Most people do not visit steakhouses all that often. If this has not been a regular occurrence in your life, but you will soon be visiting a steakhouse — perhaps on a date or as a part of a corporate event — you may be worried about the etiquette expected. From ordering to eating, there are certain protocols to follow in this type of restaurant, and violating them can result in a side-eye from fellow diners. If you're able to avoid committing the four basic faux pas below, you'll be off to a good start.
Faux Pas #1: Showing Up Without a Reservation.
Make sure that someone in your party calls ahead to make a reservation. Steakhouses often operate on a relatively full capacity, especially on weekends. They might set aside a few tables for walk-ins, but you're likely to end up waiting for them. By making a reservation, you ensure that your table is ready when you arrive and that you don't have to spend an hour drinking cocktails at the bar before dinner.
Faux Pas #2: Ordering Your Steak Well-Done.
Every chef will tell you that good cuts of steak, like tenderloin and ribeye, are best when prepared medium-rare. If you like your steak a little less pink, it's acceptable to order it medium. But ordering a nice steak medium-well or well-done is a pretty big faux pas in a nice steakhouse. Chefs feel that this ruins the steak, and some may even refuse to prepare the meat this way! Break free of your comfort zone, and try your steak medium, at most. You may be surprised how much you actually do like it when it's prepared by a talented chef.
Faux Pas #3: Pairing White Wine With Steak.
To a certain extent, you should feel free to drink what you like. If that's a Manhattan with a twist of orange, so be it. But there is a certain pairing you should avoid making, and that is white wine with steak. If you are not typically a red wine drinker, order a mixed drink instead, or go with a light red like a Malbec or a Pinot Noir.
Faux Pas #4: Arguing Over the Check.
Establish beforehand who will pay for the meal. It's a bit impolite to ask for the check to be split in a high-end steakhouse. If one person invited the other, they are considered the host and should, by the most stringent etiquette rules, pay the bill. If you wish to go Dutch, arrange to have one person pay, and then the other attendees can reimburse them afterwards, outside of the restaurant.
For more information on the required etiquette, contact a local steakhouse like Z Prime Steakhouse.