The Design of Dining Courses

Have you ever wondered why the portions in Fine Dining restaurants seem to decrease as the price increases? If you answered yes, you are not alone. The customary menus at most restaurants are based on a main course and possibly a cup of soup or a salad. You have the choice to order an appetizer and if you have the desire for dessert, you can put in a request at the end of your meal. The dishes are generally larger portions of a meat and one or two sides depending on what you ordered.

The tradition of Fine Dining is to gracefully serve several courses throughout the experience. You will not find a predetermined layering of courses or specified selections. Each venue is different and are designed with their own customs. There are however some guidelines as to the order of which they are served which is a universal aspect of proper etiquette.

The Courses

The number of courses a Fine Dining Establishment serves is generally between five and six. They can go above or below depending on the menu. The first course is an hors d’oeuvre. By definition, this is a smaller and lighter fare that greets the guest. It means “apart from work” and is served prior to any of the other plates. Some examples include:

  • Caviar
  • Cheeses
  • Relish Trays
  • Bruschetta
  • Canapes

When you are ready to continue your meal, a second course will be brought to the table. This will usually be a small cup of soup dujour unless otherwise specified. In between each tasting, your table will be cleared of the prior course and brushed for crumbs. Be sure to rest your soup spoon on the soup plate and not inside of the bowl when you are finished.

For the Third presentation, you will receive a special fare that is on the lighter side or a small piece of fish with delicate sauces. To cleanse the palate prior to your main entrée, you will have a salad or vegetable as the fourth course. This will prepare your taste for the fifth plate. The main course will consist of a meat that is expertly prepared. Five favorited dishes are:

  • Lamb with mint
  • Glazed Duck
  • Roasted Sirloin
  • Quail
  • Filet Mignon

You may find a garnishment in the form of a starch or vegetable. It is not intended to be a doubled meal; however it is appropriate to eat the garnish. When your table is arranged, the sixth course is similar to the fourth in exception it comes in a fruit styled beverage or sorbet. You can order a dessert if it is not in the lineup or enjoy your courses as they are.

The plated itinerary can be less or more depending on the region and restaurant. You will find the prime of ingredients and artistry in every bite. The portions are smaller as you are being served several courses. Fine Dining Restaurants offer more than a dinner, they present their guest with an experience.

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