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Here are some of the finer points of proper restaurant service

Harry Hall is the sommelier at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino, and you’ll never receive finer service from anyone.
Harry Hall is the sommelier at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino, and you’ll never receive finer service from anyone. Special to the Sun Herald

This week I’m sharing tips on evaluating restaurants.

Pay attention to every detail of a restaurant. Even if you have been there dozens of times, take a good look.

Maybe things have changed.

Monday I blogged about first impressions. Today we’ll focus on service.

To get a good idea of the quality of the service might take a while.

At a fine dining restaurant, you should be politely greeted at the door and shown promptly to a table. Take a look at how the other tables are being served. I hope the servers are dressed according to the style of restaurant. If it is fine dining, you should see lots of black and white.

There are some basic rules about how to serve a table. Pre-plated food and beverages are served from the right, and are removed from the same side. Platters are served from the left.

A server should never reach across another person’s place to serve, and the entire table should be served at the same time.

I do not mean the super fancy ballet that some fine dining places do when each plate for each guest hits the table at exactly the same time.

What I mean is that the food should be brought to the table on a tray and a server should not have to run back to the kitchen for the rest. Lastly, no thumbs in the soup, please.

The entire service should be polite, but conversation between guests and server should be brief and to the point.

You are going to think I’m a snob, but I do not go to a good restaurant to become best friends with the server.

If you want to get into all of the details, and there are lots of them, get a copy of “Wine and Food Handbook” by Conrad Tuor.

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