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Tips for high-end dining

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“I can eat my dinner in a fancy restaurant
But nothing, I said nothing, can take away these blues …”
— Sinéad O’Connor, “Nothing Compares 2 U”

It may be true that eating dinner in a fancy restaurant is unlikely to beat the blues. However, dining in an atmosphere of luxury with an elegant and thoughtful companion definitely can’t hurt. However, gentlemen need to know that their ladies understand and embody the etiquette of dining at the very top of the food chain.

High-class dining requires high class

A meal at Masa, the most expensive restaurant in the United States, will set diners back about $585 … per person. Even slightly less pricey eateries in big cities or popular destinations bring in well over $150 per gorgeously presented plate. Some Las Vegas restaurants, the elite French Laundry, and several in California’s Napa Valley are on that exclusive list.

This isn’t a problem for a wealthy man who wants to treat his beautiful young woman to the dining experience of a lifetime. In fact, having a meal together is one of the most aphrodisiac experiences a couple can share, especially if they order the Oysters Rockefeller with asparagus and figs on the side. Showing a woman that she is worth the expense of an utterly singular meal as well as the challenges of landing a reservation is the gentleman’s role, but the lady should be able to offer some insight as well.

Going “old school” means knowing your role

An attractive and well-spoken young woman provides ideal companionship for a gentleman. This includes taking part in sparkling conversation based on knowledge of the man’s interests. It may be “old school” for the man to order the wine or for the woman to always be served first, but part of the charm of these kinds of relationships is exactly that throwback vibe regarding gender roles in public. Using some tried and true romantic conversation starters might be just the thing to get each party past those fancy-date jitters.

However, this means that even the most modern women must act as yin to her gentleman’s yang, with a job to do and a role to play. A woman must compliment as well as complement her man.

Complimentary vs. Complementary

These words are similar, but they have distinctly different definitions. Compliment means to make one feel better than if the comment, a gesture, or person had been absent. An attractive and interesting woman compliments her man at a chic restaurant because even the handsomest man looks and feels much better with such a companion. For the ladies, this means being quick with a smile or an appreciative comment. Not only will the man feel like a million bucks, but anyone observing the couple will see how good he has it.

Complement, on the other hand, means to complete something that (by definition) would not reach its apex without that complementary element. “Woman needs man, and man must have his mate,” right? That no one can deny. Strength and power are qualities of accomplished men, while their women are elegant as well as beautiful. Perhaps a man has a broad and entertaining sense of humor, while the woman sports a dry wit as subtle as it is enjoyable. The man uses his influence to bring the woman to an exclusive dining place, the woman shows her enjoyment of every drop. Such a show of compatibility requires that rudeness toward servers or other diners be verboten, as must arguing at the table. Compatibility becomes a habit for couples who work to come full circle in their pas de deux.

Knowing is doing

It’s not enough for a gentleman to pay for a pricey dinner; he must also not act like a jerk to his date, restaurant staff, or other diners. Similarly, is it necessary that his date not only look highly attractive; she must also act with elegance and class in this rarefied public setting. It’s not enough for her to know what she should do at a table of this quality; she must show that she possesses that knowledge by providing what the situation asks of her.

There will be plenty of time later to discuss what elements of the dining experience she liked or which she would rather not repeat. A woman with class—the kind who is taken out to a high-class eatery more than once—shows nothing but gratitude and enjoyment during dinner. This is something only the most elegant women, the kind who attracts the very best men, are willing and able to do.

Ladies, what do you bring to the table when your date takes you to the fanciest restaurants? Gentlemen, what do you expect from your dining partner when you reserve a spot for two in these establishments?

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