Do you miss seeing Mr. Carson instruct his charges to deliver Lord Grantham and company impeccable service at every meal? Even if you weren’t a Downton Abbey fan (is that possible?), you’ve no doubt heard tales of grand dinners delivered by a well-appointed staff.
Today’s fine dining restaurants may not use a ruler to measure the silverware’s distance to ensure uniform place settings, but the good ones do offer classic service in a refined atmosphere. After all, when you choose this type of evening out, your expectations are high—it’s not fast food or casual fare—and should be met.
Look for the following in any refined restaurant:
It All Starts with the Ambience
- Classic restaurants still use a smartly dressed maitre d’. That important position takes reservations and preferences, welcomes you, seats you, ensures that any special requests are met and bids you adieu at the end of a lovely evening.
- You should hear light music in the background—you’re not in a nightclub, after all. A piano player is a classy touch.
- Look for crisp white tablecloths, sparkling stemware and impressive place settings.
Service Is an Honor
- Making sure a restaurant’s guests have a spectacular evening—beyond the great food and drink—is the hallmark of a properly trained server. It’s a noble occupation, so seek out establishments where the staff does it right.
- Your server should be well dressed in an ironed collared shirt, preferably with a tie or bowtie, and ironed pants (but any uniform that doesn’t involve a short-sleeved shirt and khakis may be acceptable).
- A server’s top responsibility is to respect your evening with your companion or guests, not to chat you up or turn you to his or her menu preferences. That having been said, a server should be fluent in special needs to make suggestions for those with dietary requests.
- The restaurant should have ample staff circulating to swiftly attend to questions and requests, pour your wine, refill your water and refold your napkin.
And Then There’s the Menu
- All the attention to detail in the world won’t make up for sub-par food and pedestrian beverages. Look for a restaurant that plates a tempting mix of the classics, like Dover Sole, Filet Mignon Béarnaise and Crab Cakes, plus modern classics like Free Range Great Plains Bison, Caramelized Shrimp and Scallops and Seared Duck Breast.
- A good restaurant will offer a varied wine list as part of a fully stocked bar. You should be able to choose the libation that suits your mood and your pairing preferences.
In an age of instant gratification, smart devices and hustle-and-bustle, make time to recharge during an inspiring night out with that special someone—or someones. Choose a restaurant that shows its respect for you with an elegant atmosphere, attentive staff and delicious offerings. You deserve it.
Vickers Restaurant serves traditional Continental cuisine with classic French flair. Indulge in attentive service and outstanding menus in quaint and comfortable surroundings. The same European service is available through our stellar event planning service. Whether it’s a romantic dinner for two or a wedding for 150, you can rest assured you’ll enjoy the highest level of care and attention to detail. Join us for happy hour, dinner and live piano on Fridays and Saturdays—we’ve got the area’s most extensive European wine list and excel at vintage cocktails. In season, relax in our outdoor garden for drinks or dinner. Vickers is the perfect spot for fine food, cocktails and entertaining.