From aperitif to digestif, approach every meal with savvy and grace.
We’ve all experienced Fancy-Pants Restaurant Jitters at some point – the fear that you will unknowingly commit some fine-dining crime, whether it’s using the wrong fork, picking an amateur wine, mispronouncing foie gras , or gasping when your fish entrée arrives with its head still attached. Relax. The Mere Mortal’s Guide to Fine Dining is the ultimate antidote to restaurant anxiety.
Where does your napkin go when you leave the table? Should you sniff the wine cork? And why, pray tell, are there so many forks? This comprehensive and accessible primer answers these and dozens of other questions and offers the basics on every aspect of fine dining, including:
* How to navigate a place setting
* Speaking menu-ese and the language of fine food
* A refresher on polite and polished table manners
* 911 for wine novices
* A carnivore’s guide to beef, pork, lamb, and veal
* What local, sustainable, and organic really mean
* Japanese dining dos and don’ts
* Who’s who on a restaurant’s staff
* How to be a regular—or get the perks like one
* Top restaurants across the country
* What the food snobs know (and you should, too)
* And much more…
With a little help, any Mere Mortal can order wine with confidence, get great, attitude-free service, decipher menus, and finally, truly, savor any dining experience.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Mere Mortal's Guide to Fine Dining|
|Release Date: 12-10-2008|
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The Mere Mortal's Guide to Fine Dining
RELAX—HELP IS ON THE WAY
SCHMOOZING the STAFF like a SEASONED DINER
The first rule of mastering fine dining: Get over yourself. An overdeveloped or fragile ego does nothing but interfere with a fantastic meal. You’re not alone if you feel intimidated or overwhelmed when you walk into those sumptuous dining rooms or divinely minimalist food meccas, but being cagey or aloof will only make you feel more out of place. The more open and honest you are about what you know—or don't know, as the case may be—the more you will learn, enjoy, and feel at ease in these restaurants.
First and foremost, because the restaurant’s staff is trying to deliver this experience to you, you need to know who they are and how to work with them. Despite any fears you may have about stiff maître d’s or condescending waiters, generally, the higher the caliber of the restaurant, the better the service. Like all great artists and craftsmen, the culinary crews in fine dining establishments take a tremendous amount of pride in what they do and what they know. But the restaurant-diner relationship is a two–way street. If you have a bad attitude or skulk into a restaurant expecting loads of attitude from the staff, you may indeed get a free helping of attitude with your meal. Show your genuine appreciation and interest, or even cluelessness—by asking questions, encouraging suggestions, and complimenting the staff’s efforts—and you will have an extraordinary experience. Restaurant staff love to strut their stuff, and they will go out of their way to dazzle inquisitive and polite diners.
From the maître d’hôtel and sommelier to the garde-mange...