Sunday, December 29, 2013

What Is A Fine Dining Restaurant?

Fine dining is a term that is bantered around and sometimes can be as vague as the word quality. What is quality to one may be average to another. The same with fine dining. To some a fine dining restaurant may be any restaurant that offers table service. To those who enjoy upscale dining, they know it is a restaurant that has a well-known chef, superb service, distinctive wine selection, expert sommelier and food that is a culinary delight.

Some fine dining restaurants specialize in a particular ethnic cuisine like French, Greek or Italian whereas one that wants to appeal to a larger customer base may have the chef prepare entrees that borrow from one or more areas and combine the flavors with more popular regional offerings. There can be fine dining restaurants that serve only prime steaks in the red meat selections and offer the same fresh fish dishes found in a seafood restaurant. It is all about selection and preparation.

An upscale restaurant that serves prime steaks may offer a customer a special cut that it grilled to perfection. In addition they may have chef specialties that use prime beef as the main ingredient. Chateaubriand comes to mind. It is not new by any means and has been a holiday staple in upscale dining for years. The main ingredient is a generous portion of filet mignon for two and each chef makes his own mark on this dish with different wines and seasonings.

The same can be said for a fine dining restaurant that serves fresh fish that would be the only staple in a seafood restaurant. If a diner does not like seafood, he or she can order beef or fowl in the upscale restaurant. But if the customer does enjoy fresh bounty from the ocean, he may order a whole main lobster that has been selected fresh from a tank. However, the chef may have other dishes on the menu that contain lobster like thermidor or a soup like lobster bisque.

Many people like to enjoy a bottle of wine with dinner but are embarrassed to order anything because they are not sure what type of wine goes well with the diners that have been ordered. This is where an on-site professional sommelier is invaluable. He never demeans the customer in any way. He makes educated "suggestions" on particular wines and the best vintages. Generally he will ask the party of they enjoy a dry or sweet wine or if they have any preferences.

If the food is excellent and the wine is good, bad service can ruin the best of meals. Good upscale restaurants will have a highly trained wait staff that is efficient not only is taking orders and ensuring they are correct, but also maintaining a clean table, refreshing beverages and being on hand for any special requests.

Gorman's Restaurant is an upscale, yet affordable restaurant in New Braunfels, TX. Award winning Executive Chef, Brent Gorman, is renowned for his creative menu development and extensive culinary knowledge and cooking of international and regional gourmet cuisine. New Braunfels Seafood Restaurant, New Braunfels Prime Steakhouse
Article Source:

Article Source:

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Mankas Steakhouse's Banquet Offerings

Mankas Steakhouse is a historic site which has been beautifully restored for memorable events:
  • Weddings
  • Parties
  • Corporate Events
  • Non-Profit Organizations
Private Gardens:
  • 25 - 150 People
Off-Site Venues:

Vezer Estates - Surrounded by rolling hills, one of the most stunning views in the valley.
  • 25 - 200 People

Blue Victorian - Step back 100 years in this elegantly restored Victorian home and barn, now Winery with Spectacular Barrel Room and Outdoor Tented area.
  • 25 - 200 People
For more information, please visit

Monday, December 23, 2013

Domaine Carneros - Happy Holidays! (2013)

Founding Winemaker/CEO Eileen Crane, Pinot Noir Winemaker TJ Evans and the entire Domaine Carneros team wish you a magical holiday season and an amazing new year!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Fine Dining - Food, Service, and Atmosphere

The term "fine dining" usually associates with an upscale restaurant that features crisp table linens and waiters in sharp black suits. And it is probably not too far from the reality. Fine dining is about food, service and atmosphere. Why do people choose upscale restaurants? There are many reasons. Some prefer the food choices. Others look for a special atmosphere. Fine restaurants offer the best at prices that are usually quite higher than at any casual restaurant.

The food at upscale restaurants always impresses with its creativity and uniqueness. The menu choices are often limited but change on a daily or weekly basis. This allows the chef to express himself in a variety of courses and present the best and the finest of dishes. Also, by rotating the menu items the restaurant always serves only the freshest ingredients. Wine and liquor are always the best and pricey. One will not find cheap wine or beer there. But the choices of wine will impress even an oenophile. At fine restaurants dishes are paired up with special wines to compliment it.

