Placement of utensils while sharing a plate of food
I just had a big argument with my girlfriend with regards to the utensil placement while sharing a plate of food.
2 people share a plate of food, and you have one fork each.
What does established etiquette say with regards to how you place your utensils when you are not eating?
The question is should it be placed with the tail of the fork on the table? Or should it be placed, still leaning on the edge, with the tail of the fork pointing upwards in the air?
(i know that when you are not sharing a plate the rules clearly specify that the utensil should not touch the table in any way)
My girlfriend insists it is disrespectful to place the fork with the tail up in the air, as she is still eating. This makes absolutely no sense to me, as i am not blocking the food in any way.
Thanks you in advance for any input.
This is why restaurants give share plates - small plates the size of your bread plate or a little bigger so you can remove your portion of the shared dish to your personal plate and do with it as you please.
I would imagine that established etiquette says to try not do anything that would upset your dining companion.
re: babette feasts
You hope they give you share plates, but that doesn't always happen. As many times as not, We have been served one dessert with the appropriate number of forks or spoons. Once 3 of us ate off of one plate which had the most wonderful chocolate cake. That time though I don't think we ever rested our forks. We just kept them in our hand, and took turns.
Oh, and mmruth - the handle is what the OP referred to as the tail. I just couldn't think of a better word at that point.
When you're sharing a dessert there usually isn't enough for you to need to put the fork or spoon down until you're finished! Sharing a main dish, I'll put my fork on my bread and butter plate, or on my napkin, or else with the handle resting on the table and the tines on the plate.
True, you don't always get share plates, and if it is dessert your bread plates should have already been cleared. OTOH, just today I watched a server bring share plates out for a creme brulee and thought to myself it was silly. Scooping creme brulee out onto your share plate instead of just sharing it from the dish? Probably just the formality of my current place, but still.