Heating or Chilling the Plates
When you go to a restaurant and are served your food, the server often cautions, "Careful. The plate is a little hot." Sometimes they even serve you with oven mitts on.
And, when you get a salad in a nice restaurant, the plate is generally chilled. The reason for this is simple. Hot plates keep hot food hot, and cold plates keep cold food cold.
Serving a salad on a plate still hot from the dishwasher heats up the greens and the dressing that is in contact with the plate, and you end up with wilted lettuce and warm dressing. Yuck.
And serving a sauced main dish, like a steak au poivre, Pasta Bolognese, or even turkey with gravy, on a cold plate does nothing but chill the sauce the moment it hits the plate.
Please don't spend the time it takes to make a restaurant-quality sauce only to serve it at the wrong temperature. Instead, take a page from the Restaurant Book of Secrets and serve chilled foods on chilled plates and hot foods on warm plates. It might be a small thing, but it has a significant impact.
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