Another feature that differs fine restaurants is the customer service. It is always several steps above any casual restaurant. Waiters are exceptionally trained, very polite and seem to know the wishes and desires of their patrons before being asked. Clients are courteously escorted to their table and to the restroom. The chair is held for the woman. They discretely brush off the crumbs off the table between the courses without inconveniencing the patrons. Table napkins are promptly replaced if a patron leaves the table. Explaining the menu items and make recommendations when asked. Waiters are trained to pay attention to details, no matter how insignificant they may appear.

The atmosphere is another feature that makes fine dining so different. From table linens to silverware and fine china it all says "upscale". Colors and decor are always well picked and blend in nicely. Tables have fresh flowers as centerpieces. The music softly playing in the background is relaxing. One will not hear any rock or pop music there. Usually it's classical or light jazz, depending on the theme of the restaurant. The lighting is subtle and cozy. A fireplace adds to the relaxing and comfortable atmosphere.

Fine dining restaurants are often booked months in advance. When patrons are well taken care of they will return and don't mind paying extra for the comfortable atmosphere, the excellent food and the exceptional service.

For family dining guide, visit JP Pepperdine now. Feel free to publish this article on your website, or send it to your friends, as long as you keep the resource box and the content of the article intact.
Article Source:

Article Source:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

It's Ladies Night Tonight at Mankas Steakhouse!

Grab the girls and join Mankas Steakhouse every Tuesday for Ladies Night! Enjoy great food and drink specials along with LIVE music from the Beer Brothers!!
For more information please visit our website at
See you there!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

60 Second Wine Expert: Screw Caps

America's premier wine expert, Kevin Zraly explains the benefits of wine screw caps.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What Makes a Real Fine Dining Experience?

A fine dining experience is not just about top quality food. Going to a restaurant is about the experience, the atmosphere, attention to detail by wait staff, enjoyable conversation and sharing a meal with others. Having the best chef means a lot less if you have dirty glasses or inattentive service. Creating a perfect fine dining experience can be difficult as it means a lot more than just good food.

When you are out at a restaurant, there are a lot of thing that a server can do that will make or break your night out. From the moment they walk over the waiter should be able to read the table's 'mood'. Figuring out if a party of diners is a talkative bunch or looking for a more intimate service is crucial to making the table feel comfortable and to prevent the inevitable complaining as soon as the server turns their back. There is nothing worse when enjoying a conversation than the waiter interrupting and launching straight into introductions and the specials on the menu. A server who can pick up a table's vibe already has the advantage in making a great night.

Attention to detail is important. At a fine dining restaurant, you might not even notice how good the service is until after you have finished. Small things the servers do, like taking your plates away as soon as you have finished with them, discretely replacing cutlery between courses and wine glasses being consistently refilled. They aren't the things that you actively think about, but a good restaurant will know that your experience can be hampered by dirty plates cluttering a table and waiting with growing impatience for drinks.

A restaurant is meant to be a social experience, so encouraging conversation and making it easy for people to converse is crucial. The atmosphere of a room is incredibly important. Tables situated too close together with a lot of noise can make it difficult for a group to hear one another. This coupled with an intrusive server can interrupt the natural flow of conversation which becomes more and more noticeable throughout an evening.

With the right atmosphere and attentive staff, the food at a restaurant becomes the focus. Small, detailed portions with a wealth of interesting flavours will leave patrons wanting more.

There is nothing quite like a great night restaurant; the content feeling that lasts all evening and the experience shared with those who joined you; a perfect night of conversation in the best atmosphere over a great meal. A fine dining experience will stay with you a long time after the evening is over, and, if it is done right, you will want to repeat the night as soon as possible.

If you are looking for luxury boutique accommodation in Blenheim, New Zealand, book a stay at Hotel d'Urville located in the heart of Marlborough's central business district and experience fine dining while you are there:
Article Source:

Article Source:

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Meet Mankas Steakhouse's Chef Peter

He has worked in some of San Francisco and Napa's greatest culinary icons such as Gary Dankos, Dean & Deluca's, The Brix in Yountville and NV in Downtown Napa.
Chef Peter has taken his Eastern European roots, combined with the wine country traditions of his home town, Napa, and has fused them together to explode off of the Mankas Steakhouse Menu. Chef Peter is all about locally grown produce and flavor infusions of the Suisun Valley, mixed with a true Californian carnivore's deepest desires.
Fore more information about Mankas Steakhouse, please visit

Monday, December 2, 2013

60 Second Wine Expert: Riesling

America's premier wine expert, Kevin Zraly talks about Riesling with Elizabeth Shepard.