Top Six Fine Dining Tips and Tricks

Fine dining brings together exceptional cuisine, hand-selected wines and personalized service. Enjoying an exquisite meal at a fine dining restaurant involves etiquette techniques that are steeped in tradition.

The next time you celebrate a special moment with a fine dining experience, remember these six tips and tricks for a meal you’ll never forget.

1. Wear Your Fine Attire

The dress code at a fine dining restaurant is usually business casual, casual elegant or formal attire. We recommend contacting the restaurant ahead of time to confirm their expectations so that you and your guests can dress appropriately. Here’s how based on each common dress code:

  • Business casual: Khakis and button-down collared shirts are acceptable for men. Ladies wear skirts or day dresses. Athletic shoes, flip-flops, shorts and T-shirts are not appropriate.
  • Casual elegant: Elevate your look from a working professional to a more dressed-up dinner guest. For him, this could mean a dark suit or button-down with a sportcoat. For her, a more formal black dress or pantsuit would be perfect. To add flare, men can wear cufflinks and smoother ties and women can don special jewelry.
  • Formal: Women are expected to wear sophisticated evening dresses, while men should wear elegant jackets and ties.

2. Turn off Your Phone

Before you enter a fine dining restaurant, make sure your phone is off. Texting during a meal is considered the height of rudeness. Place your keys, phone and purse on the floor, under the table — not on the table.

3. Never Clink Glasses When Toasting

Toasting the evening? Simply raise your glasses — do not clink them together. Clinking could damage the glassware and creates a noise that may disturb other guests. Also, make eye contact with your dining companions when saying cheers.

4. Practice Good Posture

For proper dining etiquette, sit upright with your feet on the floor, and never put your elbows on the table. When drinking from a glass, avoid looking at everyone else in the restaurant. Instead, keep your eyes directed into the glass.

5. Pay Attention to Your Napkin

When you sit down at the table, fold the napkin in half with the crease facing you before placing it on your lap. Use your napkin to dab or blot stains, never wipe. Close the napkin so all stains stay on the inside.

If you need to leave the table to use the restroom, simply excuse yourself — never say why! Place your napkin on your chair to signal that you are not yet done with your meal. When the meal is over, neatly place the napkin next to your plate.

6. Use the Right Cutlery

The rule of thumb is to start at the outside and work your way in. Salad forks and soup spoons come before your entrée fork. Dining etiquette requires that you spear food with your fork, rather than scooping like a shovel. Avoid using cutlery to gesture to your companions.

Savor Life’s Important Moments With Green Bay Fine Dining

At The Walnut Room, we invite you to experience our historic atmosphere and create new memories over a fine meal. To schedule a reservation or private dinner party, contact The Walnut Room or call 920-770-2399.