Dear Dine

Dear Dine,

“What is the proper etiquette for eating sushi? I see some people using chopsticks while others eat with their hands.”

— Ben

Dear Ben,

A great question for our own James Beard Nominated chef and owner of Yoshitomo, David Utterback. He shared, “Both are fine. Originally street food was created to be eaten with hands. For rolls, it doesn’t matter as much. But for nigiri, a well-trained sushi chef should notice your preference and adjust their technique, but hands are preferred so we don’t have to squeeze the nigiri as tightly to keep the rice from falling apart. Well-made nigiri should have its rice packed loosely enough that the whole thing should fall apart when it gets in your mouth. Rice squeezed too hard is chewy. Additionally, it’s technically fish side down into soy sauce, but as long as it’s not a Michael Jordan dunk into the soy sauce, I don’t think orientation matters as much. Long story short, either hands or chopsticks are fine. Go easy on the soy sauce, and don’t put wasabi in the soy sauce. Additional wasabi should be added to the piece.”

Dear Dine,

“How much should I tip a delivery
driver?”

— Cathy

Dear Cathy,

The answer to this one might be easier than you think because we already practice regular tipping with the same numbers. Kristopher Copp, owner of Copps pizza, uses his own staff for delivery service. He stated, “I would say typically delivery tip is between 15% to 20%. Similar to a server, although the better the service the better the tip. Some drivers run to the door carrying clipboards, cheese and pepper packets, and overall just make the experience easier and smoother for the customers. Drivers, just like servers, depend heavily on their tips to make a living and provide for their families.”

Dear Dine,

“How many substitutions are too many?”

— Erin

Dear Erin,

This question could be answered a hundred different ways by a hundred different restaurants. Jessica and Colin Duggan at Kitchen Table keep a very open perspective on this question. “Kitchen Table strives to be a place where people feel like they have choices and don’t have to settle based on dietary needs. Our focus on scratch-made makes it possible for us to easily accommodate the majority of special requests, giving people options, and in the end an enjoyable meal. Basically, our policy is if we can do it, we will.”

However, we have all noticed restaurants with “No Substitutions” listed in the menu. There appears to be an overall theme, which is to remember you are a guest and to politely ask your needs while respecting the restaurant’s answer. If they are not capable of meeting your needs, they will let you know.

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