What to Expect When Dining Out With Lebanese/Armenians

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Terrace Restaurant Blog - Armenian Dinner Etiquette

Whether grabbing dinner at a popular eatery like Terrace Restaurant and Lounge or dining in the comfort of someone’s home, it’s always a good idea for dinner guests be aware of cultural customs and abide by the norms of cultural etiquette. To help you prepare for you Armenian or Lebanese feast, here are some things you might want to consider:

No Need To Be Formal

Even during the most formal occasions, like wedding receptions and galas, Armenians and Lebanese are rarely uptight or stuffy, and most will just as soon slap you on the back or give you a hug as they would give you a firm handshake. Also, unless you happen to be dining with a professional superior, using a person’s first name is permitted for most social interactions.

Punctuality Is Optional

In addition to being a relatively easygoing people, both Armenians and Lebanese are flexible when it comes to being on time. Though being punctual is probably a good idea if you’re attending a business dinner, few hosts are going to mind if you’re 20-30 minutes late for social gatherings.

Prepare For a Feast

Like many other Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cultures, both the Lebanese and Armenian use food as an expression of generosity, and social bonds are often formed over a large meal. Regardless of whether the dinner takes place at a trendy restaurant or in someone’s home, expect the table to be completely covered in more delicious food than you can possible eat in one sitting – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try!

Expect Entertainment

While Western tradition often calls for quiet dining experiences with little more than soothing house music playing in the background, meals at restaurants like Terrace are typically accompanied by musical performances and, if you’re lucky, even a belly dance show. If you’re joing an Armenian, Lebanese, or Greek family for dinner, expect to shout (or at least talk loudly) over a live band, lounge singer, or DJ set. And after dinner…dancing!

Good Etiquette/Table Manners Include:

  • Bringing a gift of chocolates or flowers for the host. This is always a nice gesture, though not necessarily expected.
  • Greeting the oldest dinner guests first to show your respect.
  • Waiting for the host to tell you where to sit. (The most honored position is at the head of the table, so whatever you do, avoid this chair at all costs.)
  • Keep your hands where they can be seen, either folded on the table or with wrists resting on the table’s edge.
  • Complimenting the cook if attending a dinner in someone’s home.