Knowing your ‘b’ and ‘d’s Bread on the Left, Drink on the Right b d Hold both hands in front of you, palms facing each other. Using the tips of your thumb and forefinger, make circles on each hand. The remaining three fingers in each hand point upwards. Your left hand will form a "b" and your right hand will form a "d". Bread (b) is on the left, and drink (d) is on the right.
Where to put your napkin? Napkins belong in your lap. Large napkins can be folded in half or with a quarter folded over the top. They should never be tucked into your shirt like a bib. Wait for the host to unfold his napkin before unfolding yours. In a banquet setting or at a restaurant, simply place your napkin in your lap as soon as you are seated. If you have to leave the table during the meal, say a soft "excuse me" to the people on either side of you, leave your napkin on your chair (not the table) and push the chair under the table as you leave.
Where to put your napkin? —c ontinued When you have finished dinner and are about to leave, loosely fold the napkin and place it to the left or right of your plate. Do not refold your napkin or wad it up on the table either. Never use your napkin as a tissue, but have one close by if you think you'll need to wipe your nose during the meal. Ladies should blot their lipstick with a tissue before eating so that they don't soil the cloth napkin and glassware.
Passing food around the table Roll baskets, butter, cream, salad dressings, sugar, salt and pepper - if they're within your reach, pick them up and start them around. Pass food from the left to the right and refrain from helping yourself first. Those items should make a complete pass around the table before you get your turn. If a passing pattern has already developed, go with the flow. If asked for the salt or pepper, pass both together. Butter, spreads, or dips should be transferred from the serving dish to your plate before spreading or eating.
Passing Food Around the Table — continued Whenever you pass something with a handle, such as dressings, pass it with the handle facing the other person so that they can grasp it easily. Only reach for items that are in front of you. Politely ask others to pass items out of reasonable reach. Food is served from the left. Dishes are removed from the right.
Butter your bread Place the butter first on the bread plate before buttering your bread. Break up your bread or rolls into one- or two-bite morsels for buttering and eating. Butter only the piece you are preparing to eat. Whatever you take up to your mouth to eat should be eaten in one or two consecutive bites. Your tablemates don't want to see the part that didn't quite fit in your mouth placed back on your bread plate!
How to drink soup properly? Draw the spoon away from you and quietly sip the soup from the side of the spoon. Tilt the bowl away from you to get to the last drops. If you need to set your soup spoon down, place it in the bowl. Do not put it on the dish under the bowl until finished. If there is no plate, rest the spoon in the bowl. Follow these same guidelines for any dessert served in a bowl.
Salad Salads should be prepared so that they consist of bite-size pieces. But if the salad contains leaves that are too big to eat, use your salad fork to cut them into smaller pieces. And if that doesn't work, use your dinner knife. (But only use the knife when all other methods have failed. Why? Because you'll also need that knife for the main course, and after you've used it for the salad, there's no place to put it so that it doesn't also disappear with the salad plate.)
Main Course Pace your speed of eating to that of your tablemates so that you don't make them feel uncomfortable. Eating "American Style“: 1. Cut your food with the fork in your left hand and the knife in your right hand. 2. Cut only one piece at a time. 3. Then lay your knife down along the top edge of the plate and transfer the fork to your right hand. 4. Bring the food up to your mouth with the tines on the fork facing upward. 5. Don't stab your food or hold the silverware with your fists. And be careful not to gesture or point with your silverware, whether or not it has food on it.
Main Course— continued If you must remove something from your mouth as you eat, take it out the way it went in. In other words, if it entered your mouth on a fork, remove it with your fork. If it was finger food, use your fingers to remove it. Hold your napkin in front of your mouth to mask the removal, then place the item on the side of your plate. Don't try to hide it under the plate, because as soon as the plates are cleared it will be left behind on the tablecloth! Don't hide any paper trash you've accumulated during the meal under your plate either. Just place it on the edge of your bread plate.
When finishing At the conclusion of the meal, imagine your dinner plate as a clock and place your utensils in the 4:20 position. It's considered rude to push your plates away, stack them up or hand them to the server. Place your loosely-folded napkin on the table just as you stand to leave, not before.
Other etiquette rules for dinning Start eating hot food when it is served, do not wait for everyone else to begin. For soup, dip the spoon into the soup, from the edge of the bowl to the center, moving away from you. Only fill it 3/4 full to avoid spilling. Sip, not slurp, from the edge of the spoon. Do not insert the whole bowl of the spoon into your mouth. It is proper to tip a soup bowl slightly to get all of the soup.
Other etiquette rules for dinning — continued Never turn the glass upside down to decline wine. It is more polite to let the wine be poured and not draw attention to yourself. If you are asked about wine and will not be drinking, quietly decline. Do not ask for a doggy bag unless it is an informal dining situation. Do not smoke at the table.
Other etiquette rules for dinning — continued Do not ask to taste someone else's food. Similarly, do not offer a taste of your food to someone else. Taste your food before seasoning it. For hard to scoop items like peas, use your knife or a piece of bread to push the items onto your fork. Do not use your fingers.
Other etiquette rules for dinning — continued Do not talk with your mouth full. Cut only enough food for the next mouthful. Chew with your mouth closed. If soup is too hot to eat, let it cool in bowl. Do not blow on it.
Other etiquette rules for dinning — continued Practice good posture. If not eating, place your hand in your lap or rest your wrists on the edge of the table. Do not put your elbows on the table. If hot food is burning your mouth, discretely drink something cool to counteract the food. When dining out, order foods that can be eaten with utensils.
Other etiquette rules for dinning — continued Meeting materials or briefcases should be placed under your chair until it is time to discuss business. Try to pace your meal to finish at the same time as your host or the majority of the group at the table.
Other etiquette rules for dinning — continued Do not blow your nose at the dinner table. Excuse yourself to visit the restroom. Wash your hands before returning to the dining room. If you cough, cover your mouth with your napkin to stop the spread of germs and muffle the noise. If your cough becomes unmanageable, excuse yourself to visit the restroom. Wash your hands before returning to the dining room.
Casual Dinning Expectation When sharing chips and salsa at your favorite Mexican food restaurant with your friends, do not concern yourself with transferring salsa to your own plate. However, do not double dip. In other words, do not dip your chip, bite off a piece, and then re-dip your chip.
Ordering Wine at a Restaurant Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYn AZWQL4iY