Courses arrive carefully composed on individual white plates and are placed on white tablecloths in fine-dining fashion at Bluestem in Westport. But at Colby and Megan Garrelts’ soon-to-open second restaurant in Leawood — Rye — the service will be much different.
By STACY DOWNS
The Kansas City Star
So what does that look like? A lot like Thanksgiving, say the husband and wife chefs and owners.
It means meat will be served on platters, side dishes will come in crocks. Most important, the food will be passed around the table and shared.
“It’s tapping into the culture of the Midwest,” says Colby, a five-time nominee for Best Chef Midwest by the James Beard Foundation. “It’s turning an unfortunate negative perception into a positive, celebrating a place known for family values in a hip and modern way.”
To get a family-style look at home, Colby suggests using an unusual wooden serving piece — perhaps from Enrico, the American company that Rye will use.
Megan says putting heirlooms to use is the perfect expression of family-style dining, especially on Thanksgiving.
The etiquette of casual dining
Dishes are passed to the right (counterclockwise) with each dinner guest helping himself, according to etiquette consultant and author Peggy Post. This helps maintain a sense of order at the table while all the dishes are being served.
Exception to this rule: If someone sitting to your immediate left requests a second helping of potatoes, don’t send the dish all the way around the table. It’s perfectly fine to directly pass the dish to the left.