Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures while also being a source of some of its biggest controversies. From the arguments for a plant-based or meat-inclusive diet to heated discussions on appropriate pizza toppings, it is a topic that is often and well debated. While traveling, this seems to also be the first habit to be broken or brought out of the norm in favor of convenience and efficiency. While it is probably wise to have average, convenient meals for the majority of your trip outside of being fabulously wealthy, there are several fine dining experiences worth making a trip for in and of themselves. Conversely, if you happen to be traveling and need advice on local fine dining options, Trip Advisor offers a very helpful tool on their website to recommend the best restaurants in your area. (https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurants) However, with the above-mentioned plethora of debates surrounding every possible aspect of food, it is almost impossible to recommend a set list of restaurants that will apply to every reader. Instead, the focus should be more on what is arguably the most important element in placing a meal firmly in a higher tier of quality: the dining experience.
Fine dining restaurants all share one characteristic in common, and that is their attention to the guest’s experience. This experience really should start well before the guest even arrives at the restaurant for their meal, because reservations must be made. This serves two purposes: making sure there is a table available, and starting the anticipation for the meal. By starting this anticipation, your mind is already entering into the food lover’s state of mind, which also sets the tone for what you will eat the day of and days before the meal. If you know there is a multicourse meal waiting for your that night, it is ill-advised to eat a large lunch and breakfast, otherwise it will cut into the amount of food may be enjoyed at dinner.
Then, there is the process of selecting an outfit that follows the standards of any dress code listed, as well as dressing for yourself or date. Dressing in a way that stands out or restricts too much may potentially take away from your dinner experience by making you uncomfortable either physically or mentally. Upon arrival at the restaurant, the ambiance of the restaurant itself will come into play. If the restaurant is too bright, loud, or at a temperature extreme, it is possible that the dining experience will be taken down from fine dining to rather a costly dinner that this unpleasant factor is remembered more than the meal itself. The staff’s presentation will also begin to factor in your experience, as a mark of fine dining is the level of competence and professionalism displayed by hostess/host and waiter/waitress. After all the experience that has been affected so far, it is now time to order based on food preference and enjoy it based on the taste and presentation of the meal. Hopefully, at this point, your dining experience has proven to be excellent.