Thursday, November 24, 2011

Link Thursday: Romantic Dinner Date Etiquette for Gentlemen

Hey peeps!

Remember last week I started a series of posts about Gentlemen's Etiquette? You do want your hero to be a gentleman, innit? He can be a biker bad boy to a CEO and everything in between, but one thing a hero always is - Noble! And he has manners. :)

So we learned what a man was supposed to do - and not do - when fine dining. Some of it was weird (A gentleman doesn't draw on the table... uh, unless he's 6...?); some was spot-on and a dead giveaway that your hero is, well, "unrefined" (A gentleman never snaps his fingers to attract the waiter's attention); and some was in the good-to-know category (A gentleman never talks about golf at a table where ladies are present... ???)

When you know that two-thirds of first dates happen over a dinner table, these pointers do come in handy (plus, don't forget you can use said pointers to make your antagonist/loser/douchebag male character a better, well, uhm, douchebag...?)

...and when you've acertained that a date is almost always dinner... especially that special date of February 14, aka, Valentine's Day...

What's your hero to do, so he'll behave and come across a gentleman?

Read on to find out!

The article is from, and is written by John Mariani. You can find the link with the original slideshow here


How to Take a Woman to Dinner the Right Way

With expert restaurant do's and don'ts, etiquette tips, and more romantic advice, make this 21-step guide your food bible for Valentine's Day. Or else.
By John Mariani

1. Ask her out at least five days in advance.
But since you've got just a few days until Valentine's Day, you're already in the hole. Assuming you've got a date, tell her the reservation is 15 minutes earlier than it actually is. This way you'll be seated on time.
2. French restaurants may seem romantic…
Often they upstage you with a meal that revolves around an exotic menu and wine list instead of you having a good time. And then there's the snooty factor, where you're judged as much by the service staff as your date. Especially when it comes to the tip.
3. On Chinese and Asian restaurants:
They are either pushy, crowded, and frantic or completely empty, ensuring you'll be the only ones in the whole place. In either case, you'll be out the door in a hurry. Think about it: When was the last time you spent more than an hour in a Chinese restaurant?
4. Mexican restaurants can be amiable.
They have lively atmosphere and acceptable cuisine... but they mark you as a cheapskate. The music usually sucks, but after a few fast-acting margaritas, neither you nor your date will be complaining.
5. Steakhouses tend to be meat markets.
Literally. Who wants to compete with the crowds of guys at the bar who can't wait for you to go to the men's room so they can hit on your girl?
6. Sushi is very good for a casual date.
Assuming she likes it, it is a little sexy because it's adventurous and marks you as something of a sophisticate. (This is especially true if you if you live in a landlocked city like Cincinnati or Tucson.) Just don't sit at the counter.
7. Italian restaurants are your best bet.
The staff is affable, they know how to greet a beautiful girl, the food is going to be good even if it's only okay, and the bill won't raise your eyebrows over your hairline. Plus, as Neil Simon once said, "There are two laws in the universe: The Law of Gravity and Everybody Likes Italian Food.
8. Wear a jacket or blazer.
A tie couldn't hurt either.
9. Don't forget:
Get up from the table when she leaves and returns.
10. Tip 20 percent if you expect to return.
Remember to include the wine costs as well, unless you're buying bottles of wine that cost more than $100 each.
11. Pay the bill.
If she offers to go Dutch, resist her.
12. Offer to switch plates if she hates her meal.
If that doesn't work, ask her what she hates and quietly consult the waiter off to the side.
13. Don't flourish a bribe to a maître d'.
Tip him on the way out if you plan on being a regular.
14. Don't share plates.
Especially on a first or second date. Try to stay away from the tasting menu, too, while you're at it.
15. Don't order soup.
It will end up on your shirt.
16. Don't perform the Heimlich maneuver.
Unless you are an EMT, let the trained staff handle this one.
17. On tasting the wine:
Don't make a giant production. Take a sip, nod if it's good, and leave the swishing and spitting for the sommelier.
18. Ways to tell a restaurant is bad:
The host proudly offers you a free glass of "kee-ann-tee" if you order an entrée; there is a bouncer out front;the bar is packed, but the dining area is empty; there are women's undergarments stapled above the bar; the restroom is unisex; the host says there's a half-hour wait for a table.
19. Other ways to tell a restaurant is bad:
Tonight's music selection: showtunes!; the menu has tassels; the winelist comes in a three-ring binder; the place has no listed phone number; the tables are so close together that the waiter has to pull them out to sit you down; it's one of Todd English's restaurants; the waiters have track marks on their arms.
20. Yes, you like oysters.
Still, don't ever suggest a food is an aphrodisiac. It makes you sound like you learned everything you know about romance from your dad's Playboy collection in the garage.
21. Don't order coffee.
Because if you order coffee, how on Earth is she going to invite you back to her place for a cup? You can always grab desserts on the way back to her place.
From Mauritius with love,


Brenda said...

LOL, these are great tips. I have to say, my hero in my current WIP isn't always a gentleman.

Zee Monodee said...

Lol. Thanks, Brenda! I've had heroes like that, total frogs at first glance, but deep down inside, they're all, without exception, noble gentlemen :) xoxo