John really wants to impress Jane. He has chosen Fabio’s Ristorante, a new Italian restaurant in a nice part of town. Unfortunately, John does not know a lot about Italian food. He decides to call the restaurant ahead and ask for the definition of pasta and types of steak, as well as how they are cooked. He really wants to impress Jane.
Pasta is a wheat-based carbohydrate that is usually made with flour, eggs and water. It is made into different shapes for different purposes, and forms the basis of most Italian dishes. Fabio told John about the basic types of pasta:
Conchiglie: Shell-shaped pasta. 贝壳形意大利粉
Fettucine: Long strips of pasta that are about one centimetre wide.
Lasagna: Long strips of pasta that are around ten centimetres wide, used in al forno (baked in the oven ) dishes like lasagne.
大概10厘米宽的长条行意大利粉, 用於在al forno (在 炉 制)的菜式，如宽条面( lasagne )。
Linguine: Long strips of pasta that are about half a centimetre wide.
Macaroni: Tubes of pasta that are bent, like an elbow.
Manicotti: Short tubes of pasta, cut at an angle.
Spaghetti: Long thin pieces of pasta, like portions of string.
Vermicelli: Spaghetti that is half as thick, usually serves in bundles.
There are many more variations, but restaurants seldom serve more than what John has written down.
Types of Steaks
There are different cuts of steak that offer different things – for example, a T-bone steak offers both fillet and sirloin. Fillet is very tender and lean, but sirloin is very juicy and flavourful. The texture of the meat is different in different cuts of meat, which is why people have preferences. The fat content also affects people’s choices.
牛排的不同切法提供不同的滋味 —— 例如, T字骨嫩牛排可以是去骨切片(牛柳)或者牛脊肉(西冷)。牛柳又嫩又精瘦，但西冷则是多汁而且味道丰富。肉质会因牛的部分而不同，故此牛扒种类喜好因人而异。牛排的脂肪比例也会影响人们的选择。
Rump steak: steak cut from the rump or hindquarters.
Scotch fillet/boneless rib-eye/rib fillet: the rib eye or ribeye, also known as the Scotch fillet, is a beef steak from the rib section
牛柳/无骨肉眼/肋骨肉片：rib eye 或 ribeye (肉眼)亦称为Scotch fillet牛柳，是由肋部分来的牛排
Sirloin/Porterhouse/New York steak: the portion of the loin (especially of beef) just in front of the rump
T-bone/porterhouse steak: This consists of a T-shaped bone with meat on each side. The larger side is sirloin, whereas the smaller side contains the tenderloin or fillet.
Fillet steak: a boneless steak cut from the tenderloin of beef.
Oyster blade/flat iron:This cut of steak is from the shoulder.
The way in which steak is served also has an impact on the flavour of the meat. Generally, the better quality the meat is, the less it should be cooked. Fabio tells John that there are six ways of having your steak.
Extra-rare or Blue: the centre of the steak is cold and very red.
Rare: the centre of the steak is slightly cold and still quite red, the whole steak is soft.
Medium rare: the centre is warm and red, the steak is a little firmer.
Medium: the steak is pink and firm.
Medium well: the steak still has a small amount of pink in the centre.
Well done: the steak is grey-brown throughout, firm and quite tough.
Fabio tells John about the different types of sauce that they serve their steaks with. Their steaks are not cooked in sauce, but the sauce is served on the side instead.
Béarnaise sauce: a sauce like hollandaise but made with white wine and tarragon and shallots instead of lemon juice
Brown sauce: A sauce made from butter and flour browned together, with beef stock added.
Garlic sauce: a creamy sauce flavoured with garlic.
Hollandaise sauce: A rich creamy sauce made of butter, egg yolks, and lemon juice or vinegar.
Mustard: sauce of prepared mustard thinned with vinegar and vegetable oil, usually with sugar and seasonings added.
Pepper sauce: brown sauce with sautéed vegetables and trimmings and marinade and plenty of pepper
Red Wine Sauce: a sauce made with red wine and garlic, sometimes with flour added to make it thick.
Basic Tab le Etiquette
John could now relax as he felt he would be able to impress Jane when they were out. On leaving the restaurant, he noticed how the tables were set and decided to brush up on his table etiquette.
1.Place the napkin on your lap as soon as you begin eating. Your waiter might want to do this for you.
2. The small plate to your left is your bread plate. Upon it is a butter knife. Restaurants usually serve some bread and butter, or bread sticks and dip, while you are waiting for the starter to arrive. The waiter will take this plate away once you are finished with it.
3. No matter how many sets of cutlery are alongside your plate, begin at the outside and work your way towards your plate.
