When Dining At A Fancy Restaurant, Remember The 'One-Action-At-A-Time' Etiquette Rule

The prospect of a formal sit-down dinner can unnerve even the most experienced restaurant-goer. Whether participating in an event or accepting an invitation for an intimate dinner, polished silver, sparkling wine glasses, and crisp linens can rattle the confidence of a practiced food critic tucking into a multi-course tasting menu. Fear not, if you remember just one guideline, stick to the Rule of One: A practice of moving slowly and intentionally while focusing on only one aspect at a time. From trying a dish, sampling wine, or buttering bread, concentrate on performing only one of these actions before moving on to the next one.

The idea is to savor the experience and to enjoy not only the food but also the surroundings around you. Once anxiety or nerves kick in, it is easy to operate on autopilot and move at faster speeds. By slowing down and focusing on one movement at once, you'll be able to ground into the present moment and fully experience the dishes that have been sent out of the kitchen just for you.

Setting yourself up to enjoy an elevated experience

Whether it is your first or fortieth visit to a restaurant, demonstrating self-awareness and consideration for the other members of your party, restaurant patrons, and service staff will result in a memory that can be cherished instead of an embarrassing mishap that you wish you could revise. Regardless of whether you are dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant or the neighborhood's local pub, remembering to focus on the experience and the moment at hand and enjoy the meal deliberately is never bad advice. 

As tempting as it might be to gobble down your food as soon as it arrives at the table or guzzle your drinks once they have been poured, remind yourself to slow down and savor each action separately. Your intentionality conveys respect to not only those around you but also to the restaurant's team, and you'll have a better experience as you confidently sample the drinks and foods placed before you.