“Tip quietly, discreetly; the girl with you will know you don't kiss and tell,” is the first rule of correct restaurant conduct, according to Niccolo de Quattrociocchi, who ran “El Borracho” in New York. The famed café was well known for it’s “Kiss Room.” Thousands of signed ‘lipstick-kissed’ cards, from various female patrons, hung all around the room. Newcomers added to the cards as time passed, adding to the room’s romantic whimsy.
Man Who Knows New York’s Famed
Tells How to Behave Properly in a Café
“Tip quietly, discreetly; the girl with you will know you don't kiss and tell,” is the first rule of correct restaurant conduct, according to Niccolo de Quattrociocchi, who runs El Borracho, a restaurant and rendezvous of Café Society.
Nicky Q, as he is better known, has turned author with the issue of his book “Love and Dishes.” The volume is a combination autobiography and cook book, including recipes which Nicky has culled from his own kitchen as well as from the kitchens of other famous eating houses here, and abroad.
Other rules which Nicky, a stickler for etiquette, puts forth for guidance are:
- “Your cash looks much nicer than your personal checks. If you must write checks, make sure they are not ‘rubberized.’
- “Check your hat when you enter a smart joint. What's two bits to you?
- “If you are the suave, mysterious type, you talk quietly. People next to you like to carry on conversations of their own, which is impossible if you are a loudmouth.
- “Don’t nag, frighten or otherwise convert waiters into nervous wrecks. Be nice and they will spread the word around about what a gentleman you are—if you are the type that likes to be taken for one.
- “Make sure you really want what you order. A restaurant is not a department store. Exchanges sag the profit.
- “If you are a girl, you will look ravishing and very alluring as you comb your hair in a restaurant. But who wants alluring hair flying into his soup?Use the powder room.
- “If you feel romantic, don’t neck in a restaurant. There is time, place and a quiet room for things of that sort.
- “Restaurants’ pepper and salt shakers and silver are really no better than yours. Besides, restaurants are not in the souvenir business.
- “Don’t pick fights in restaurants. Chances are you will lose.
- “If you feel sleepy, go home.
- “If you are a boy who consents to his lady friend paying the check, make sure she comes across in the taxi. Everyone sees the money she passes to you under the table.
- “Don’t be a sound effect eater. Chew with your mouth closed.
- “Don't rinse your month with coffee. Please!” – New York Times, 1951
Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia