Sending food back - acceptable, wasteful, or paltry?

I've posted this elsewhere but would also like to get SE'rs thoughts. Particularly those of you who go out for reviewing, or have visited quite a few places.

I was particularly curious as to whether or not it's acceptable to send back a piece of meat that is overly-gristly. Granted some cuts of meat are just fattier by nature, but I've been in situations where my cut has significantly more sinew/gristle than my dining companions.

Is it acceptable to request another piece?
Does it depend on the size, type of dining (a la carte vs tasting)?

For discussion purposes, I'm talking about a (2-3oz portion during a tasting)

Aside from obvious mistakes with doneness, or temperature, under what circumstances do you send food back/make comments to the staff?

When is it acceptable, wasteful, or just paltry?

Serious Eats Newsletters

Keep up with our latest recipes, tips, techniques and where to eat!


Comments can take up to a minute to appear - please be patient!

Previewing your comment: