Eating at an upscale restaurant can be an exciting yet daunting experience. From navigating the extensive wine list to knowing which utensils to use when, upscale dining comes with its own set of unwritten rules.

If you’re looking to make the most of your luxurious dining experience, read on to find out what you can expect when a man enters an expensive restaurant.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The man can expect a formal yet personalized dining experience at an expensive restaurant. He will likely be greeted warmly by the maitre d’hotel, brought to a well-appointed table, provided exceptional service by a professional waitstaff, offered a vast wine selection, and enjoy creatively prepared food using the finest ingredients.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss what happens from the moment a man walks into an upscale establishment to when the check is paid. You’ll learn insider tips about making a reservation, what to wear, navigating the menu, how to order wine correctly, decoding unfamiliar silverware, and how much to tip.

We’ll also describe what goes on behind the scenes in the kitchen and the dining room to pull off a first-class dining experience.

Making a Reservation

Calling Ahead

When it comes to dining at an expensive restaurant, making a reservation is essential. The first step in the process is calling ahead to secure a table. It is advisable to make the reservation well in advance, especially for popular restaurants that tend to fill up quickly.

This ensures that you won’t be disappointed upon arrival and will have a guaranteed spot at the restaurant.

Many high-end restaurants have dedicated reservation lines, making it convenient for customers to book a table. The staff is usually polite and accommodating, ready to assist you with any inquiries you may have regarding the reservation process.

So, don’t hesitate to give them a call and secure your spot in the culinary experience that awaits you.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to mention any special occasions you may be celebrating. Who knows, they might even surprise you with a complimentary dessert or a personalized note to make your dining experience even more memorable! 😊

Specifying Preferences

When making a reservation at an expensive restaurant, it’s important to specify any dietary preferences or restrictions you may have. This allows the restaurant staff to make necessary preparations and cater to your needs.

Whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan, have food allergies, or follow a specific diet, communicating your requirements ensures that you have an enjoyable dining experience without any concerns.

High-end restaurants are known for their attention to detail and customer satisfaction. By informing them about your preferences ahead of time, they can plan accordingly and create a customized menu or suggest suitable options for you.

This level of personalized service adds to the overall experience and leaves you feeling well taken care of.

Pro tip: If you have any specific requests, such as a particular seating arrangement or a special dish you’d like to try, don’t hesitate to mention it while making the reservation. The staff will do their best to accommodate your request and make your dining experience truly unforgettable! 👍

Dress Code

One aspect that sets expensive restaurants apart is their dress code. These establishments often have a specific dress code in place to maintain an elegant and sophisticated atmosphere. It is important to familiarize yourself with the dress code policy before making a reservation.

Typically, upscale restaurants require guests to dress in formal or semi-formal attire. This means men are expected to wear suits or dress shirts with pants, while women are expected to wear dresses, skirts, or dressy pantsuits.

Some restaurants may even have specific guidelines regarding footwear, accessories, or even the color palette of your outfit.

Pro tip: It’s always a good idea to check the restaurant’s website or give them a call to confirm the dress code. This way, you can dress appropriately and feel confident knowing you are adhering to their expectations.

Remember, dressing up adds to the overall ambiance and makes the experience even more special! 😍

Arriving at the Restaurant

As you pull up to the entrance of the expensive restaurant, you can immediately sense the air of sophistication and elegance. The experience begins with valet parking, where a well-dressed attendant greets you with a warm smile and offers to park your car.

This convenient service ensures that you don’t have to worry about finding a parking spot and allows you to focus on enjoying your dining experience.

Valet Parking

Valet parking is a common feature at upscale restaurants, providing a touch of luxury and convenience for patrons. This service not only saves you the hassle of searching for parking but also adds a sense of exclusivity to the dining experience.

You can rest assured that your vehicle will be in safe hands while you indulge in a memorable meal.

The Maitre D’Hotel

As you enter the restaurant, you are greeted by the impeccably dressed Maitre D’Hotel. This individual plays a crucial role in setting the tone for the entire dining experience. Their warm welcome and attentiveness to detail create a sense of anticipation and make you feel like a valued guest.

