Dining at a fancy restaurant, especially a French one, can be a rather confusing endeavor for those of us that don’t speak the language. Just making your way through the menu can be a challenge! To make your gourmet dining experience stress-free, we’ve rounded up ten of the most confusing terms that you’re likely to encounter at a fancy restaurant.
The menu and the chain of command at your local Denny’s is fairly cut-and-dry. The greeter says hello and shows you to your table, the waiter or waitress takes your order and brings your food, the manager drops by to see how your meal is going, and the busboy clears your dishes. All in all, a straightforward restaurant experience.
There are far more moving pieces at a high-end restaurant . One host or hostess greets you while another takes you to your table, the server takes your order, the runner delivers your food, the head waiter checks in periodically, and a busser clears your dishes. In some restaurants, is the tables are looked after by a team of waiters, presided over by a captain. To make it even more complex, in some upscale restaurants, a maître d’ oversees the entire dining room. As mentioned, things can get complicated.
Though fancy restaurants (and their menus) might be a little confusing to navigate, the system doesn’t vary much from one restaurant to the next. If you have an issue, speak to the manager; if you want a refill on your cocktail, ask your waiter or waitress, not a busser. Most importantly? If any menu item confuses you, don’t be afraid to ask about it. There are few things that annoy a chef more than a diner sending back a menu item because they didn’t ask what sweetbreads are before ordering a dish of sautéed veal thymus.
À La Carte
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