Eating At An Upscale Restaurant: Tips For First-Timers

Posted on: 28 April 2022

There are so many different types of restaurants out there, ranging from fast food to upscale dining. Each one not only serves different food but they each do so in a different sort of setting with different etiquette expectations. The etiquette and setting of upscale dining, in particular, are quite unique. If you're about to eat at an upscale restaurant for the first time, here are some tips to help guide you.

Taste the wine.

If you order wine at an upscale restaurant, they will generally pour you a small amount to taste before pouring you the whole glass. The proper thing to do is taste this sip and then nod to the server or sommelier if you like it. They will then pour you the remainder of your glass. 

Don't ask for dish modifications unless truly necessary.

There are some instances in which it's okay to ask for ingredients to be left out of a dish. For example, if you are allergic or sensitive to an ingredient, asking for it to be left out is acceptable. But in most other cases, you should not ask for dishes to be modified at an upscale dining restaurant. This is seen as rude to the chef, who has designed dishes in certain ways for a reason. Trust the chef, and enjoy the dish as it's meant to be served.

Avoid splitting the bill, when possible.

If you have to split the bill two ways, that's generally okay. But don't go further than this. At an upscale restaurant, you don't want to pass your server four different cards and ask for four different amounts to be charged on them. The best approach is usually to have one person pay. If desired, the others can pay that person for their portion of the bill later on, once you're outside of the restaurant.

Feel free to ask questions.

At an upscale restaurant, servers are generally well educated about the menu and prepared to answer any questions you might ask. So feel free to ask away! Asking questions can help ensure you order a dish you will truly enjoy, which is really the whole point.

With the tips above, you can have a more enjoyable time at an upscale dinner restaurant and also feel more like you fit in. If you go back a few times, you will grow more accustomed to the practice of fine dining and enjoy it even more.