Cringeworthy Things People Did While Eating At Fancy Restaurants

By: Kish
September 18, 2019

Whether it’s your next date, a business dinner, a family gathering, or an upcoming celebration, chances are you’re bound to find yourself at a fancy restaurant soon. But do you know what you’re doing?

Can you decipher between a salad fork and a dinner fork? If the answer is ‘no’, ‘hmm’, or ‘what is a salad fork’, you’re in good company. Turns out that most of us do not know how to act at a fine dining establishment. Exotic foods, confusing cutlery, and cataclysmic condiments have thrown many people.

While feeling like a fish out of the water is unlikely to get you kicked out of a restaurant, eating hunks of wasabi, parts of vegetables they shouldn’t have, and accidentally ordering plastic food have left a few diners a little more than embarrassed. So how do you make sure you don’t end up a statistic in this great battle?

Wine seems to be something that stumps even the most seasoned diner, and there is a foolproof tip to get you through the awkwardness without saying a single word. According to Business Insider, during “the wine taste… smell it, sip it, do whatever you’d like but just give a happy nod to the server so they can start pouring.” Most people “will just stare blankly and wonder what the heck is going on. This happens way more often than you’d expect.”

We compiled the most cringeworthy moments to ever happen at a fancy restaurant, so you don’t have to make the same mistakes.

A Sommelier’s Nightmare

You can really taste notes of fermented grapes.

It doesn’t seem too difficult to pretend to be an expert on wine. But when you learn the rigorous training Master Sommeliers go through to achieve this distinctive title, you may change your mind. Sommeliers are trained and knowledgeable wine professionals, who with just a taste can tell you what a wine is, where it was made, and what food it pairs with. Note: that doesn’t mean it tastes like pears.

Inedible Edamame

If you’ve never eaten edamame you might have made the same mistake.

While out at dinner recently, someone leaned across to me and whispered “do we eat the outside bit too,” while holding up a piece of edamame. I shrugged. But I was very wrong. This Twitter user found out the hard way. While the inside of edamame contains small green jewels that are absolutely delicious, the shell is thick, unpleasant, and not exactly a treat to eat.

A Zero-Calorie Mistake

Prop cakes can look so real.

Are you the kind of person to insist on a specific slice of cake at a bakery? So was this mom, who had her eyes set on a delicious dessert on this cake trolley at a restaurant in Orlando, Florida. But despite the waiter insisting that she would bring her a fresh one, she got stuck with a plastic prop cake. It’s a common practice in Japan, but it hasn’t kept people from falling for fake food.

Hands Are Not Plates

This honeymoon took an awkward turn.

While celebrating their honeymoon at a lovely Fijian resort, an uncomfortable interaction between a server and this new-husband ensued. A Twitter user shared this story, explaining how when a server was handing out pieces of watermelon on toothpicks around the pool, instead of her man grabbing a piece, ate the watermelon right off the hand of the waiter. We are in disbelief!

Crouton Catastrophe

Logic at its best.

Mini versions of food are quite common, from appetizers and hors d’oeuvres to petit four and sliders, tiny bites are not only cute but pack a flavorful punch. So when this one guy spotted a plate of what looked like “little pieces of toast” he jumped at the hostess and asked for a serving. But to his – and his wife’s – dismay, it was just a bowl of croutons.

A Nutty Disaster

Sometimes your eyes can play tricks on you.

Food art and illusion foods can trick people into thinking that they’re eating one thing until they take a bite and realize it’s something completely different. It’s the kind of dining experience you expect at a fancy restaurant, but less likely at a cocktail party. This Twitter user admitted to mistakenly taking a handful of nuts, only to find out they were discarded olive pits. The horror.

Well Done, Please?

A quick Google search could have saved the day.

Eating raw meat is something you typically do at a sushi restaurant, but dishes like tartare and carpaccio can be found on menus at other places too. While they’re typically served raw, this Twitter user’s friends decided to make an uncommon request to the waiter. For beef tartare to be prepared “well done.” A bold choice, but they got exactly what they asked for.

Soup Hand Wash

This old tradition went from fancy to freaky real quick.

High Table is an old dining tradition that takes place at prestigious universities like Oxford and Cambridge. According to Julie Pens, it actually takes place on a high table and students alongside fellows of the college eat a lavish dinner together. Generally, at these fancy occasions, you’re given bowls of water to clean your hands before eating, but this one Twitter user confused that with their neighboring diner’s bowl of soup. We can’t handle it.

Corkage Fee? Exotic

Sometimes the cheapest thing on the menu is inedible.

