Fine dining restaurants are full-service restaurants with specific dedicated meal courses. 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.
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 Tavene de Londres". 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". Other luxury hotels soon were developed across Europe.
The first fine dining restaurants in the United States were found 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.
- Parente, Michele. "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.
- 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.
- Roos, David (18 May 2020). "When Did People Start Eating in Restaurants?". HISTORY. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
- Mealey, Lorri (2019-10-17). "How the French Revolution Gave Us Fine Dining". The Balance Small Business. Retrieved 1 August 2020.