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Dining Etiquette

A GENTLEMEN'S GUIDE TO 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,

Support comes from

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.

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Thursday, August 12, 2004

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