the menu with finest food, service and atmosphere
Your menu needs to be interesting and offer unique items that customers don’t find at other restaurant. The chef needs to exercise with his creativity when designing dishes.
You need to choose a theme for your menu, and try to have fun with it. And don’t forget the wine! Your wine list should complement your menu. Each wine should be paired with each individual dish. Work together with your sommelier to find the best options.
There are not any "rules" unless you are looking to do a traditional night like - French, Italian, Japanese....etc., course meal. The meal needs to build up consistent.
Here I made a list of “DON’T'' to show you the way I build the menu and the way I think about it:
- don't serve same proteins one after another;
- don't serve two seafood courses one after another (unless you have a shell fish night menu), or two meat courses;
- start with lighter fare, and then go on to the heavy;
- serve seafood before meat;
- Don’t treat – “amuse- bouche” like a course;
- don't serve the same cooking method more than once;
- don't serve more than one salad, or soup, or pasta;
- don't do heavy dish after heavy dish;
- don't mix in the same menu fancy dishes with fast food style dishes.
The goal is not to feed them massive quantities of food with each course, make everyone enjoying themselves, you must "school" your clients. None of the courses need to be heavy; they need to be in balance with the course before and the course after.
Here are some samples of menu I made and are easy to make.
You control and form the evening with the courses, let everyone come in and relax, with a glass of champagne and some ''amuse-bouche'' from the chef - should be the way to start the evening.
Smoked salmon pate with salmon roe on a smoked crouton.The first course: Time for a fresh salad, tartar or light appetizer.
The second course: Soup is on!
The third course: Traditionally the third course will feature a sorbet to cleanse the palate. A nice lemon or lime sorbet would do nicely. It’s perfectly fine to prepare this dish the day prior your meal.
The fourth course: This can be poultry, fish or shellfish.
Banana prawns with sushi rice , wasabi and white radish salad.
The fifth course: This will be a call for a red meat dish.
The sixth course: I usually made a small pre dessert.
The seventh course: Dessert of course! It’s always hard to choose just one dessert.
All of the details that are expected of a fine dining server require that your staff be rigorously trained. They should be able to answer any and all questions customers may have about a menu or item or wine. Customer service in a fine dining restaurant it goes far beyond taking an order and delivering food. Fine dining services include:
- escorting customers to the table;
- holding the chair for women;
- cleaning the table in between courses;
- replacing napkins if a customer leaves the table;
- explaining menu items without notes;
- serving food directly on the plate at the table;
- Sommelier should serve the wine and provide any information is needed.
The most important fine dining serving etiquette is to be polite to the customers and to give equal attention to all the guests. The food should be served from the right of the customer and the table should be cleared from the left.
In fine dining music is playing subtly in the background and should reflect the theme of the night, such as classical for a traditional fine dining restaurant or jazz for something modern, the rest of the atmosphere is up to you. Don’t forget, dining in a fine restaurant need to be a nice elegant way to have a meal and is relaxing and fun.
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