Michelin Star Dining: The Rules of Fine Dining Etiquette

Going out to a fine dining restaurant sometimes can feel a tad overwhelming, mainly if you have never dined at such a place with a distinctive atmosphere. Many believe formal dining is reserved for those with profound knowledge of food, while others consider it a snobby and uptight experience. If you share this opinion, you are missing out on a lot. 

Fine dining is a fantastic adventure where you can appreciate delicious food made by outstanding chefs, all in an elegant setting. And formal dining isn’t reserved only for a specific type of people; it’s for everyone wanting to experience more from food. 

We’ve got your back if you have always wanted to go to a fine dining restaurant but were afraid of fine dining etiquette. You have a chance to get advice from the best fine dining restaurant in Miami, FL, and learn everything there is to know about dining and food etiquette. 

What Exactly Is Fine Dining Etiquette?

You are probably familiar with basic table manners, so we are not going to talk a lot about those. Restaurant etiquette has changed a lot through the years and loosened up a bit in the past years. Nevertheless, dining etiquette is still essential to a formal dining setting. 

Most rules are easy, and you may already know them, but don’t practice them during your everyday meals. Other rules may seem odd and even out of this world, but there’s rhyme and reason behind them. We’ll talk more about them in this guideline for dining etiquette and discuss more what each of the rules means. Most were made to ensure a good dining experience and maintain a particular behavior and atmosphere during the meal. 

However, fine dining etiquette also exists as an indication and insurance to the servers that everything will go as smoothly as possible. 

Fine Dining Rules

As you already know basic table manners, we will further focus on fine dining etiquette manners. Once you learn these, you can use them in every dining setting as part of restaurant etiquette.

Let’s start with arriving at the restaurant; you’ll be greeted and escorted to the table you reserved. Once seated, you will face your first challenge, but don’t be scared; it’s nothing complicated. 

How to Use the Napkin

Using the napkin is considered a part of the basic table manner, though many people need help figuring out what to do with it. Once you get seated and comfortable in your chair, you can unfold the cloth napkin at your table and place it on your lap. You shouldn’t tuck the napkin in your skirt or anywhere else. It’s that simple. Don’t do anything with your cloth napkin, such as wipe the cutlery, put away the food you don’t want to eat, or wipe your nose. 

If you need to go away from the table, fold the napkin and place it on the chair, and once you get back, you can put it in your lap again. If you are going to the restroom, please don’t notify the rest of the table about it; just excuse yourself.

Once your meal is finished, you should fold the napkin and place it on the left side of your plate to signal the server that you completed the meal. 

How to Use the Silverware

In formal dining settings, you will see more silverware than you are used to. We know it can be overwhelming and confusing initially, but we have a simple explanation that you’ll remember immediately. 

No matter how much cutlery you find at your table setting, you should always start with the ones on the outside. So, you’ll eat the first course with the farthest pieces from your plate and the last with the closest piece.

Once you finish a meal, you can leave the pieces you used on top of your plate to signal that they can be cleared. 

In most formal dining settings, dessert cutlery is placed above the plate and sometimes brought alongside dessert. 

If some dishes are shared on the table, you should never reach for them with your cutlery. Instead, every dish will be assigned cutlery, and you should use those.

How to Manage the Dishes

Like cutlery, more dishes are on the table than during casual dining. In most cases, you will get a new dish once a new course is served, and the previous dishes, alongside cutlery, will be taken away. 

Often you will have a small plate placed in the upper left corner of your setting with a small round knife. That’s a bread plate and a butter knife. 

How to Use the Glassware

You will also have more glasses and glassware on the table, arranged in order of use. The glassware is often placed in the upper right corner. 

A glass for water will be next to the glasses for white and red wine or champagne. 

If you are drinking wine, you should never hold the glass by the bowl but always by the stem. 

How to Properly Order Food

Restaurant etiquette also requires you to know how to order food properly; to do it, you need to understand the menus. 

Most restaurants of this type will have a set menu which is a breeze, as you don’t need to decide on anything. You will get everything from the chef’s set menu, meticulously curated and prepared. 

If there’s not a set menu, or you want to order something different from a regular menu, you’ll want to let the company you are with order first. You should order the same amount of courses as the people you are with at the moment. 

When interacting with the server, you should be polite, make eye contact, and speak clearly, but not loudly. You should never shout if you need to order anything or wave your hands and arms. It would be best to get the server’s attention quietly and politely; you can do it by making eye contact or raising your index finger. 

How to Eat in a Formal Dining Setting – Food Etiquette

Food etiquette is essential in restaurant etiquette because you must know the do’s and don’ts once the meal is served. 

Again, most of the things we will mention now are basic knowledge and table manners, but it’s always good to repeat them.

  • Always wait until everyone is served before you start eating. 
  • Don’t eat too quickly and gluttonously; take small bites. And try not to finish before everyone at the table. 
  • Never blow on the food to cool it off. 
  • Don’t make any noises while eating, such as slurping. 
  • Always scoop the food away from you. 

Eat at a Michelin Star Restaurant

Now that you know the basics of dining in a formal setting, you don’t have to be afraid anymore. You are set to make a reservation at a Michelin Star restaurant and enjoy outstanding food and atmosphere. 

And you will get the best experience at a Michelin Star restaurant in Miami called the Stubborn Seed. Call us today and book your reservation for an out-of-this-world, fine dining adventure.