The Maitre D’Hotel will guide you through the restaurant, ensuring that everything is perfect and that you have a memorable evening.

Being Escorted to Your Table

After being warmly welcomed by the Maitre D’Hotel, you are escorted to your table. The restaurant’s interior is thoughtfully designed, with plush furnishings and soft lighting that create an intimate and cozy atmosphere.

As you make your way to your table, you can’t help but notice the attention to detail in the restaurant’s decor and the seamless flow of the dining area.

Once you reach your table, you are presented with a menu that showcases the restaurant’s culinary expertise. The staff is knowledgeable and passionate about the dishes they serve, and they are more than happy to provide recommendations or answer any questions you may have.

From the moment you arrive at the expensive restaurant, you can expect to be treated like royalty, ensuring a truly unforgettable dining experience.

Looking at the Menu

Format and Organization

When dining at an expensive restaurant, one of the first things you’ll notice is the impeccable presentation of the menu. These menus are often designed with great attention to detail, featuring elegant fonts, high-quality paper, and sometimes even a personalized touch, such as the restaurant’s logo or a unique design.

The format and organization of the menu are carefully thought out to create a memorable experience for the diners.

The menu may be divided into sections based on the type of cuisine or course, making it easier for guests to navigate through the options. It may also include a brief description or story behind each dish, providing diners with a glimpse into the culinary inspiration behind the menu.

Some upscale restaurants even go a step further by offering a separate wine or cocktail menu, allowing guests to pair their food with the perfect beverage.

Dishes and Ingredients

Expensive restaurants often pride themselves on offering a diverse range of dishes that showcase the chef’s creativity and expertise. The menu may feature a variety of starters, main courses, and desserts, each carefully crafted to tantalize the taste buds.

These dishes are often made using the highest quality ingredients, sourced locally or from around the world.

Restaurants may also highlight seasonal ingredients, ensuring that guests can savor the flavors of the freshest produce available. Some establishments even offer tasting menus, allowing diners to experience a curated selection of signature dishes.

From succulent steaks to delicate seafood, the menu at an expensive restaurant is designed to impress and delight even the most discerning palate.


It’s no secret that dining at an expensive restaurant comes with a price tag to match. The pricing on the menu reflects the quality of ingredients, the skill of the chefs, and the overall dining experience.

The prices for appetizers, entrees, and desserts can range from moderate to exorbitant, depending on the restaurant’s reputation and location.

While some may argue that the high prices are unjustified, it’s important to consider the costs involved in sourcing top-notch ingredients, maintaining a talented kitchen staff, and providing exceptional service.

The experience of dining at an expensive restaurant goes beyond just the food; it’s about the ambiance, the attention to detail, and the overall feeling of indulgence.

It’s worth noting that dining at an expensive restaurant is not just about the cost, but also the value that one derives from the experience. For some, the opportunity to try unique dishes or be served by renowned chefs is priceless.

It’s a chance to create lasting memories and indulge in a truly exceptional dining experience.

Ordering Drinks

When dining at an expensive restaurant, ordering drinks is an important part of the overall experience. The selection of drinks can greatly enhance the enjoyment of the meal and complement the flavors of the food. Here are some key tips for ordering drinks at an upscale establishment:


Before diving into the main course, consider starting your meal with an aperitif. Aperitifs are alcoholic beverages, typically light and refreshing, that are meant to stimulate the appetite. They can range from classic options like a Negroni or a Martini to more unique and creative concoctions crafted by the restaurant’s mixologists.

Aperitifs are a great way to kickstart your dining experience and set the tone for the rest of the meal.

The Wine List

One of the highlights of dining at an expensive restaurant is the extensive wine list. These establishments often pride themselves on their carefully curated selection of wines from around the world. Take the time to peruse the wine list and don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from the sommelier.

They are there to guide you through the options and help you find the perfect wine to pair with your meal.

