Should you cut your steak with the oysters fork ? How to eat some dishes properly (Vidéo & Podcast)

 

To listen to the podcast click here : http://media.blubrry.com/umbertdeparis/content.blubrry.com/umbertdeparis/gJ2I7vgcHYySJhhsMf8X.mp3

 

 

When Umbert goes to the restaurant with his friends, they like to discover new dishes and try any new experiences.

For exemple he likes to go to The Ritz, and meet the famous chefs from the Escoffier School. This is his favorite place in Paris.

But sometimes some dishes requires different utensils, especially in France.

Here is list to know if Should you cut your steak with the oysters fork ? How to eat some dishes properly.

 

“Whoever does not eat at the table eats in the barn”, French proverb

« Celui qui ne mange pas à la table mange à l’étable », proverbe Français

 

In this articles : 

  1. Soup
  2. Asparagus
  3. Artichoke
  4. Salad
  5. Caviar
  6. Oysters
  7. Mussels
  8. Lobsters
  9. Sushis
  10. Foie gras
  11. Escargots
  12. Omelet
  13. Spaghetti
  14. Fishes 
  15. Poultries
  16. Sandwiches
  17. Tacos 
  18. French fries
  19. Cheese
  20. Fruit pies
  21. Chocolate cake
  22. Orange
  23. Pear/apple
  24. Ice-cream

 

  1. Soup : only with a spoon. You can now finish the plate by leaning backwards and slightly to the right (for right-handed) or left (left-handed).
  2. Asparagus : you can eat them either with your fingers in an intimate dinner, either cut with its fork, leaving in the plate the harder part. If the asparagus are very thin : they can be folded in the middle with a knife and put in the mouth with a fork.
  3. Artichoke : use to fingers to did the leaves in the vinaigrette sauce. Use your fork and knife to eat the heart.
  4. Salad :  the salad should not be cut with a knife. Take your fork to fold the large leaves. The host must serve cut leaves to avoid this problem.
  5. Caviar : serve the caviar with the little spoon, then spread it on the toast or blinis. You can use your fork and knife, or your fingers, to eat the blinis.
  6. Oysters :  the oysters are eaten with elegance. It is necessary to take the shell in the left hand, to unhook the flesh with the oyster fork, and to suck it with the water from shell without making noise.
  7. Mussels : hold the shell in the palm of your hand and use an empty shell as a pliers to detach the flesh. 
  8. Lobsters : the claws are cracked with a nutcracker. Take the meat with a seafood fork. If the piece is big you can use a knife to cut it into small pieces.
  9. Sushis : you need some chopsticks. Pick up the sushis so it doesn’t break into pieces. Dip it into the soy sauce, eat part of it, then let the chopsticks on the table side by side. The best is to practice before with someone who will teach you. Advice from one of Umbert friend who is a well-known chef in Tokyo : “don’t put to much perfume before going to a sushi place, because the strong smell may modify the sushi taste and your experience.”
  10. Foie gras : do not spread it. In France, it is eaten with a fork, with a piece of toast. In England, cut a piece and place it delicately on a piece of bread.
  11. Escargots : hold the shell in tongs, use a snail held and remove the snail from the shell. Use the fork to dip the bread in the garlic butter.
  12. Omelet : the omelet is cut and eaten only with the fork.
  13. Spaghetti : never cut with a knife. Wrap them around a fork.
  14. Fishes : for the soft fishes use the fish cutlery. Split the fish with the fish knife from head to tail and lift the nets. If the flesh is hard use the cutlery especially the knife.
  15. Poultries : detach the flesh with the knife and fork. Never use your fingers. Do not suck the bones. When can you use your fingers exceptionally ? Caution: provide a finger rinse (warm water with a lemon slice or mint leaf) : ortolans, quail wings, wings of young pigeons, frog legs.
  16. Sandwiches : tea sandwiches are eaten with the fingers. For the other ones, even club-sandwich, you can use a fork if they are not cut already.
  17. Tacos : you can use your fingers.
  18. French fries : do not use your fingers. Prick them with a fork.
  19. Cheese : present it, it is possible to leave the label. Warning: the Camembert never stays in its box as pretty as it is. Cut it if it is round into sections. If it is square: it is sliced. If it is in a semicircle : it is cut into a triangle. To eat cut a piece and put it on a small piece of bread. You can use your fingers or cheese fork and knife.
  20. Fruit pies : the fruit pies can be enjoyed with the desert spoon. If a pie is made with puff pastry, you can use a dessert knife to keep it from breaking.
  21. Chocolate cake : the chocolate cake can leave traces around the mouth. Remember to wipe your lips, especially before drinking, so you won’t stain the glass.
  22. Orange : cut the bark, detach it and separate the quarters by hand.
  23. Pear/Apple : cut the fruit in four, peel with a knife and a fork and eat with a fork.
  24. Ice-cream : you can eat ice-creams and sorbets with a desert spoon.

