Most nights, it’s a Salata salad or a burger from FM Kitchen. Oh, or tacos from Eight Row Flint. Fries are a major food group, and my ideal lunch is from Panera or Zoe’s. All this to say, I eat cheap and am thriving. However, even I, a 25-year-old with awful eating habits have found herself in a fine dining situation, most recently at the epitome of Houston fine dining: Tony’s.
If you find yourself in a situation like I did, do not panic. Simply read this fine dining guidebook I have created for you, and get fancy.
Dress for the occasion
OK, this one is kind of obvious, but fancy foods go with fancy threads. Most fine dining establishments have a dress code, so know before you go. A cute dress and some heels should suffice. However, the real key accessory is some sort of sweater or jacket or full-length coat because DANG restaurants can be cold, and it takes a lot of wine for the alcohol blanket to kick in. Note: We did not have a sweater and we froze, even though our alcohol blanket was that huge bottle of wine.
Valet all day
Never have I ever heard, “Oh, I just love, love, love valet!” We all hate it, because even if it’s free (which it usually is, and it is at Tony’s), no one ever has cash to tip. It’s fine, get over it and get some cash before you go.
Feel like the freaking queen
In my opinion, the absolute greatest thing about fine dining is the fact that you’ll never push your own chair in, or open your own door. And forget about caring to your own napkin. You leave? It’s folded and on your table waiting for you. Your back? Oh, here it is draped in your laugh. Such service, especially at Tony’s, is worth the cost of admission.
Eat as good too
Scroll through for visuals to go with your vocab lesson.
I’m no expert in fancy foods, however it is very important to know the lingo for when it’s ordering time. Here’s your fancy food vocab guide:
- Caviar: Fish eggs, but you might’ve known that. I did, but what I didn’t know was that it is salty like the ocean it comes from. Tony’s paired it with a sour green apple.
- Truffles: Expensive mushrooms. Sort of. It’s a fungus, yes, but it’s way more exotic. And Tony’s shaves it fresh to your plate.
- Ristretto: Not to be confused with risotto, which is what I thought I was getting: Lobster risotto. This, instead, was a type of sauce I think, but yum!
- Island Duck: You get it, a duck from an island, I think, but what I liked about this dish is that it was a duck ravioli type of thing.
- Foie Gras: Duck or goose liver. I know, I kind of checked out when hearing that, but it was cooked tableside with FIRE.
- Sorbetto: Sherbet, but exotic.
Boom, you’re a pro.
Put those pinkies in the air. You’re a pro.