When you bring a date to a restaurant, you have an audience the whole time: the ever-watching staff. It’s time we learned something from them.
I reached out to a range of restauranteurs, servers and hosts, all of whom have seen the best and worst of our wining and dining behavior, to get their tips and etiquette insights on dining out with a date. We’ll be releasing the results over the course of the next two weeks.
Menu choice for romantic meal (simple share plate or something richer?)
Erica Schwartzberg (Host, Isa, Brooklyn): I love to share lots of different items on the menu. Oysters, while maybe cliché, are great and definitely set the mood. In addition, charcuterie plates are great for pairing with cocktails and starting the conversation. A pizza is always great as a share dish, but if we’re going fancier, go with meats that are more difficult to cook at home, say duck or rabbit.
Michael Terlecki (Manager, L’Orignal, Montreal): I like to keep it light so there’s room for the booze. Also, I like to share because you can try more things together.
Chloe Harrison (Server, La Superior, Brooklyn): Definitely food to share. Family style.
Alexandria LaPorte ( Manager, Cafe Mogador, Brooklyn): Go all out. Multiple courses, drinks, and of course dessert, which you can always order to go…
Taylor Phelps (Server, Sombre Mexican Kitchen, Ridgeland, MS): Share an appetitizer. Try separate entrées.
Eileen Curran (Server, Cooper’s Craft and Kitchen, Manhattan): Simple share. This makes it more intimate and also casual.
Daniel Notkin (restauranteur and oysterman, Old Port Oyster Co., Montreal): Oysters! Always start with oysters. As for courses, I’d say a bunch of appetizers. Play and have fun. The conversation should be so great that what you order doesn’t matter.
Check back tomorrow for the next installment of Table for Two! Previously:
Read more from Ben at BK + MTL Kitchens.