 

There are many other dishes, cutleries and flatware, especially if you travel in different countries.

So now you know if you should cut your steak with the oysters fork ? And How to eat some dishes properly.

Umbert will bring you in some amazing restaurants and cafés in Paris, with more advices to come during his monthly Weekends.

Don’t forget to read my other article Chronology on how to behave at the restaurant like a gentleman, and respect the New Etiquette (Video & Podcast).

What should be remembered : it is very important to know those advices and train before, so you won’t be surprised and look ridiculous.

 

Quiz : Register to my blog to get regular Quiz and learn more about the New Etiquette.

You can post a comment or ask Umbert about your next weekend in Paris, and new etiquette advices, in the section below.

Sign in to download the 1st chapter of New Etiquette , and get the next vidéos, podcasts and articles.

Bon voyage !

Umbert De Paris

Chronology on how to behave at the restaurant like a gentleman, and respect the New Etiquette (Video & Podcast)

 

To listen to the podcast click here : http://media.blubrry.com/umbertdeparis/content.blubrry.com/umbertdeparis/VJcnTsKb3PhLwXrioFQt.mp3

 

 

Umbert loves to go to the restaurant. He is a gourmet, and every month, he gives you his choices for the best places. You can check Umbert Weekends.

To behave correctly at the restaurant is not a protocol matter, but part of the art-de-vivre and new etiquette.

Umbert gives you the Chronology on how to behave at the restaurant like a gentleman, and respect the New Etiquette.

 

« The gastronomy is an incredible source of happiness” Pierre Hermé, famous French pastry chef.

« La gastronomie est une formidable source de bonheur », Pierre Hermé, célèbre chef pâtissier.

 

In this article :

1) Arriving at the restaurant

2) At the table

3) How to eat some dishes

4) Leaving the restaurant

 

1) Arriving at the restaurant

If you have invited a woman, be sure to arrive before the time, if not contact her. You can also read my article How to be a winner at the first date (Podcast & vidéo).

When arriving with a lady, a man always goes first to the restaurant, and hold the door. Why ? This is an old tradition : to protect the woman from looks, or fights that were common in hostels in the past. If there is a staircase : the man goes first, it is also an old tradition because the man should not see the legs of the woman, and when they go down to avoid a fall to the lady.

Enter and wait for the butler to place you.

If the butler leads a couple to the table, the woman goes first. 

It is important to wait until the hostess places you. However, you can politely ask to change if the table proposed does not suit you.

The man gently pulls the woman’s chair to invite her to sit down and extends her right hand to the table. The woman is still sitting in front of the room and on the bench if there is one.

When Umbert invites friends to the restaurant, he asks for a table, and leads his guests there.

 

2) At the table

If the man arrives before, and is already at the table, he must get up when the woman arrives to greet her.

Never sit down first. The bench is always reserved for ladies. If there are two women, they will be side by side. If there are only chairs, think of pulling the woman’s chair, unless the butler does it.

When you sit down to the table, immediately put your towel on your legs, without waiting for the dish. The towel should not be tied around the neck, shirt or belt. It must stay on your knees, except to wipe your lips before drinking, so the glass is not dirty.

Turn off your phone ! Personal items shouldn’t be on the table (sunglasses, phone, keys etc …).

Do not put elbows on the table while eating.

To make your choice on the menu, do not look at the neighbors’ plate at another table. Do not choose dishes which are too expensive, to respect the other guest regarding the bill, or too modest, so you’ll seem cheap.

