It's lots nicer than eating at Joe's diner, and no harder, if you know the ropes.
Do you have to check your coat?
Boys must; girls usually don't, unless it's a restaurant where there's dancing.
Does a girl give her order to her date or to the waiter?
It's more gracious to give it to your date; but not all boys-and not all waiters-have been briefed on this convention. If your date seems uncertain, or if the waiter looks at you expectantly, speak directly to him.
What do you do if the order's wrong?
That depends. If the waiter actually brings the wrong food, tell your date, and he'll have the waiter change it. If something's not cooked as you like it -too rare or too well done-our advice is: grin and bear it. Sending things back to the kitchen is tricky business, and you're likely to end by embarrassing yourself and/or your escort.
What if you want to visit the ladies' room?
It couldn't be simpler. Just say to your date, "Please excuse me for a minute." Don't make any coy references to the "little girls' room." If you don't know where it is, ask a waiter. (He answers this question roughly fifty times a night and is not at all dismayed by it.)
Should you tip a ladies' room maid?
Yes. Give her fifteen cents unless you've asked for some special service. Don't let the display quarters in her coin dish fool you. They're usually come-ons.
What about table-hopping?
The less, the better. If you see someone you know, smile and nod inconspicuously. Or stop for a second on the way in or out to say, "Hi." But don't stand around-somebody's food is bound to get cold. And don't suggest making foursomes of twosomes. Restaurant tables aren't elastic, and it's a fair assumption that people are together because they want to be together, not part of a mob.