Table etiquette

Twenty Definite No-No’s

1. Don’t put liquid of any kind in your mouth while there is still food in it.  Swallow first. The only exception is if hot food is scalding your mouth and a cold drink is applied as first aid.
2. Don’t spit inedible objects into your palm and put them back on your plate.  Use an inconspicuous motion to remove the fish bone or whatever with your thumb and forefinger.  Then, place it on your bread and butter plate.
3. Gum! Never at the table.
4. Don’t chew with your mouth open.
5. Don’t talk with food in your mouth.
6. Don’t replenish the supply of food in your mouth before you have swallowed the previous mouthful.
7. Don’t blow your nose using your napkin, its sole purpose is to wipe your mouth.
8. Don’t use your napkin, handkerchief, the tablecloth or anything else to clean your silver ware.  If it isn’t clean, discreetly ask the waiter for another piece.
9. Don’t fiddle with your silver ware.  You will look nervous and make others edgy.
10. Don’t leave the coffee spoon in your cup while drinking from it.  Similarly, don’t treat the spoon and cup as a musical instrument making clinking noises as you stir.
11. Enjoy you meal quietly!  Don’t smack you lips or heave sighs of satisfaction after swallowing.
12. Holding two items of food in two hands is unacceptable.
13. Don’t tr y the “boarding house reach”, ask someone to pass you any item that is out of arms reach.
14. Don’t share someone’s food by spearing it with a fork and guiding it across the table like a toy airplane! The correct way is to pass the person your bread plate or main plate and request a lit tle of the food beput on it.
15. Don’t mash all the food together in the center of your plate.
16. Don’t dunk!
17. Don’t apply cosmetics at the table – not even lipstick
18. Elbows off the table!
19. Never read at the table if anyone else is present.
20. Don’t lean back on the rear legs of your chair.  You could break the chair, or worse your neck!

Etiquette By Course

• A food or drink served before the meal to stimulate the appetite.  Use appropriate silverware for:
• Shrimp Cocktail
• Oyster Appetizers & Escargot
• Pate
• “Retire” used silverware on under liner or appetizer table.

• Use appropriate silverware.
NOTE: Soups should always be kept f lowing in the opposite direction of one’s lap.  The soup spoon should be filled from its far side and the soup then poured gently into the mouth with its near side.  Hold the spoon parallel to your mouth.  It is the side of the spoon that should enter the mouth, not the oval tip.

• When applying lemon, squeeze the lemon with the right hand, using the left hand as an umbrella to protect dinner partners.
• To cut and eat whole fish: Anchor fish with fork and cut down center of side from head to tail.  Using you fish knife, pry flesh loose at midpoint on this line.  Lift top sections and eat. Lift bottom sections and eat… from left to right.  Remove skeleton with knife and eat underside.
• Hold fish fork in left hand. Hold fish knife in right hand.

• Use appropriate knife and fork.  Spoons are not used during the meat course.  It is NOT appropriate to spoon up sauces, etc…
• Rest knife and fork on edge of plate when not being used.  Do not place them on the table linen once used.
• “Retire” used silverware on dinner plate when finished.

• Use appropriate knife and fork.
• Europeans follow the conventional order for dinner courses and enjoy the salad course after the meat course as a palate cleanser.
• Cut salad into bite-sized pieces.
• “Retire” used silverware on salad plate when finished.
 Restaurants in America often serve salad courses prior to the meat course to give people something to eat besides bread while they are cooking the dinner.  Many people copy this because they believe that restaurants epitomize correct service, this is incorrect by proper etiquette rules.

• In formal service, both a dessert fork and a dessert spoon will be brought to the diner on the dessert plate.  Then
dessert is served.
• Fruit is often served in place of a baked or frozen dessert in which case a dull knife and fork would be supplied.
• “Retire” used silverware on dessert plate when finished.

• Coffee, sparkling waters and liqueurs.  Often served from a coffee table in an adjoining room.

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