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The Trendy Restaurant Glossary

Names for all the things that annoy you about trendy restaurants.

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 
take plastic.

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.