The host chooses the wines, after having asked everybody if his choice suits them. 

When the waiter comes to you with a bottle of red wine, look at the label to check the order. Turn the red wine in your glass delicately before tasting and agreeing.

The men serves the drink to the ladies who accompanies them, unless the butler does it. 

Glasses : the water glass is the largest on the left. The red wine glass is the middle one, the smallest white wine glass is on the right. Wipe your lips before drinking so you do not stain the glass.

If you do not want to drink wine, do not put your hand on the glass to refuse, but say “no thank you” to the server.

The bread is not eaten before the first course is served, even if you are very hungry !

Before starting to taste the dishes, wait until everyone is served. Exception : if you are many at the table, and your neighbors ask you to start. But for an appetizer or a cold dish, wait for everyone to be served.

If you made a mistake while ordering a dish, ask the server quickly if you can still change. If this is no longer possible, accept your mistake with a smile.

There are numerous dining utensils to know. Take it easy : start from the ones on the outside, and come back toward the center when a new dish arrives.

Always put small portions of food into your mouth, and eat slowly.

Start the conversation and look the others in their eyes to talk. This prove your sincerity and improve your charism.

Avoid your problems, drama, work, vulgarity or heaviness. Do not complain about everything (climate, cost of living, car breakdown, noisy neighbors, etc …). Be open, balanced, attentive, confident, cheerful. Prefer funny anecdotes, travel, art or great experiences. Do not show off with your culture, especially if your guests are not intellectuals.

Umbert and his friends love to talk and laugh. They are often numerous at the restaurant. They know however that it is necessary to speak with a moderate tone not to disturb the other clients.

Fortunately everyone knows perfectly the rules of etiquette so there is no disorder, and nobody is shocked !

When they need more wine, and they always do, they call the staff, saying “sir” without speaking too loudly, and without making big gestures.

If you have to leave the table for a few minutes, excuse yourself, you don’t have to say why. Place the napkin on your chair (USA only), or on the left side of the plate (Europe).

If someone in the restaurant recognizes you and stop by for a short talk, just stand up for a few minutes.

 

3) How to eat some dishes  

The salad should not be cut with a knife. Take your fork to fold the large leaves.

The oysters are eaten with elegance. It is necessary to take the shell in the left hand, to unhook the flesh with the oyster fork, and to suck it with the water from shell without making noise.

The omelet is cut and eaten only with the fork.

For soft fishes, use the fish cutlery. If the flesh is hard use the cutlery especially the knife.

Fruit pies can be enjoyed with the desert spoon. If a pie is made with puff pastry, you can use a dessert knife to keep it from breaking.

Chocolate cake can leave traces around the mouth. Remember to wipe your lips, especially before drinking, so you won’t stain the glass.

 

4) Leaving the restaurant

At the end the host asks for the bill, and pay it discreetly, or share with the other men. If there are errors, do not discuss them in front of the guests. 

The tip should be around 15%, more if the service was amazing or if you get special attentions and gifts.

As you leave, slide between the tables facing the next table.

On your way out thank the staff and compliment the manager, saying that it was delicious and you will come back.

On leaving, do not talk on the sidewalk making noise, people sleep around.

If a woman has come by taxi, or with her own car, accompany her. For the taxi, open the side door on the sidewalk for the woman. If you take it too, go around to get on the street side. 

If you take her home, wait until she has entered the building.

Call everybody the next day to thank for this amazing diner at the restaurant.

 

This is a lot of advices on how to behave at the restaurant like a gentleman, and respect the New Etiquette, and more will come… 

Try to learn them step by step, so each time you go to the restaurant add one.

Don’t forget to check Umbert Weekends to find some cool spots.

What you should remember : it is very important to respect the new etiquette and good manners at the restaurant. Your guests will judge your education and savoir-vivre on this. Your reputation depends on it, and it is even more important for business lunches.

 

Quiz : Register to my blog to get regular Quiz and learn more about the New Etiquette.

 

You can post a comment or ask Umbert about your next weekend in Paris, and new etiquette advices, in the section below.

Sign in to download the 1st chapter of New Etiquette , and get the next vidéos, podcasts and articles.

Bon voyage !

Umbert De Paris