The Cheap Bastard's Guide to Eating Like a Fancy Bastard

What is the Wine Dance?
When the server brings your wine to the table, it's time for the traditional Wine Dance. The Wine Dance is a variation on the Water Dance that you participated in earlier in the meal, only this one involves actual dance moves. Here are the steps, in order:

Step 1: When the sommelier (French for "human wine wiki") shows you the bottle of wine that you ordered, say "Fuck yeah, that's the ticket! Good job reading, yo!" (Watch episodes of Breaking Bad to master the proper inflection of the word "yo." Practice is imperative. If you get it wrong, you'll just sound ridiculous.)

Step 2: The sommelier will attempt to open the bottle of wine inconspicuously. Do not allow that. Constantly ask him if he "needs a little help there" or "you got it, pard?" Always offer your sommelier more conversation than he seems comfortable with. "Man, how many bottles of wine must you have to open a night? I bet it's a lot. Because people here look like lush assholes." "Is that a Swatch watch?" "Don't spill! Hahahaha. Ahhhh, wine jokes."

Step 3
: The sommelier will pour a small amount of the wine into your glass. This is your signal to: swirl the wine in the glass, stick your nose into the glass and take a whiff, stand up from your chair holding the glass and sing UB40's version of "Red, Red Wine" if you're drinking red wine. If you're drinking white wine, it's just the chorus of 69 Boyz's "Let Me Ride That Donkey" (making sure to incorporate the "ride the pony" dance moves from "Gangnam Style" during the "Donkaay, donkaaaay" part.) Then, you chest bump the sommelier, pretend to drop a microphone and take your seat.

Dan Zettwoch
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Course 5: Foods You Pay For
The foods-you-pay-for course immediately follows the amuse bouche and the breadies courses. This course includes everything from appetizers to coffee and dessert, and could take three hours. So, fasten your Louis Vuitton seat belt.

What if I can't afford to spend one million dollars on dinner?

Just because you find yourself budgetarily challenged, that doesn't mean you can't eat at a fancy restaurant. In fact, your broke-itude can make you sound even wealthier. People will probably assume that you're short on cash because you spent your last $3,000 on something ridiculously fancy. Maybe it was a cup holder for your Benz, or maybe you spent it trademarking "Dumbstep," which will be the universal name for what happens to dubstep when you hear a 40-year-old mom singing it.

When I visited these fancy restaurants in Dallas, I gave myself a budget of $50 per person to see how the waitstaff at each establishment would treat a customer who's opting out of ordering 40-course tasting menu in Fancy Town, but who still wants to hang out among the Rolls Royces at The Mansion for a while.

While you might fear that these fancy restaurants will treat you like poop if you order only an appetizer as your meal, you're making a classic Normal mistake: You're giving a shit about what other people think of you. That has to stop. Be confident in your order choice, and you will receive zero dickery from your servers at most restaurants. Remember: Your servers are used to dealing with arm-candy models and rich people's tiny, tiny children and dogs, who eat negative nothing. The fact that you're ordering food and not just booze is already a bonus. In summary: Stop caring so damn much about what the staff thinks. It's making you look like a Dumb.

If you have only $50 to spend, you'll probably be able to afford either an appetizer and a dessert and a glass of wine, or an entrée and a glass of tap water. Or three cocktails. Or one half a glass of amazing wine. Or five minutes alone in a bathroom with a bar cougar.

Next: Free cookies, candies and the check

Location Info

The French Room

1321 Commerce St., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

Fearing's at the Ritz Carlton

2121 Mckinney Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

Charlie Palmer at the Joule - CLOSED

1530 Main St., Dallas, TX

Category: Music

Five Sixty By Wolfgang Puck

300 Reunion Blvd., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

Samar by Stephan Pyles - CLOSED

2100 Ross Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek

2821 Turtle Creek Blvd, Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

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James Day
James Day

Best reading ever in observer.


My husband loves to use an "alias" for restaurant reservations. We become Mr. and Mrs. Harry Knucklesucker. When we hear our name called we laugh so hard our first stop is always the rest room.


I have never commented in my 2 years here, but have to share that this piece was sheer brilliance - thanks Alice and your Fancy Bastard ways.




I read every word and enjoyed it.  You seriously outclass this piece of shit rag.

TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

Funny stuff.


For my $50 I'll grill a couple'a good aged steaks at home and take a few pulls off the bottle of Jameson 1780 I keep around for special. Besides, I'd never dream of letting a lowly valet park my cherished Civic.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Relaxed good etiquette is never out of place, and is one of the signs that you're around old money.  Biernat's, The Mansion, and the Melrose Hotel are easy and elegant, and I doubt you'd find tacky, snobby waitstaff in those establishments.

Sotiredofitall topcommenter

"Stop caring so damn much about what the staff thinks"  they just want the Benjamins


Very entertaining!


Over 20 years in Dallas and I've never been up in Reunion Tower. I need to fix that.

joe.tone moderator

 @steve.sandwich If we're such a piece of shit, Steve, surely you can find something else to pass the time with? Because you leave a lot of comments on this shitpiece.

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