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Aug 21, 2011 08:50 PM

Entree sharing etiquette

I have to be quick and make dinner reservations in the near future and wanted some input to help guide my decision.

One of my options is a semi-nice restaurant that I have often frequented that is well known for its dining room ambiance. I have never been too impressed by the entrees there but the oysters and appetizers are great, as is the wine list. If we decide to dine there, we would probably end up getting two bottles of wine or one bottle + 3 glasses for pairing, oysters, a few appetizers and maybe one entree to split among three small girls.

My question is, would this be frowned upon since dining at the bar would be more "appropriate"? It seems like a lot of people look down on the act of sharing of entrees. FYI, I would be spending a lot more than if we were to each order an entree and leave it at that. Input would be appreciated!

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  1. i think you're totally fine. i often do this at nice restaurants (not super-high end) and have never felt bad-vibed. i like the variety ordering this way offers.

    1. It's fine. No one will care.

      1. I don't think it would be a problem, just don't be surprised if there is an upcharge for sharing an entree. Have fun!!!

        1. It will depend on the cultural norms wherever you are in the world (although, I guess that's the point of your question).

          Where I am, plate sharing is not the norm - although, very occasionally, you might see a dessert or cheese course being shared. From time to time, we've shared a cheese course before ordering desserts each. I can't recall ever seeing other courses shared, except in tapas/mezze/etc environments.

          1. My teenage daughter is a light eater, so she often orders a second appetizer and asks to have it as her entree. (Plus she's veggie and veggie appetizers are much more common than veggie entrees) That's never been a problem. The idea of putting one entree in the middle of the table and "picking" at it seems a bit less proper though, and splitting an entree on three plates might look ugly depending on what it is. Might it make more sense for two of you to order an appetizer as an entree (in addition to other starters) and then quietly "share tastes" instead?

            3 Replies
            1. re: DGresh

              my friends and i usually split up the entree and put our portions in our own plates, rather than sharing off the plate in the middle, and it's never looked particularly ugly - not much different than splitting up an appetizer amongst 3. that's if the restaurant hasn't split the entree for us 3-wise already, which they often do.

              1. re: mariacarmen

                I agree.

                When ordering in this manner I always let them know the entree will be shared and ask for an extra plate. Most of the time (even in casual places) the entree arrives already split and plated.

                Worse case we plate it ourselves at the table, neatly removing portions and placing them on our individual plates. Not a big production, no one pays it any mind. Granted we aren't dining at the highest of ends!

                1. re: meatn3

                  yeah, the highest "level" i've dined at may be Gary Danko in San Francisco - maybe that's not the highest of high ends either, and while we were doing 2 separate tasting menus and didn't have overlapping items, we absolutely shared bites, handing over a forkful of this onto a late, reaching over to cut a piece of that, etc. certainly no one appeared to mind at all. Same thing at Coi. Food is for sharing! It's not like you'll be grabbing a chicken leg with your hand off your date's plate and taking a big old bite.