Fine dining

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A fine dining meal

Fine dining is a restaurant experience that is typically more sophisticated, unique, and expensive than at an average restaurant. The décor of such restaurants features higher-quality materials, with establishments having certain rules of dining which visitors are generally expected to follow, sometimes including a dress code.

Fine dining establishments are sometimes called white-tablecloth restaurants, because they traditionally featured table service by servers, at tables covered by white tablecloths. The tablecloths came to symbolize the experience. The use of white tablecloths eventually became less fashionable, but the service and upscale ambiance remained.[1][2]


The precursor to fine dining started around the 1780s when health-conscious bouillon shops evolved into grand "Parisian restaurants like Trois Frères and La Grande Taverne de Londres".[3] In France, César Ritz, a Swiss developer, partnered with prominent French chef Auguste Escoffier at the Grand Hotel of Monte Carlo. This became the first restaurant to offer "luxury accommodations and gourmet dining all under one roof". In France, fine dining became yet another way of aping the aristocracy.[4]

Other luxury hotels soon developed across Europe.[5]

The first fine dining restaurants in the United States operated in New York City, such as Delmonico's in the 19th century. The restaurant contained a 1,000-bottle wine cellar and remains in the same location.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Parente, Michele (20 October 2016). "Where fine dining is really fine". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 2019-03-12. Nothing symbolizes fine dining like a white tablecloth. More than just a crisp fabric, the white tablecloth is a restaurant's unstated contract with its clientele, a promise of elevated dishes, world-class wine lists, and superior service. In this era of salvaged-wood, communal-table, shared-plates casual eateries, the white tablecloth is this first thing to be jettisoned. Too stuffy, too snobby, too old, the thinking goes.
  2. ^ Kanter, Beth (2018-11-19). "Beyond the White Tablecloth: Inside the Bold Future of Fine Dining". Food Newsfeed. Retrieved 2019-03-12. Today's interpretation of fine dining has less to do with linens, cheese carts, and hushed voices, and more to do with creativity and impeccable service.
  3. ^ a b Roos, David (18 May 2020). "When Did People Start Eating in Restaurants?". HISTORY. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  4. ^ Doyle, William (25 November 2010). Aristocracy: A Very Short Introduction. Very Short Introductions. Oxford: Oxford University Press (published 2010). ISBN 9780191500633. Retrieved 9 August 2021. [...] the grand French tradition of fine dining takes its origin from restaurants established by unemployed cooks of great families brought low by revolutionary persecution.
  5. ^ Mealey, Lorri (2019-10-17). "How the French Revolution Gave Us Fine Dining". The Balance Small Business. Retrieved 1 August 2020.