Ordering Wine Properly

Ordering wine can sometimes be intimidating, especially if you’re not a wine connoisseur. However, there are a few simple guidelines to follow to ensure you make a good choice. Start by considering the flavors of the dishes you’ll be ordering and match the wine accordingly.

If you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to ask the sommelier for advice. When ordering, be sure to mention your budget if you have one, as they can help you find a great wine within your price range. Finally, it’s important to know that it’s perfectly acceptable to decline the wine tasting offered by the sommelier if you’re confident in your selection.

Other Drink Options

While wine is often the go-to choice for many diners at upscale restaurants, it’s important to note that there are other drink options available as well. Many high-end establishments offer a wide range of craft cocktails, premium spirits, and non-alcoholic beverages.

Don’t hesitate to explore these options if you’re not a wine enthusiast. The bartenders at these restaurants are often highly skilled and can create unique and delicious drinks that will complement your meal perfectly.

Remember, ordering drinks at an expensive restaurant should be a fun and enjoyable experience. Don’t be afraid to try new things and ask for recommendations. The staff is there to ensure that you have a memorable dining experience, and choosing the right drinks is a crucial part of the process.

The Table Setting

Fine China and Stemware

When dining at an expensive restaurant, one of the first things that catches your eye is the exquisite table setting. The use of fine china and stemware is a hallmark of upscale dining establishments. The delicate and beautifully crafted plates, bowls, and cups add an air of elegance to the dining experience.

The choice of china can vary depending on the restaurant’s style, but it is often sourced from renowned manufacturers known for their high-quality craftsmanship. The stemware, used for serving wine and other beverages, is carefully selected to enhance the flavors and aromas of the drinks being served.

The crystal-clear glasses are designed to showcase the color and clarity of the liquid, adding to the overall aesthetic appeal of the table.

Flatware and Serving Pieces

Another essential element of the table setting in an expensive restaurant is the flatware and serving pieces. The silverware used is typically made of high-quality stainless steel or silver, giving it a polished and luxurious appearance.

Each piece of flatware is meticulously placed on the table, with different utensils for each course. The serving pieces, such as serving spoons and tongs, are also carefully chosen to complement the overall table setting.

These utensils are not only functional but also add a touch of sophistication to the dining experience.

Decoding Place Setting Etiquette

Understanding the proper etiquette of a place setting can be daunting, especially in an expensive restaurant. However, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the basic rules to avoid any awkward moments during the meal.

At each place setting, you will find a variety of utensils, plates, and glasses. Starting from the outside and working your way in, you can easily navigate the different courses. The bread plate is usually located on the left, while the water and wine glasses are on the right.

Remembering which utensil to use for each course can be simplified by following the simple rule: “work from the outside in.” If you are unsure about anything, do not hesitate to ask the waitstaff for guidance.

For more information on table setting etiquette, you can visit

Ordering Your Meal

Discussing Options with the Waiter

When dining at an expensive restaurant, it’s important to take advantage of the expertise and knowledge of the waiter. They are there to guide you through the dining experience and help you make the best choices for your meal.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the menu items, their ingredients, or their preparation methods. The waiter can provide valuable insights and recommendations based on your preferences and dietary restrictions. Remember, their goal is to ensure that you have a memorable dining experience.

Custom Orders and Substitutions

Most high-end restaurants are more than willing to accommodate special requests or dietary restrictions. If you have any specific preferences or allergies, don’t hesitate to communicate them to your waiter. They can often make substitutions or modifications to dishes to suit your needs.

However, it’s important to be mindful of the chef’s expertise and vision for the dish. While some customizations may be possible, others may not be feasible without compromising the overall integrity of the dish.

Trust the expertise of the chef and the waiter to guide you in making appropriate modifications.

Timing Your Courses

When you’re dining at an expensive restaurant, the timing of your courses can greatly enhance your overall dining experience. It’s important to communicate your preferences to the waiter regarding the pace at which you’d like your dishes to be served.

If you prefer a leisurely dining experience, you can request longer intervals between courses to savor each dish. On the other hand, if you’re on a tight schedule, you can inform the waiter that you’d like the courses to be served more quickly.

