Table Manners rss

The End of Table Manners

The End of Table Manners I'm sad to say that this will be my last Table Manners column, since I am leaving to pursue another project. Plus, as the mom of a one-year-old, I am now usually the person committing the faux pas. It would be hypocritical of me to demand elegant behavior from others when, for example, I recently picked a booger from my child's nose while having a friend over to tea. READ MORE

How to Charm Your Sushi Chef

How to Charm Your Sushi Chef I am on a quest to find great sushi, but I have found dining at a sushi bar to be frustrating. I am bothered by this nagging sense that the chef is giving me his second-best work because he thinks I'm just another ignoramus. I would like to know the "correct" way to behave at a sushi bar. READ MORE

Loud Music in Restaurants

Loud Music in Restaurants I was at a restaurant the other night and asked the server to turn the music down. She seemed irritated and acted like she'd done us a huge favor. Were we rude to have made this request? READ MORE

Passover Etiquette Dilemmas

Passover Etiquette Dilemmas Last year some friends invited me to what was billed as a "casual Seder." This turned out to mean over four hours of religious readings and questions, and many different courses. It took so long that my wife and I left before dessert. Were we rude? READ MORE

Are Manners Getting Worse?

Are Manners Getting Worse? I don't want to sound like an old fuddy-duddy, but I feel like things just aren't what they used to be. People are getting ruder and have less and less respect for those around them. I feel like modern etiquette is in decline. Don't you agree? READ MORE

No Drinks = Bad Service

No Drinks = Bad Service Last Saturday I went to a new pizza place and it was packed. The waiter asked if we wanted drinks and we said, "No, just tap water." When we ordered our pizzas, he asked us a second time if we wanted drinks. We said no again and he basically checked out for the rest of the night. Should we have felt guilty about taking up a table on a busy night without ordering drinks? READ MORE

The Real Aphrodisiacs for Valentine’s Day

The Real Aphrodisiacs for Valentine’s Day I'm making dinner for my girlfriend this Valentine's Day. I want to make something that will be delicious, but will also create the right romantic atmosphere. What do you suggest? READ MORE

When Should Bartenders Cut You Off?

When Should Bartenders Cut You Off? The other night I was sitting at a bar catching up with my girlfriend, and this guy leaned over to listen to my conversation. He let out chuckles from time to time. Then he leaned over and abruptly told us that he thought we were "boring." He was clearly drunk, and the bartender could see he was bothering us. Was it the bartender's responsibility to cut him off? READ MORE

Faux Pas: The Chef Was Texting

Faux Pas: The Chef Was Texting The other day I went to a restaurant with an open kitchen. I was psyched because I got what I consider to be prime seating, at the counter where I could watch the chefs at work. But they ignored me, not even bothering with a smile or nod. What's the etiquette for staff behavior in an open kitchen? READ MORE

Servers: Eat in Secrecy, Please

Servers: Eat in Secrecy, Please Restaurant work is not exactly my vocation, but I've been a server for a few years and think of myself as fairly professional. Currently, I work part time in an Italian café. The other day one of the cooks threw together a quick cheese panini for me to eat on my break. It was pretty quiet so I took it behind the counter so I could talk to the other girl who was working there. A customer came up and gave me a strange look and said it made him "uncomfortable" to see me eating a sandwich in a place where food is served, and he wanted to give me a chance to explain myself before he posted a "negative online review." I don't get why he made such a fuss. READ MORE