LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Avoid the specials, be suspicious of outlandish boasts and prepare to haggle for your wine: three golden rules for a heightened dining experience, as newly revealed by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.
The Michelin-starred cook offered AFP his tricks for getting the most out of a restaurant visit as he inspected the Los Angeles set of his latest show, a US version of his hit British series The F Word.
"Specials are there to disappear throughout the evening. When they list 10 'specials,' that's not special," Ramsay told AFP at a soundstage in Hollywood that is being transformed into a functional restaurant capable of serving 100 diners.
The 50-year-old British presenter recommends booking a table for at least three if you are planning a romantic meal for two, as your small lie will improve your chances of being able to spread out and avoid "getting stuck in the corner like a doorstop."
Always get the most out of the expert selling you the wine, the chef says, recommending that diners ask for the "bin end" list - the bottles with scratched labels, vintages that are about to be rotated out or poor sellers that restaurants want to get rid of.
"We have a fear about talking to sommeliers because you think you're going to be ripped off. So get the sommelier to come up with a great glass or great bottle and give him a price. And make sure it's under $30," Ramsay advises.