Dining etiquette history is excellent cocktail conversation

Do you know the difference between ‘Service à la française’ and the other ‘Service à la russe,’ and which one is used in the U.S. today?  Do you know why  forks were placed on the table with tines down in the 17th century?  Read more about the Art of Dining.









Tips For How To Eat Tricky Foods


Roasted asparagus–finger or fork?

One of the trickiest moments to navigate at the dinner table is when you have no idea how to eat something that’s on your plate. Do you eat it with your fingers or with a fork and knife? Do you cut it all up at once or just cut a piece and eat it before cutting another piece? Here are a couple of foods that can cause you to stop and wonder, “How do I eat that?”


Cold Asparagus
This tasty vegetable has a reputation as a finger food. But be careful. It is only considered finger food when served separately as a cold dish on its own plate. In that case, you can pick up the asparagus by its stem end and take a reasonable bite from the tip. Of course, you don’t have to eat it with your fingers. You can use your knife and fork to cut and eat bite-size pieces. Tricky Food Tip: If you’re not sure it’s okay to pick up the asparagus with your fingers, then opt for the fork and knife or wait to see what your host does with his or her asparagus. If the asparagus is warm, then eat it with a fork and knife.
messy food

Cherry tomatoes can make a mess.

Cherry Tomatoes 

If the cherry tomatoes in your salad have already been cut, then spear the cut side of a piece with your fork and pop it into your mouth. When cherry tomatoes are served whole, the task of getting them onto your fork and eating them becomes more challenging. Simply spearing one with your fork is difficult, as it can quickly slide away from your fork and hopefully doesn’t scoot off the plate and into your lap. To prevent this, use your fork to push the tomato against the side of your knife. Use the side of the knife to hold it steady as you insert the tines of the fork into the tomato. Then pop it in your mouth and close you lips tightly before biting into it. You don’t want seeds to fly out of your mouth and across the table.

Who Would You Most Like to Have Dinner With?

Who do you want to have dinner with?

Role models have the most influence for good manners, particularly manners at the table. It’s tough to be a good role model with dining etiquette if your kids are regularly eating in the back of the mini-van on the way to soccer and dance lessons and hockey practice, but keep this in mind…your kids preferring eating with…watch the linked video to learn who.

Business Dining Etiquette…Pace Yourself

Business Lunch

Sadly, a business meeting dinner is not about the food…it’s a meeting…with food.  Avoid arriving at the restaurant feeling ravenous…it’s hard to concentrate on the task at hand when your stomach is grumbling.  Be a mindful diner and try not to finish well before everyone else – pace yourself. It is more about the conversation and networking than the meal.

Wine Tasting and Tasting Room Etiquette

Here are a few helpful tips while visiting wineries or wine tasting rooms…Cheers!
• Do not wear perfume or cologne. You don’t want to be “that” person who confuses the smell of others with scents interfering with the wines.
• Some visitors are new to wines, so if you have tasted a wine you do not like, keep it quiet and move to the next.
• Don’t be a wine snob … there’s always someone who knows more and there’s no one who knows everything — even if we think we do. We are constantly learning something new from each other.
• Your host/hostess is there to answer questions and talk about their wines. Be kind and courteous.
• Don’t pretend you are in the industry, unless you are. It never works out. It is also insulting to those who actually are. Besides, they’re very smart with their questions to weed it out if credentials cannot be produced.
• Eat before you go. We all know that a server, no matter the state, cannot serve one who has overindulged. Many places offer small crackers, pretzels or maybe small bites of cheese. These are meant as a palate cleanser, or a wine pairing and not as a meal.
• Sipping and spitting are part of the experience, no need to feel as if you need to drink each pour. Not liking every wine is natural, so don’t feel guilty about dumping the wine. Like the wine? The best compliment is to buy a bottle or two!
• It is acceptable to buy one tasting and share the glass.
The wines are presented in a particular order for tasting. If you are unable to choose your own flight, then just cover your glass with your fingers to signal “pass” instead of saying aloud “no.” If you try it and don’t like it, remember someone else might.
• Do not attempt to pour your own glass.
• Do not pick the grapes. If you are able to go on a tour of the vineyard, please leave the grapes alone. The grapes are for pictures only. Imagine if everyone who walked through took a few to taste; there wouldn’t be much left to make wine.
• Last call for alcohol. If you walk in within 10-15 minutes of closing, don’t expect a full tasting menu to be served. And don’t ask for the most expensive bottle to be poured.
Wineries are dictated by their permits for hours of operations much like liquor stores, so closing means closing.
• Under-aged visitors are not encouraged and some do not allow them, so check the website or make a phone call beforehand. If they are allowed, by law, most states require that they are at your side at all times.
It is courteous to remember that most people visiting are on a vacation or weekend getaway and are escaping for adult time.
• Should you tip? Tipping is not required, but much appreciated if your host/hostess did an excellent job and went above and beyond.