4. A dessert spoon is oval, and a soup spoon is rounded. Therefore, the round spoon to your right is for your soup, and the oval spoon at the top of your plate is for your dessert.
5. Usually, any cutlery (knives, forks, spoons ) above your plate is for your dessert.
一般情况下，在你碟上方的所有餐具 ( 刀、叉、匙 ) 都是为甜品而设的。
6. A fish fork has shorter tines than a normal fork, and a fish knife is not serrated. It is more like a butter spreader, but with a sharper point.
7. When you order steak, the waiter will usually bring a steak knife for you. When you order pasta, a spoon is provided. When eating the pasta, twirl some pasta onto your fork and create a neat bundle by twirling your forkful of pasta against the spoon.
8. The larger wine glass is for red wine, and the smaller one is for white wine. Sometimes, a white wine glass is used to serve water. Separate glasses are provided if you order water, juice or cold drinks.
9. If you have ordered a table salad, your waiter will place another small plate to your left. Dish some salad onto this plate for yourself.
10. When are you are finished eating, place your cutlery parallel and close together. This signals to the waiter that he can take your plate away.
John also planned to watch his manners. This meant that:
·He would not burp or pass gas at the table. If he needed to do these things, he would excuse himself to the bathroom and do it in private.
·He would not wave or click his fingers at the waiter. Generally, just catching their eye is enough. In most restaurants, one waiter will serve you, but if you cannot see him and catch a different waiter’s eye, that is fine too.
·Even if he did not plan on ordering any of the specials, John would not interrupt the waiter when he was telling the table about them. It is more polite to wait for the waiter to finish and then to thank him. It is part of his job to tell you about these.
Waiter: Good evening sir, good evening ma’am. Is this the wine you ordered?
John: Yes, thank you.
Waiter: Would you like a taste, sir?
John: Yes, please.
Waiter pours a small amount into John’s glass. John swirls the wine, smells it and takes two slow sips.
John: Perfect, thank you. (If the wine has turned or is corked, you are allowed to send it back. If you just don’t like the taste, remember not to order that one next time. )
Waiter pours for both Jane and John.
Jane: Thank you.
Waiter: May I take your order?
John: Yes, please. ( Notice how John allows Jane to order first )
Jane: Could I please have an Italian salad to start, and the tomato and chicken penne for a main.
Waiter: Certainly, Madame.
John: I would like the butternut soup to start, and the rump Béarnaise for my main.
Waiter: How would you like that done sir?
John: Medium rare, please.
Waiter: Chips, rice or baked potato?
John: Chips, please.
Waiter: Grilled vegetables or a salad, sir?
John: Salad, please.
Waiter: Excellent, so that’s one Italian salad, one butternut soup, the tomato and chicken penne and a medium rare rump Béarnaise with chips and a salad.
Jane: Perfect, thank you very much. Just one more thing – I noticed that my fork is dirty. Could I please have another?
Waiter: Certainly, Ma’am. I’m so sorry about that.
Jane: Not at all. Also, could I have my salad dressing on the side, please?
Waiter: Of course, ma’am.
After they had enjoyed their starter, John and Jane received their main courses. However, John’s steak was very overdone. When the waiter came to make sure that everything was fine, this is what happened:
John: I ordered this steak medium rare and it is well done. Could I please have one that is medium rare?
Waiter: Certainly sir, my mistake. It will just take a moment.
John: Thank you.
John’s steak was brought back and this time it was perfect. Everything on his plate was hot and sizzling, and he found the entire meal to be so wonderful that the waiter’s prior mistake was immediately forgotten. When the waiter returned to take their plates and their dessert orders, this is what happened:
Waiter: Was everything to your satisfaction?
Jane: Oh yes, it was delicious, thank you.
John: Yes, would you please send our compliments to the chef? The Béarnaise sauce was some of the best I’ve ever eaten.
Waiter: My pleasure, sir. I’m sure the chef will be very pleased to hear that. Would you like to order dessert?
Jane: I’ll just have a coffee, please.
John: I’ll have the ice-cream and chocolate sauce, please.
Waiter: Right away.
John and Jane have enjoyed their meal very much, and have managed to chat about their interests during the meal. It has been a lovely evening. When the waiter comes to clear away the dessert plates, this is what happens:
John: May we have the bill, please?
Waiter: Here you are, sir.
John looks at the total amount. Usually, waiters are tipped between 10% and 15% of the total, depending on the quality of their service. John decides to tip 13% because the waiter was very helpful but made a mistake with John’s main. John writes the amount that he is tipping the waiter beneath the cost of the meal, and totals the two amounts below that. He hands the waiter his credit card, signs the slip, and he and Jane take a walk around the neighbourhood.