Tips for Dining With Your Lover at a Five-Star Restaurant

February 15, 2011  |  

This is it, and if your guy had enough forethought to snag a reservation at a five-star restaurant, the LEAST you can do is make sure you don’t embarrass him by using the salad fork for the main course or using your cloth napkin as a bib.

The first time the hubster took me to a swanky restaurant, I nearly had a panic attack.  All those forks, spoons and glasses…which one was I supposed to use first?  My parents were country folks.  I had not a clue.  Sensing my trepidation, my guy whispered in my ear, “work from the outside, in.”

That’s about the best advice for basic decorum at a high-class eatery.  But here’s a few more that will come in handy so you’ll look like just as refined as the Ivy League millionaire that’s sitting at the table right across from you.

  • Put the napkin on your lap, NEVER use it as a bib, or worse, not at all.  The napkin is your friend, and be sure to use it often, dabbing gently at your mouth every few bites or so.
  • Don’t slouch.  Sit up straight, just like your mom told you to.  Slouching makes you look smaller, less confident and insecure.  Get your posture right and you’ll work the room like the diva you are.
  • Hold the salt and pepper!  Wait to season your food until you’ve taken a taste.
  • Don’t reach for food, butter, oil or whatever–ask for it to be passed to you.
  • Remember, the knife is for cutting, not for tasting!  Never, ever, put the knife in your mouth.
  • If you drop your utensil, don’t stoop down to pick it up.  That’s what the waiters are for.  Don’t be shy about asking “Jeeves” for a new fork if it happens to slip out of your hands and onto the floor mid chew.
  • If you’re drinking, don’t get smashed.  Make sure you have a glass of water and plenty of padding like bread or your entrée to help fight the urge to swing naked from the chandelier.  Topless.
  • After you’re done with your meal, set the napkin next to your plate, not ON it.

Christelyn D. Karazin is the co-author of Swirling: How to Date, Mate and Relate Mixing Race Culture and Creed (to be released February 2012), and runs a blog,, dedicated to women of color who are interested and or involved in interracial and intercultural relationships. She is also the founder and organizer of “No Wedding, No Womb,” an initiative to find solutions to the 72 percent out-of-wedlock rate in the black community.

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