The Fine Dining Restaurant Tip That Wants To Take Over Your Plate

People get excited when they get invited to a fancy dinner party; it makes them feel important. We are not talking casual dinner parties or family get togethets either, but dinners that require certain attire, posture, and perfectly folded napkins over white tablecloths. Oh yes, there are some weird fancy rules to follow to not make a joke out of yourself. But, once you learn how to sit and how to tear the bread, and why you should never lift the menu, to mention a few, you can get excited about the upcoming oysters and escargot.

But, hold on — it's quite possible you won't like everything on the menu. After all, escargot may be an acquired taste. However, if you wish to discard something, you shouldn't wrap it up in a napkin and put it on the table. Instead, in fine dining, a section of your plate has been designated for such discards. According to Food & Wine, you should place discards on the upper left part of your plate. Discards include garnishes you don't eat, bones, or small bits of the meal you prefer not to eat. 

But, keep them by far from the edge of the plate. Typically, you want to avoid dirtying the edge of your plate as a sign of respect to your waiter (via Best American Steakhouses). So now that you are getting ready for a dinner to remember, let's go over some more basics about where to put things on your plate and what else you need to know about dining etiquette.

Take time to learn fine dining basics

First of all, don't be nervous about not remembering everything if it's your first time or you are not used to fine dining. We bet there is another person out there wondering with which fork to start eating. Everyone learns at their own pace, either by studying or by making some mistakes along the way, so have patience with yourself.

As far as the basics go, don't speak with your mouth full of food, and that goes the same for chewing with your mouth open. You should also avoid putting your arms on the table. As Maralee McKee, an etiquette expert, explained on her blog, "Strictly speaking, still today, our elbows don't belong on the table. Only things used for eating go on the table." 

As far as the table and plate, review placement before dinner. Sometimes these dining rules make no sense, but they are not difficult to understand. For instance, your bread (torn not cut) should stay on your left on its own plate at all times. As for your dinner plate, the bottom right of the plate is for sauces or butter. Meanwhile, you should eat at the bottom left of the plate below the discards. While it may seem like a lot, if you eat delicately enough, you shouldn't have a problem. Above all, don't forget to enjoy yourself. We would love to say bon appetit, but you are not supposed to say that either.