Etiquette Tuesday: Proper Places

[ 1 ] January 4, 2011 |

Image via holidaycook.com

Back to the basics. Now that I started Etiquette Tuesday, I am extremely self conscience when I dine out with others. I almost feel like “How can I talk about good etiquette when I’m not following my own rules?” This is what inspired this weeks post because I have a bit of an issue when it comes to the simple dining rules i.e. table settings. Every time, I plop down to enjoy a meal at a restaurant, I have to remind myself “work from the outside-in”. It’s almost like trying to work out quick math in front of a group and you want to use your hands to count…this should be systematic at this point in my life.

There has to be someone else out there like me who struggles for a few seconds with whether to place the water on the left or the right side of the place setting. Let us take a reminder course together. Of course, the golden rule is work from the outside silverware to the inside as each course progresses, now for the others:

  • The water glass should be on the extreme right, and then the champagne flute/wine glasses follow in the order in which they will be used.
  • Typically, knives are on the right and forks on the left. (*I knew this rule but fail to use it when serving at home…)
  • The side (*bread/butter) plate will typically be located on the upper, left side of the base plate.
  • The soup spoon is typically located on the right side outside of the knife (*If it will be served during the first course).
  • The dessert cutlery is located at the top of the base plate with the fork facing right and the spoon above the fork facing the left.

I’m feeling more confident already. For those that already know these, don’t judge me. For those that do not, thank you for empathizing.

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Category: Food.Fun.Stuff.

About the Author ()

Johnna Rowe is a Harlem NY native with deep roots in Washington, DC and North Carolina. All three places have heavily influenced her life and the foods she loves today. After graduating Howard University School of Law and beginning her life as a young professional in the city she was led to start Johnna Knows Good Food in November 2007 to keep family, friends and colleagues updated on where to go and what to eat while dining in the nation’s capitol. Rowe, who still practices law, leads a team of three writers to cover the ever expanding Washington, DC food scene. Rowe has been featured in print and television, appearing in Washingtonian Magazine and is a regular contributor to various local TV affiliates including WUSA 9 and WJLA’s News Channel 8.

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