The way food is served depends on how it's served. Even a trivial fried egg or French fries will look incredibly appetizing if they are served on beautiful dishes according to table etiquette. Therefore, a significant percentage of the cost of food in catering establishments is served. Knowing its basic rules, you can decorate the table as in a restaurant in your own kitchen.
Norms of table etiquette assume several plates per person. The range of serving utensils is wide: there are more than ten kinds of plates alone. But in order to set the table as in a restaurant, three is enough:
- Deep tableware for soup or broth.
- A serving plate for side dishes and hot appetizers.
- A pie plate for bread and desserts.
Plates are placed as follows: serving plate on top of the deep dish and pie plate on the left side at a diagonal distance of 10-15 cm. In some restaurants, a napkin is placed between the serving plate and the deep plate. To buy this stuff, you don't have to hit a jackpot with casino bonuses and offers, but nevertheless, this rule can be neglected.
In some establishments, it's customary to serve the table with a so-called coaster plate, which serves as a "pedestal" for all other plates. If there is one, plates are placed on it in the same way: first serving plate, then deep, dessert - next to each other, diagonally.
When setting the table, take into consideration that there is at least 80 cm of the table surface for one guest. You can do less, shifting items closer to each other, but then the serving won't look as aesthetically pleasing.
The number of cutlery at a dinner party was repeatedly used in comedy movies: the hero gets into an uncomfortable situation, seeing in front of him a lot of different knives and forks. In fact, it's not all that complicated. The golden rule of serving is that cutlery is arranged relative to the plate in the order in which the food is served.
The farther from the plate one or another appliance is, the earlier the dish is served. In a restaurant, cutlery is arranged according to the following scheme:
- To the right of the serving plate - a knife for meat, a knife for fish, a tablespoon (exactly in this order!).
- On the left side of the plate - a long fork for hot food, a small fork for salad.
- Above - dessert spoon, cake fork (with three teeth).
Putting a fork next to a tablespoon is bad form. It's a combination you see only on fast-food emblems, never in restaurants. It's also forbidden to put cutlery on top of plates, it's considered as a signal to finish a meal. The exception is the butter knife: it's placed on top of the patty plate.
Place Glasses and Cups
The type and number of glasses depends on what drinks will be served at the table. But there is an immutable rule: each drink has its own utensil, even if it's just water. Of course, this only applies to types, not varieties.
According to the norms of table etiquette, all drinkware is placed to the right diagonally from the serving plate, parallel to the cake plate. The positioning of glasses and shot glasses in relation to each other is arbitrary, the main thing is to keep a distance of 6-8 centimeters between them. By the way, in restaurants for juice and non-alcoholic drinks, they put glasses on a long narrow leg.
However, if you put beautiful clear glasses instead of them, nothing bad will happen - home serving allows it.
Napkins, Placemats, and Decorations
Obligatory attribute of restaurant serving - cloth napkins. Their color and decor should harmonize with the table service. The simplest and win-win variant is a monochromatic white napkin with welted edges. It's unnecessary to starch them, but the fact that the napkins should be perfectly clean and ironed is not even discussed. It's possible to place cloth napkins on the table in 2 ways:
- On top of the serving plate (unless there is a soup plate on it).
- To the left of the serving plate, next to the forks.
The easiest way to decorate a serving napkin is to fold it into a beautiful roll, but there are plenty of other, more interesting ways to fold it, like in a restaurant. There are also special rings, in which the napkin is inserted in the form of a scroll.
Along with cloth napkins on the table should be present and paper napkins. They are placed in the center of the table at the rate of one napkin per 4-5 guests. The same is true for spices - they should be placed at such a distance that they can be easily reached by reaching out the hand. If the table is served with meat or fish dishes, next to the napkin holders there are sauces with horseradish and mustard.
Flowers, either natural or artificial, can help add restaurant color to a table. Volumetric bouquets are placed in the center of the table, while small compositions are placed equidistant from each other. Other table decorations such as candles, figurines, crocheted napkins, etc. - in a restaurant setting is allowed, but in small quantities, so that the table doesn't look too variegated.