, and the only thing missing in the end of your meal, will be the bill.