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August 12, 2004

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Dining Etiquette



If you don't think bad manners and worse dressing are the rule rather than the exception in restaurants these days, then you haven't been paying attention. So I thought a refresher course on dining do's and don'ts might be in order that I call A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO DINING ETIQUETTE....

A gentleman should always:

Ask a woman her preferences in restaurants;

Make reservations;

Go to the restroom before sitting down;

Salt and pepper his food AFTER tasting it; and

Arrive early, especially when meeting a lady.

A gentleman always stands when a woman (other than a waitress) approaches; Knows what he wants to eat within 2 minutes of sitting down; orders after his guests do; and takes up issues with food or service, discreetly and away from the table;

When it comes to things he shouldn't do, the list is endless. But for starters, a gentleman never:

Drinks too much;

Never snaps his fingers or waves a breadstick to get a waiter's attention;

Never discusses the price of the meal or wine;

Talks sports with women present;

Asks a chef to alter his cooking; or wears shorts in public-except at the golf course or beach.

And finally, a gentleman never, ever,

Criticizes the food or wine or service to his dining companions-with special dispensation given to food critics--since I violate this one all the time with the Food Gal--but only when we're dining alone.

Now having dined with, married and dated a number of women in my day, I have a few tips for them as well,

A lady should always:

Be interested in eating, if she agrees to go out;

Keep her food allergies and the details of her divorce to herself;

A lady aways treats the staff with respect, not as servants; and makes a sincere effort to pick up the tab, or at least the tip, on the second date.

A lady is always willing to try new wines, if she drinks wine; eats only with vegans, if she's a vegan; and has an answer other than: "I dunno, where do you wanna go?" when asked where she'd like to eat.

And finally ... a lady always knows the difference between sexy and sexual. Sexy is a little black dress. Sexual is thong floss riding up your low-rise jeans. Sexual has no business in ANY restaurant; I don't care how young or hot you think you are.

When it comes to don'ts, a true lady never:

Takes more than 5 minutes to decide what to eat;

Never pretends she's not hungry; never orders a corned beef sandwich in a Chinese noodle shop; and never gives her number to a bartender in the middle of a date.

But most of all,

A lady never would and never should, have four Glenfiddich 30 year old scotches at the bar at Le Cirque, for a hundred and thirty bucks I might add, then pass out after three bites of a six course tasting menu.......

This is John 'once bitten, twice shy' Curtas.

See discussion rules.


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Sep 25, 2009 | Social Media Meltdown
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Sep 2, 2009 | Discovering LOS ANTOJOS
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Aug 3, 2009 | Food, Inc.
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Jul 16, 2009 | The Steak That Saved Las Vegas
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Jul 2, 2009 | Bang for Your Buck
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May 28, 2009 | Checkpoint Charlie
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May 8, 2009 | Food Festival Frenzy!
It's a time of many food festivals in Las Vegas. John Curtas has an overview.

May 5, 2009 | Peppermill Coffee Shop and Fireside Lounge
A landmark Las Vegas restaurant gets a visit from John Curtas. He takes you to the Peppermill.

Apr 23, 2009 | Thai Me Up Thai Me Down
Thai cuisine is starting to show up in more places in Las Vegas. John Curtas has some recommendations

Apr 9, 2009 | A Gourmet Corner - In Spring Valley?
Food Critic John Curtas takes a trip to the strangest gourmet corner in town.

Apr 2, 2009 | Pip's is a Pip
If you're looking for good dining near Aliante, our dining critic, John Curtas, has found a new place to go.

Mar 26, 2009 | Stripped to Its Bare Essentials
Dining on steak at Planet Hollywood! John Curtas takes you along.

Mar 19, 2009 | Hachi is absolutely amazing!
John Curtas has a find - a Japanese-fusion restaurant on the west edge of the city.

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