It was also intangible. This one Tweeter’s friend who was on a budget decided to find the most inexpensive item on the menu and accidentally ordered the corkage fee: the fee you pay the restaurant if you bring your own bottle of wine. But this legend of a waiter didn’t embarrass him and instead told him they were all out.

A Mexican Mishap

Trying foreign foods can be a shock to your tastebuds.

Especially if you’re doing it all wrong. Tamales, a modern Mexican dish is made of dough and steamed in a corn husk or a banana leaf. The outer casing can be used as a plate (incredible!) but is never, ever eaten. This one Twitter user had no idea, and just thought she hated tamales as she ate it leaf and all. Unfortunately, she learned the hard way.

Spicy Dessert

Churros are not sticks of cinnamon.

If you’ve never eaten a churro, you’re really missing out. These cylindrical fried tubes of dough can be dipped in chocolate, filled with hazelnut, and covered in sugar. They’re moist, crunchy, and best served hot. So it’s a real struggle to understand how this Twitter user once mistook a stick of cinnamon for a churro. But we’ll try and not be too judgemental, they’ve already suffered enough.

Silly Over Seafood

Don’t serve teenagers octopus.

They will make a scene. This Twitter user admitted that at 14 years of age, they didn’t quite understand what octopus looked like. In fact, when they were served the delicious seafood at school one time, they screamed out, “my god, they left the testicles on!” We’re struggling to stifle our laughter, but if this isn’t the most teenager response to octopus, we don’t know what is.

This Is Not A Spa

If you get handed a hot towel at a restaurant, it’s definitely not for your face.

Dining at an expensive restaurant has a few perks. The food is often pretty delicious, the service is second-to-none, and the extras are incomparable. This one diner, however, thought the hot towel they got handed at the end of their meal to clean their hands was somehow for their face. We feel bad for the people they were with.

Wasabi Washout

Warning: This stuff is extremely hot.

Little bits of wasabi on your sushi or sashimi is a fiery treat that flares up in your mouth for a split second before dissipating entirely. It’s completely unlike chili, which makes it so fun to eat. But this one guy learned the hard way that too much wasabi can make you cry out of every orifice and that dads will be jerks if they’re protective of their daughters.

Puzzling Prices

We feel this.

While going down the wine list at an expensive place, you’re likely to come across prices for bottles and a single glass. It doesn’t just allow people on a budget to have a taste of an expensive Rosé or delicious champagne, but gives sharers the option to buy an entire bottle of the good stuff. Unlike this Twitter user, who stayed home, others have have thought they were ordering an entire bottle for $79, only to learn they had requested just a glass of very expensive champagne.

The Caviar Chronicles

Could you go to work after this?

Nothing sucks more than being embarrassed in front of co-workers. In a terrible twist of events, this poor woman got caught by her boss looking totally clueless and her GIF choice had us cringing.

Cutlery Miscommunication

Two knives, no fork, what could go wrong?

While most people in this situation would simply request a fork from their waiter, this Twitter user admits she assumed her given cutlery was specific for her pig skin and spinach salad. This defies logic, but she did manage to eat her entire meal this way.

This International Coffee Crisis

So we hope this helps you save some face the next time you dine out at a fancy restaurant.

A Twitter user revealed her hangover got much worse after convincing a waiter to fill her entire mug up entirely with espresso. A few hours later when felt so sick, she remembered her “bewildered” French server’s expression.

Christmas Conundrum

Imagine this.

You’re with your coworkers. Your company spent all this money to rent out a fancy club. They’re serving a Christmas dinner to celebrate the holidays. All of a sudden you pick up a white chocolate truffle at the table. But before it even reaches your mouth your boss is yelling, “NO SHAILEE THAT’S BUTTER.”

If this were me, call an ambulance, I’d have died on the spot from shame.

The Waiter Had To Step In

Escargot is one of those foods.

This woman was dared to order the snails and had no idea how to get the buttery critter out of its shell. Eventually, the waiter stepped into and gently handed her the tiny fork to help her out.

Drink Disaster

Cocktails can be really overpriced.

So when you make a terrible mistake, like pouring yours into the shaker full of salted ice, you just got to push through. The worst part? She paid $20 for this drink

Unholy Behavior

This is actually hilarious.

This man’s brother once asked a priest “when offered wine at Communion” if he had any white.

We sure think this is funny, so we’re not sold on it being a social faux pas.

Napkin Confusion

This woman was excited, until this happened.

After dressing to the nines for her fancy meal, Kelly was confused when the waiter asked to change out her clean white napkin. When she asked for an explanation, she ended up learning he was offering her a black napkin to go with her black dress.

Can you relate to any of this cringe-worthy stories? Let us know!