Who Are We Anyway?

victoriaprofileVictoria Pratt read The Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette from cover to cover at age 12 and has been obsessed ever since. In her spare time she bakes, researches her genealogy, and reads up on the history of things like the Bouquet Toss. Her mother still needs to remind her not to put her elbows on the table.







jaya-profileJaya Saxena is a lifelong New Yorker and writer who received a copy of Tiffany’s Table Manners for Teenagers when she was about 10, which taught her “not to leap at your food like an Irish wolfhound.” How gauche. She is a Staff Writer at The Toast, and the author of two forthcoming books, Dad Magazine and The Book of Lost Recipes. She can write an earth-shattering thank you note, but hates getting cards.

Logo and site design by Matt Lubchansky.

2 thoughts on “Who Are We Anyway?

  1. I just read your article on line about finger bowls.Enjoyed it very much. I worked as a waitress, many years at this restaurant. And as of five years ago when I retired, we still used finger bowls. The restaurant is in a seasonal tourist town and has been in the same family since 1964. Years ago it was considered fine dining but in the past 15 years or so has become more “upscale casual” (if that is a term). Moving with the times.But still have linen tablecloths and napkins. And still kept the finger bowls.(bowl of warm water, slice of lemon and fresh napkin) Served them with whole lobsters, king crab legs, baby back rib appetizer, stone crabs, half a duck, rack of lamb, (can’t remember if that is a complete list). I’ve even brought one to the table when a kid has ordered spaghetti off the children’s menu and really made a mess of himself. The parents appreciate it and the kids feel special. And I think it influenced my tip. I’m sure every waitress/waiter has a funny finger bowl story. My most memorable one is of the chinese gentleman, who called me back to the table after I had set his finger bowl down, and asked me for a soup spoon. After that, if I felt the customer may not be familiar with the concept, I would always say “And here is your finger bowl” as I set it in front of them. Lots of funny stories from 40 years of waiting tables.

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