A Guide to Good Table Manners
Experts in dining decorum share the social graces that make a meal a civilized affair.
Traditionally, a man cedes the inside seat, whether a banquette or a chair, to his female companion. “The woman faces out, and the man faces in―he should want to look at the most beautiful thing in the room,” says Tracey Spillane, general manager and partner of Spago Beverly Hills. If you’re dining with someone of the same sex, the guest gets first dibs on the best seat (and view), says Peggy Post, coauthor of Emily Post’s Etiquette, 18th edition ($40, amazon.com). With friends, anything goes.