russian dining

TalesFromYourServer: I don't think we ordered soup...

Background: I work in a restaurant with Bistro style service serving fine dining style food. We are relatively high end in a high end part of time. Our sous is Russian (my very close friend) and often makes space in the restaurant for other Russians to dine. They rarely if ever look at the menu, with the intention that our sous will choose their food for them. This is something that happens about twice a month. No problem

Story: Six russians sit down. I was informed by our sous pre service that they were dining that evening and given a list of some of the food they should eat, should the table fall to me. They sat, I welcomed them. Immediately the table captain beings handing me menus, telling me that the Sous would be sending food and they would not need menus. I informed them that our Sous was unable to make it to the table at that point, but that we had a plan for them and to make themselves comfortable and enjoy dinner.

I then sent the ticket to the kitchen. Before any food arrived, I checked with the sous to make sure the ticket looked good…he approved. First course was soup. (for the uninitiated, Russians tend to love soup) The soups arrive and the table captain stops me and says

(insert thick Russian accent): No, I don’t think I order soup.

By: JerDGold


dining with the tsars exhibition in the hermitage in amsterdam. i really loved this exhibition, it was filled with the most gorgeous and delicate tableware from catherine the great and i learned a great deal about their parties: the meals, the rules of etiquette, entertainment, dinner invitations and what not. really great :-)


On 9 June, the royal yatch reached Reval (now Tallinn) on the Baltic and anchored there, close to the tsar’s yatch Standart. This yachting meeting with Tsar Nicholas was the culmination of much patient diplomacy. 

At 11.30, Tsar Nicholas II and his family came on board the Victoria and Albert. It was contrary to protocol that the tsar should pay the first visit, and it signified the nephew’s respect for the uncle. 

The next night the Russians dined on board the Victoria and Albert. Bertie’s suite had feared that the notoriously difficult Tsarina Alexandra might refuse to attend the dinner if she was forced by protocol to take second place behind her mother-in-law, Minnie, who accompanied the Russian party and, as dowager empress, enjoyed precedence. Bertie solved the proptocol issue and prevented a scene by taking Minnie and Alexandra each on one arm.’Tonight I am going to enjoy the unique honour of taking two Empresses in to dinner.