The Wrong Restaurant
You've been seated, they've given you water and bread, and you decide―because the place is a bit grimy or too expensive, or nothing on its menu is appealing―that you want to leave. Can you just get up and go? "My policy is never to settle when it comes to food," says Danyelle Freeman, a restaurant reviewer for New York's Daily News and the founder of the website Restaurantgirl.com. "If you feel like you've made a bad choice, cut your losses and quietly exit. If the restaurant has already put water and bread on the table, they've technically begun service, so you should perhaps leave a small tip."
If your server catches you on the way out, Freeman says, "graciously thank the person and briefly explain that you're looking for something lighter, more casual, or whatever else the restaurant isn't." Don't linger making excuses. "At the end of the day," says Freeman, "it's your money."