The best fine dining experience in Torrevieja is usually American!
What is fine dining? Many restauranteurs can’t answer this question. Most diners can’t, yet they instinctively know when they have had a fine dining experience.
Here are a few ‘rules’ of fine dining, and six ways in which the fine dining experience may be served. You’ll soon learn that most of your fine dining experiences in Torrevieja (and elsewhere) will be American. No, not American food! American style of service.
Fine dining standards
There are a few standards that you should expect from a fine dining experience. These encompass the food served (don’t expect fast food), the ambience, and the service provided.
For example, your table will always be ‘dressed’. You should expect a proper table cloth, not a paper throw-away. The silverware will be laid out, and serviettes will be folded. Glasses will be arranged where they should be. Some restaurants may leave condiments on the table, others will provide them according to your selection of meals. There will be a symmetry to the table as you approach it for the first time.
You should expect space around your table, and not to be hitting the back of the diner’s chair behind you. Lighting should be subtle – no disco balls in sight – and decoration will reflect the nature of the place. Don’t expect loud music (unless for a special event). The aim of the fine dining restaurant is to provide an atmosphere conducive to the eating experience and your enjoyment of your fellow diners. You should be able to enjoy taste and talk.
Waiting staff should be polite, but friendly. They should listen well, and always attempt to serve the ladies at your table first (except when it comes to ordering the bill!). You should be asked to taste the wine, before the first full glass is served by the waiter or waitress. While it may be difficult to give you their full attention during a busy service, you should be made to feel special. And your table should always be checked back on, to ensure everything is as you expect (or better). And waiting staff should do all of this while allowing you the privacy to enjoy your meal without interruption. Oh, and your table should always be cleared after all diners have finished the course to be cleared.
Styles of table service at fine dining restaurants
There are six styles of table service. You are probably used to being served the American way in restaurants, as you will be in Christopher’s. And no, once again, this doesn’t mean American-style food. Let’s run through these different styles, starting with English and ending with American service.
1. English-style fine dining
Often experienced in private dining rooms, a waiter or waitress will serve each guest in turn from a platter. The origins of this style of fine dining is from country manor houses, where the head of the house would carve, and then the dining room servants would distribute.
2. Family-style fine dining
Platters of food are brought to the table, and you serve yourself. Waiting staff will be at the table at the beginning, explaining what each dish is, and they will clear away when you have finished your meal.
3. French-style fine dining
Food is prepared tableside on a trolley (called a gueridon), and then served from the gueridon to the guests.
4. Russian-style fine dining
This is like the French style, insofar as the food is brought to the table on a trolley. However, it will first have been prepared in the kitchen. Meat is carved and food garnished, and presented on the trolley before being served.
5. Butler-style fine dining
This is similar to English style, as food is brought to the table on platters by waiting staff. However, instead of the waiting staff serving you, you will help yourself. Today, this type of service is most common at cocktail parties or during the pre-dinner gathering where hors d’oeuvres are served.
6. American-style fine dining
A member of the waiting staff or the maître d’ provides a menu, from which you select your meal choices. Your order is taken, food prepared in the kitchen, and you are served at the table. The waiting staff should have a good knowledge of the menu, and the maître d’ or waiting staff be able to help with your wine choice. Your selection of dessert should never be taken before you have completed your main course.
For one of the best fine dining experiences in Torrevieja (as reviewed on TripAdvisor) – American-style, but not American food – book your table at Christopher’s. Call us on (+34) 600 01 28 24.
Yours in fine dining,