11/16/2012 10:46:00 AM

Open Call: What Are Your Most Pretentious Restaurant Moments?

You know the scenario - you're dining out and something absolutely ridiculous goes down as a result of a restaurant's absurdly pretentious policy - ie, your server tells you that the only condiment served there is a housemade lavender aioli, or you're dining at a fancy pizza place that refuses to slice your pie for you because, "they don't do that in Naples." Tell us your tales in the comments for the chance to see it appear in an upcoming post.


  1. It is pretentious for customers to think that they can have what ever it is they want when they go out to eat regardless of whether the establishment they chose to dine in offers what it is the customer wants or not. ie.. if a pizzeria chooses to offer authentic un-sliced pizza only then don't eat there if you want it sliced! Pretentiousness usually begins with the customer.

  2. Restaurants that have pepper mills but don't allow diners to use them

  3. I agree, pretentiouness usually begins with the customer.

  4. Ketchup on steak... there i said it. Chef in Vegas came outta kitchen to scold friends wife who loved ketchup!

  5. anonymous posts make me wary --although i DO know places that won't cook a filet mignon well done and i'm abstaining from the ketchup discussion. i do know people who (i'm ashamed to say) have pinched table-top pepper mills, which is why they are rarely available anymore -- except in restaurants where you pay enough that if you want to steal it they can absorb the loss. ditto nice salt cellars.

    anyway, where's the harm in asking for what you want if you feel something needs more salt. but again, in most fine dining places food is well seasoned.
    i cringe when i see diners reach for salt before they even taste their food. many times people unaccustomed to eating in high-dollar restaurants feel the same protocol that works at red lobster (love those cheese biscuits) or olive garden applies when they decide to treat themselves to a really nice night out. i know this probably sounds terribly elitist to some, but i've also been in situations where job candidates were taken out to really, really nice restaurants and hadn't a clue. Their manner were atrocious. these were people who would have been entertaining prospective clients -- clients with lots of money to spend with our company.

    there's no point in playing the blame game if a person is unfamiliar with proper utensil use or one who doesn't know that it's inappropriate to assault food with additional condiments before tasting; but it isn't always a case of pretentiousness. it's matter of not knowing -- which is why some corporations hire firms to teach table etiquette to their employees.

    an earlier post recounted being told that the kitchen tasted her rejected meal and returned with a verdict opposite hers. well, because the restaurant was unknown and the writer was anonymous as well, we only have her word for it. there was also a possibility that she ordered a dish that had a flavor profile unfamiliar to her, so it might have been just fine but comprised of flavors she didn't recognize.

    on the other hand, what's to be said of the diner who ordered steak tartare and shrieked in horror when it arrived. "Are you kidding?" she sputtered. "that's raw!!"

    and yeah, maybe they don't slice pizza in naples, but since this is not naples and over here they slice pies. score 1 for the pretentious meter.