Lately I've found myself watching Masterchef. I always thought Gordon Ramsey was horrible, even though I was just going by promos for Hell's Kitchen and stuff I read about him. Sure he definitely says what he means, but he's not nearly as bad I'd thought and, boy, does he know what he's talking about! He has 32 restaurants, hosts four television shows, and has years of experience. So find out his rules for eating out:
Gordon thinks if there are a bunch of specials on the list, well...that's just not special anymore, is it? "Specials are there to disappear throughout the evening."
Don't fall for boastful wording.
Words like "iconic" and "famous" are chefs' tricks to make you think their food is better than other restaurants carrying the same thing, and vetted by someone more important than you. And although some "award-winning" dishes really are just that, most aren't.
Haggle the cost of wine.
He says to ask for the bin end list, which is a fancy way of referring to bottles with scratched labels or the restaurant's poorest selling varieties. If you'd rather be upfront about what you're looking to spend, just state it.
A reservation for three = a bigger table for two.
Book your reservation for the number of people in your party plus one more. If you can swing it, you'll have more room to spread out instead of getting stuck "in the corner like a doorstop," according to Ramsay.