How to escape when you have to go to a long, boring work-related cocktail party? The graceful exit is an important skill to learn, a craft to develop, and an art to perfect.
'etiquette' on Serious Eats
Everyone likes a pizza party. But who should decide the order, and what if someone has a dietary restriction?
What to do if you're hosting a dinner party and your friends insist on opening a bag of chips right before dinner.
This time of year, every party's a barbecue, and the invitations often ask guests to bring something to throw on the grill. Are there any rules surrounding what sorts of things you should bring and who should cook it?
Is there a way to tell a friend who chews her food with her mouth open that it is... well, distracting?
How do you ensure your party tips well, without seeming like an overzealous jerk about it?
Is there a way to tell people they're being gross for sharing food and drinks without being rude about it?
What should you do if you see a child sneak some food from a sibling, but the parent doesn't notice?
What should you do when a member of your party has very clearly had too much to drink and is making a scene and drawing unwanted attention from other diners?
How should one make polite conversation whilst elbow-deep in peel-and-eat-shrimp or barbecue ribs?
When a couple disagrees about houseguests' eating habits, our etiquette columnist steps in with some relationship advice.
A reader asks: "Am I crazy for thinking ordering multiple courses at a decent restaurant is a must? If I'm not crazy, can you recommend a polite way to encourage others to order both appetizers and entrees?"
In a question that will surely draw strong opinions from all sides, a reader asks how to teach her toddler son to behave appropriately in restaurants.
What's the polite way to eat mussels, oysters, and other potentially messy shellfish?
How far should you go to accommodate food issues with guests?
In a fizzling friendship, who's responsible for picking up the tab for a birthday meal?
When is the appropriate time to open a gifted bottle of wine?
Noted baking author Rose Levy Beranbaum was recently charged a $25 "forkage" fee for couple slices of cake she brought into a New York City restaurant. While it was "outside food," Beranbaum had brought the cake from a cake-related video shoot she had just done and wanted to share it with her pastry chef friends. (Heck, she even offered the pastry chef and the server a piece.) While it's common for restaurants to charge a "cake fee" to customers bringing their own dessert, here it seems a little steep. We want to know what you would do.
[Photograph: Robyn Lee] A few days after showing up for the Master Chef casting call, I got together at Palace Kitchen with fellow reality show hopefuls to compare notes. We mostly knew each other by our Twitter handles. "Aren't you Seattle Food Geek? (Also known as Scott Heimendinger.) And Salty Seattle (Linda Miller Nicholson), MarcSeattle as well as... hey, isn't that Serious Eats contributor Michael Natkin?" In between bites of sublime bites of Spam—yes, housemade Berkshire pork Spam, served on creamy grits, a poached egg on top—the pleasant conversation focused on, what else, food. One question stopped me cold. Marc Schermerhorn asked me, "What's the worst meal you've ever eaten?" As a former critic, I'm used to being asked...
[Photograph: Robyn Lee] Since my dining budget has gone from $30,000-plus a year to zero, I don't go out often. That's why it really grinds my corn when meals go terribly wrong. As much fun as I'm having in the kitchen at Alpha Sigma Phi at the University of Washington, I occasionally wish I still had my print platform to write about restaurants that are like that emperor who had no clothes. I may not be a restaurant critic anymore, but that doesn't mean I stopped being a critical eater. The time spent in the kitchen on my quest to try and become a cook have given me new insight about the millions of little details that go into turning...