The waiter can work with the kitchen to ensure that your meal is served at a pace that suits your needs.

Dining Etiquette

Using Utensils Properly

When dining at an expensive restaurant, it is important to know how to use utensils properly. This not only shows respect for the establishment but also ensures that you can enjoy your meal without any awkward moments.

Start by using the outermost utensils for the first course and work your way in towards the plate as the meal progresses. Remember to hold your utensils correctly – the fork in your left hand and the knife in your right (if you are right-handed).

If you are left-handed, the fork should be in your right hand and the knife in your left. If you are unsure about which utensil to use for a particular dish, don’t be afraid to discreetly observe others or ask the waitstaff for guidance.

Navigating Challenging Foods

Expensive restaurants often offer unique and challenging foods that may be unfamiliar to diners. When faced with such dishes, it is important to approach them with confidence and an open mind. If you are unsure of how to eat a particular food, take a moment to observe how others are doing it or ask the waitstaff for assistance.

For example, if you are served a whole lobster, it may be intimidating to know where to start. But with a little guidance, you can crack the shell and enjoy the succulent meat inside. Remember, dining is not only about satisfying your hunger but also about experiencing new flavors and textures.

Embrace the opportunity to try something different and expand your culinary horizons.

Handling Spills and Other Mishaps

Accidents happen, even at the most elegant of restaurants. If you accidentally spill a drink or knock over a plate, it’s important to remain calm and handle the situation gracefully. Alert a staff member immediately and apologize for the inconvenience caused.

They are trained to handle these situations and will assist you in cleaning up the mess. It’s important not to panic or make a big fuss, as this can make the situation more awkward for everyone involved. Remember, accidents are a part of life, and it’s how we handle them that truly matters.

So, take a deep breath, maintain your composure, and continue to enjoy your dining experience.

Paying the Bill

After enjoying a lavish meal at an expensive restaurant, it’s time to settle the bill. Paying the bill at a high-end establishment can be quite different from your average dining experience. Here are some key aspects to consider when it comes to paying the bill at an expensive restaurant.

Itemizing the Check

When you receive the bill at an upscale restaurant, it’s likely to be presented in a more detailed and formal manner. The check may include a breakdown of each item you ordered, including any special requests or modifications. This level of detail allows you to review the bill and ensure accuracy.

If you have any questions about the charges, don’t hesitate to ask the server for clarification.

Tipping Appropriately

Tipping is an important aspect of dining at any restaurant, and when it comes to expensive establishments, the tipping etiquette remains the same. It is customary to tip between 15% to 20% of the total bill, depending on the level of service provided.

However, some high-end restaurants may include a service charge in the bill. In such cases, it’s essential to check if the gratuity has already been added before adding an additional tip. Remember, tipping is a way to show appreciation for the excellent service you received.

Exiting the Restaurant

Once you have settled the bill, it’s time to exit the restaurant. Exiting an expensive restaurant can be an experience in itself. The staff is likely to bid you farewell with warm wishes and thank you for choosing their establishment.

Some upscale restaurants may even offer small parting gifts or mementos as a token of appreciation. Leaving the restaurant with a smile on your face and a satisfied stomach is the perfect ending to an exceptional dining experience.


From making a reservation to paying the final bill, dining at a high-end restaurant takes etiquette and insider knowledge. With the information in this guide, you’ll know what to expect and how to conduct yourself when a man enters an expensive restaurant.

You’ll be able to focus on enjoying an amazing culinary experience rather than worrying about using the wrong fork. The next time you have the opportunity to eat at a Michelin star restaurant, you can relax and savor every moment knowing how to handle the formal setting with grace.

The hallmarks of fine dining include impeccable service, exquisite food and wine, and luxurious surroundings. Now that you understand the rituals and semantics of upscale restaurants, you can fully appreciate the talent and effort that goes into crafting an extraordinary meal.

The tips provided will help demystify the experience so you feel informed, confident and ready to order another course!

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