How to: Survive A Fancy RestaurantPosted: 02/08/2012
Hello and welcome back to me, I’ve been off doing silly things like studying for classes and celebrating my 3-year anniversary with my wonderful girlfriend!
To mark this amazing occasion, the lady took me out to a fancy-pants restaurant (or at least a lot fancier than places we usually eat, like McDonald’s…) The waitstaff was wearing nice pressed white shirts, white aprons, and very fancy dark blue jeans, so it wasn’t necessarily a black-tie place, but we dressed up nonetheless, ate some fancy food, drank some fancy wine, and had a great time!
Over the course of the evening, from the preparation to the restaurant events, got me thinking: Valentine’s day is coming up, and probably some folks are gonna go to a fancy restaurant. Through my extensive field research and my own mistakes, I have created a how-to survival guide for just such an occasion! LUCKY YOU.
First of all, pick the restaurant well before you go. Most places have websites now, and sometimes you can even check out the menu before you get there. DO THIS. Reading up on the place and practicing pronouncing dishes (plus maybe looking at what’s IN dishes like that on Google or something), is a really great tactic. This way you look smooth, smart, and above all, prepared. And don’t forget to make a reservation. Show up on time. It’s kind of rude to go to a place and expect them to have held your table for you, especially when Valentine’s Day is probably the busiest restaurant day ever.
Second, dress up! For god’s sake, isn’t it fun to put on nice clean clothes, make sure you’re all gussied up and lookin’ hot? It’s different from going to a club where you’re trying to attract attention, and different from like a funeral or wedding where you HAVE to dress up. This is where you can let these two styles collide – the dressy bit and the flair! Don’t you dare wear a novelty tie, though, those things are not funny and I have no idea why they still make them. You can ask what sort of outfit your date will be wearing, and try to dress so you don’t clash horribly (but you don’t have to match – that’s way too “high school prom”)
Next we get to the behavioral aspects of your night out! I realize this is going to sound very old-fashioned, but wait for your lady to sit down, pull her chair out, push it in for her. Be genuine and polite. I hope you still genuinely enjoy her company! My girlfriend did this for me and it was surprising and adorable at the same time. It’s not about “putting a woman in her place” in this instance; it’s about showing you still really care about her.
When you’re ordering anything at a restaurant, do NOT, under any circumstances, give a waiter a “thumbs-up” or an “okay” sign. I did this and I still feel stupid about it! To be fair, I had a mouthful of appetizer when he presented the bottle of wine for tasting, and I nodded while chewing and gave the “okay” sign – I’m feeling a right idiot more than a week later, how do you think you will feel after Valentine’s Day? Since my hindsight is 20/20, I should have nodded, put up a finger in the “one moment please” gesture, and finished my mouthful. Bam, survival tip you can use over and over again!
Don’t rest your elbows on the table. If you have to rest your hands somewhere, put one hand on a lap, and have your other forearm resting on the edge of the table. Sit up relatively straight, so your nice clothes don’t get all messed up. You’ll look better and more attentive to your sweetheart anyway. Also, remember that you’re wearing really nice pants that you don’t want to drop food/wipe food on! They give you big napkins at most restaurants, so shake ’em out and set them on your lap. Cover those slacks, chaps, it’s okay to protect ’em! Just don’t forget it’s on your lap when you stand up to leave – that will also be kind of embarrassing.
I hope you all have a great way of celebrating Valentine’s Day! And who knows, later in the week there might be a “how to survive Valentine’s Day” guide for you single folks! Thanks for reading!