This past sunday my parents came up to visit me in Framingham and me being me, requested we use this opportunity to go to out lunch, all expenses paid by my dad. We received a $100 dollar gift card to some super fancy seafood restaurant a while back and now was the perfect opportunity to use it. Each time we tried in the past there was over an hour wait, which was not going to work out because I already had the hangrys.
(Note: The Hangrys n. the point in which hunger results in anger or general crankiness. After Sydney had gone a full 3 hours without a snack, she developed the hangrys and refused to do anything until she got some food.)
This place was a lot nicer and more expensive then our typical tavern or pub we end up at. Going to a place you’re not used to can be scary and I took a lot of mental notes on how to behave in a place like this. So if you ever find yourself in a much fancier restaurant than you are used to, I’m here to provide some tips on how to blend in.
The first thing to remember if you’re a middle class person going to a high class restaurant is that fancy people make reservations. They waltz in wearing their designer clothes and skip the line being seated by the hostess who already knows what their name is and who their favorite waiter is. I was able to make my reservation online which was a major plus because if my only option was to talk on the phone, let’s just say we would not of had a reservation.
As much as I wanted to just wear sweatpants I opted with jeans (ones ~without~ any rips in them) to keep up the appearance of being a fancy family who dines at Legal Sea Foods on the reg. It was filled with little old ladies on lunch dates catching up from their private schools days (I assume) and I can tell from a single glance they are more put together than I will ever be. At the end the each pull out a gold Amex to split the check on.
First observation was that you can tell that a place is fancy when their menus are hard covers and fold open. The hard cover books are always more expensive so the food in a hard cover menu must be to. After scanning we decided that since we have the gift card we go all out and start with two appetizers. We chose the hot lump crab dip, because who doesn’t love hot lumps, and the blackened raw tuna. My mom opts away from raw fish but my dad and I are on the more adventurous side. With the tuna we were given chopsticks and I knew my father’s attempt to use chopsticks would blow our cover of trying to blend in. Every time I try to teach him how to use them and ever time I fail. And every time he resorts to using it as a spear and stabbing the food. Dad, that is not how chopsticks are used nor how they have ever been used. Thankfully he at least knows how to use a fork.
I could of very easily filled up on just these appetizers but had to save room for the main course. I ordered the Tempura Kung Pao Shrimp and Vegetables and my reaction was Kung WOW. If you don’t know what vegetable tempura is it is pretty much fried vegetables and I don’t think I can think of a better way to eat vegetables. As much as I wanted to devour every bite, I am a classic two meals for the price of one gal so I asked for a box to take half home. But I did abide by the cardinal rule that there is ALWAYS room for dessert and ordered a big slice of chocolate cake because, why not. I noticed all the fancy people seem to split desserts maybe something about watching calories to be able to fit into their fancy clothes but whatever the reason, I split mine with my mom. It was so rich and chocolaty and delicious. Writing about food is a dangerous game for someone who is always hungry.
At the end of our meal we pull out our gift card and probably prove to the waiter that we are, in fact, not like his usual customers. Something tells me he was not surprised. We still tip well because we have class (and saved all the money on the meal). As we leave the restaurant we walk by a man enjoying his meal in gray sweats. When we our out of hearing range my dad remarks “Hey at least we didn’t wear sweatpants.” And with that I conclude my tips for dining fancy for the unfancy. P.S. Go with jeans.