Why a Chef Would Never Order Salmon at a Restaurant

Plus 4 other things the professionals steer clear of

Eating out at a restaurant can be a total gamble. Sometimes you have the best meal of your life, and sometimes, well, not so much. So we consulted the pros: Josh Ochoa and Andy Alexandre, chefs at Ruffian Wine Bar & Chef’s Table in New York City, are revealing the dishes they’d never, ever order when dining in a restaurant. Take notes.

5 Drinks a Bartender Would Never Order in a Bar

oysters restaurant order

Dollar Oysters

If the restaurant is letting them go for this cheap, you aren’t getting a deal—they’re just really, really low-quality oysters. Stick with a seafood spot that specializes in oysters (they’ll probably be at least $2 a piece). And don’t even think about eating them if they have a fishy smell.

salad restaurant order
kivoart/Getty Images

Green Salads

A salad should be just as exciting as every other appetizer on the menu. In other words, a mesclun mix is a total snooze-fest. Order literally any other app and chances are, you’ll be much more satisfied.

ceviche restaurant order
Fudio/Getty Images


…Oh, wait, except this app. Ceviche, a Latin American dish made with raw fish “cooked” in lemon juice, requires high-quality fish to be done right. More often than not, this isn’t the case, making for a taste that’s tough and chewy. You’re safer with a cooked fish appetizer instead, like sardines.

watermelon salad restaurant order

Feta And Watermelon

Whether it’s in a salad or as an appetizer, this flavor combo just doesn’t work, the Ruffian chefs insist: “Every time we’ve ordered this dish, it’s been disappointing.” Let’s save the watermelon for a picnic and the feta for shakshuka, shall we?

salmon restaurant order


How many pieces of salmon have you had in your lifetime? 580? Were any of them particularly memorable? Nope, we didn’t think so. Order a flavorful fish stew or a mussels dish instead—broaden your horizons, people.

screen shot 2020 05 14 at 6 31 35 pm

Freelance Editor

From 2015-2020 Lindsay Champion held the role of Food and Wellness Director. She continues to write for PureWow as a Freelance Editor.