STARCH-BURN: When there's not enough baguette/tortillas/crepes/flatbread/scallion
pancakes to go with the stuff in the ramekin, and you finish the dip with a spoon or fork.
THE ULTIMATE FRISBEE: That tiny, circular two-top. Can both of your entrees AND
side dishes fit on this goofy discus masquerading as a table? Maybe...but your server
might have to take away the bread plates and water glasses.
SMALL PLATES SOLILOQUY: Wherein the server explains that this is actually a tapas
restaurant that doesn't serve Spanish food. Use this 20 seconds to mentally scan your
bank account and figure out if you have enough cash to feed yourself tonight.
COMMUNITY SERVICE: When you're seated at a communal table instead of a stand-alone table. This is the dining equivalent of being downgraded from business class to
GLASSWARE SHAMING: Being served wine in a little kids' tumbler or water glass
because you didn't order a pricey enough vintage to get grown-up stemware.
NO-CASH SPEED-DASH: Leaving the restaurant to search for the nearest ATM while
your date holds down the fort, because — Surprise! — this trendy restaurant does not
THE SORROW SPLIT: When the guests at the table outnumber the morsels of food on
the plate, and one precious bite is carved into slices, like something from a Depression-era newsreel.
THE JIFFY POP: That one seat near the door/host podium that everyone bumps into,
unknowingly, with their butts, elbows, and bags. In a perfect world The Jiffy Pop would
come with a 50 percent discount.
THE WINE BUFF BLUFF: The little act you put on for the server after being poured a
sample of wine. Sniff, swirl, taste, approving nod, and "Mmm, that's great," like a real,
bona fide wine genius.
CHEFSPLAININ': Being told how the chef wants you to order, or how you're supposed
to eat the food when it's served to you. Remember: In trendy restaurants, context is
SPECIALS FACE: The tight, polite smile you make after you've made up your mind
about what to order, but you have to listen to the server explain every ingredient and
preparation of the nightly specials.