How To Behave In A Ridiculously Nice Restaurant

Cookie MonsterGreetings all, Steve here. I'm back after a short absence. Our old apartment imploded and sank down to the 6th level of hell, so we had to move in rather a hurry, which is quite difficult. My computer desk is still at our old apartment and so I'm writing this on the floor with my laptop propped up on a small suitcase. I just wanted you all to know how much I love you.

I didn't have a post here last week because I couldn't remember where I packed the internet. Nevertheless, I'm back again, here to talk to you today about how to behave in a nice restaurant. My girlfriend Meghan and I have just come off a very long stretch as students and so our idea of a nice restaurant is still one that has less than three bouncers on a Tuesday night. However, I recently started working for a very successful art gallery and it turns out that sucessful art galleries have parties at insanely expensive restaurants, which can be somewhat uncomfortable if you're not used to them. So, as an aid to all those entering the working world, I present: Steve's Guide To Eating In A Really Really Nice Restaurant.

Eating at an incredibly high-class restaurant is a bit like a Grail quest to prove your worthiness to be there, complete with three challenges: first you have to figure out what it's called, then you have to figure out where it is, then you have to try and read the menu. If you are unable to complete these tasks, you are unworthy to eat there. Sorry.

The first challenge: the restaurant will be named something vague and misleading. It won't be called Bob's House Of Bagels, or O'Flannigan's Authentic Irish Ale House And Casino. It will have a name that sounds like it could just as easily be a high-end shoe store, or an insanely over-priced restaurant, something like Liquid, Inside, or Insipid. These places do tend to be a bit on the shallow side. The restaurant I went to last night was in the Yaletown neighbourhood of Vancouver and, well, I'm not going to say that people there are shallow, but if you scratch the surface, all you get is more surface.

The second challenge: in addition to its misleading and improbable name, the restaurant will be located in what at first appears to be a disused alleyway, along with many similar restaurants. This is because it is "exclusive", which is a fancy way of saying you'll never find it unless you already know where it is. If they thought they could get away with it, they'd call their restaurant We Don't Want You In Clubhouse, Go Away!.

The trick with these restaurants is that they want to weed out the people who shouldn't be there, so they name them something that doesn't sound remotely like a restaurant and place them somewhere where restaurants shouldn't be. If you happen to actually make it to the point of sitting down in the restaurant, you have to pass the final challenge to prove your worthiness, that of trying to decypher the menu, which is only slightly less difficult than decyphering the Rosetta Stone, because they've made it up in such a way that the food doesn't sound like food. This is nothing to fear and all you need to do is approach this final task with confidence and aplomb and accept that understanding these menus is no more difficult than succesfully reading A Brief History Of Time underwater. You'll see items such as the following:

  • Deep-fried squirrel with orange peel reduction
  • Innappropriate comment with immediate retraction
  • Coconut rice with unfortunate attitude
  • Special theory of relativity with mio-cardial infraction
  • Rat Flambé with disapproving stare

And that's all there is to it. Except for figuring out which fork to eat which item with. And trying to figure out what things cost, because they don't put prices on the menu, because if you have to ask, you can't afford it. And resisting the urge to read the Hagar The Horrible cartoon from the comics page they wrapped your food up in. And trying to figure out why the hell they wrapped your lemon wedge up with a bow like a goodie bag. And why they took three hours to make your food, for cryin' out loud!

That's all I've got for you this week. D*I*Y Planner: Keeping you cultured and organized, occasionally at the same time. Until next time, keep your pen on the page and worthiness apparent.

Steve Sharam

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Transcendental Boeuf Algebra...

As with comfort eating, pretentiously named resturants are not about the food...

Finding the Plaice:

Let us say one is in Soho looking for 'Rapid Eye Movement'. The wise cookie will have a Map Template already prepared...

Where's the Beef?

Rather than play into the hands of uncertainty, make a list of tasty pabulum on a D*I*Y Hipster notecard. If anyone questions you tell them you are a vet investigating how to bring life into a plate of frozen chicken. :D

A pair of teeth? :O

The waiter is asking if one would care for a drink while one's meal is being prepared, not if one still has his food cutting up. Ask to see the wine list. If, like me, you know little about wine ask for the waiter's recommendation...

Check mate!

If one shouts this out the waiter will, quiet rightly, realise you are there under false pretences. Ask for the bill as the civilised do. When it arrives one has two options; pay with a platinum Visa card or hand it to the rather successful actor who for some unfathomable reason enjoys your company...

Tip Top:

A word about tipping. some places feel they are so extraordinarily nice they will save you the trouble by adding a service charge. This is presumptuous. The correct way is to leave 10 to 15% of the bill in cash depending on the quality of service and whether one wishes to return next week...

Cashewing Up:

Don't forget D*I*Y has Templates for every occasion. One can tot up the cost on a Finances or Grid Note Form. Remember the Receipts envelope Template? Now is the time to use it.


I think next time I might just go for the funny glassese and clown nose disguise.

Steve Sharam


As long as you are the client, you have the right to choose. Never forget that you give them money and you are helping them to increase their profit. Take care with your money.

Taste Spam...

...Or that we have a very effective spam-guard, Lucy. :D


Excellent food, but a little pricey, which is what you would expect from a French Restaraunt.

How about anorexia... then

How about anorexia... then you don't need to eat!