A truly great dining experience goes well beyond the quality of the food. Not even the best dish in the world will feel as good as it should if you have dirty glasses or inattentive service. Creating the perfect fine dining experience is difficult to achieve because it involves so many variables.
When you decide to go out to a restaurant to eat you base your decision on the overall experience – the atmosphere, the attention to detail by wait staff, enjoyable conversation, and the opportunity to share a meal with others. While some nights may only call for a casual experience — which is great in its own right — there are other nights where only a fine dining restaurant will suffice.
Your dining experience will be significantly impacted by the relationship with your server; a lot of what they do can make or break your night out. From the moment they reach the table, the server should be able to assess the table’s mood. The server should be able to easily determine what type of service the party of diners are looking for. Some diners may be more talkative while others look for more intimate service. A server who understands the dynamics of the table’s party has the advantage of making it a great night for everybody.
At a fine dining restaurant, you may not even notice how good the service has been until after you have finished. This is because a great fine dining restaurant pays attention to even the most minor details: taking your plates away as soon as you have finished your meal, discretely replacing cutlery between courses and consistently refilling wine glasses. While these are things you may not usually pay attention too during your meal, a great restaurant understands that your overall experience can be hampered by a cluttered table or growing impatience waiting for drinks.
Now that the details of service and atmosphere have been discussed, it is time to shift focus to the food. At a fine dining restaurant, you should expect to be served small, detailed portions with a wealth of interesting flavours that will leave you wanting more.
When you truly enjoy a meal at a fine dining restaurant that excels in each of these three key areas, you will walk away with a feeling of happiness that lasts long after the evening is over. If it is done right, you will likely be back at that restaurant as soon as possible.
If you have yet to experience what fine dining restaurants have to offer, it is time to make a reservation. If you need some help picking a restaurant, take a look at some of my recommendations from around the word or reach out to me on Twitter. Enjoy!