Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Restaurant seating lingo


Peter Skarsgard
 Share

Recommended Posts

Does anyone know if there is a specific word or restaurant lingo that describes the seating of two diners at 90 degrees to one another, when seated at a square or round table? This is how I prefer to be placed for a nice meal, rather than directly across or directly side by side, but I never know how to describe it to the hostess, and it ends up being a lengthy confused discussion with the person taking my reservation before the meaning of my request is actually understood! What about in French? Same? Thanks. Pete

Pete

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've waited tables here in Chicago and seen this. Usually people on business.

Business: usually after ordering one person gets up and sits next to the other, then they clear everything out of their way until they are served.

Lovers: wait till they are seated and then move, oblivious to any and everything.

People watchers: These people will show the host where to seat them and then reposition the table if need be to provide viewing.

"And in the meantime, listen to your appetite and play with your food."

Alton Brown, Good Eats

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is "perpendicular" an insufficient explanation?

(I prefer to sit this way with my wife -- less head-craning than side-by-side, more intimate than across a table.)

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does anyone know if there is a specific word or restaurant lingo that describes the seating of two diners at 90 degrees to one another, when seated at a square or round table? This is how I prefer to be placed for a nice meal, rather than directly across or directly side by side, but I never know how to describe it to the hostess, and it ends up being a lengthy confused discussion with the person taking my reservation before the meaning of my request is actually understood! What about in French? Same? Thanks. Pete

I would think catty-cornered would convey that information in English, or just to say on a diagonal.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Catty-corner means at opposite corners, though, not on adjacent sides. Since people don't sit at the corners of tables, that could be confusing. I'd be able to figure out what it meant, but I'm not sure everybody would.

12 and 3 might work if the restaurant uses that lingo, however at most restaurants where I've seen the inner workings they use positions 1, 2, 3, 4, etc., clockwise starting from whichever seat is closest to the kitchen, entrance, back wall or whatever that particular restaurant designates as the benchmark. Depending on the way the table is shaped, positions 1 and 2 might be on adjacent sides with the chairs perpendicular to one another, but they could also be on the same side of the table or across from one another.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Catty-corner means at opposite corners, though, not on adjacent sides. Since people don't sit at the corners of tables, that could be confusing. I'd be able to figure out what it meant, but I'm not sure everybody would.

You're right. I guess your perpendicular is best, but there really doesn't seem to be an easy term to cover the configuration.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last night I was eating at a great new place in New York called Anthos, and my wife and I were led to a corner table by the maitre d' (a woman -- what do you call a female maitre d'?). The table had the perpendicular seating configuration under discussion here. So I asked her, "What's the word for sitting this way?" She replied without hesitation, "Catty-corner." She was firm on the point that, even though it's technically incorrect, it's the lingo at every restaurant she's worked at (which includes Felidia, the Italian restaurant owned by Lidia Bastianich). So, one point for "catty-corner."

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...