An online shopping service, New York City Gourmet, will be giving three Gourmet Food Samplers away each month to visitors tapping into their Web site ( . . . FREE GOURMET FOOD! Just enter your name in the monthly giveaway.

"One simple guest book entry does it all!"

While caught in their Web, (which is the reason for the contest), check out the delicious edibles offered from famous specialty food stores and NYC restaurants.

If you aren't one of the big winners - you receive a lovely consolation prize . . .

Junque mail for the rest of your life.


The Etiquette Institute recently concluded its annual meeting in St. Louis where attendees pondered the burning question: What is the proper napkin placement when a person gets up from the dining table?

Here's definitive dogma from St. Louis' first lady of manners, Maria Everding, founder of the Etiquette Institute . . .

"Traditionally, the napkin was placed on the chair because a soiled napkin in view of dinner partners is offensive. The question today in our germ-conscious society is: `Who wants to wipe their lips on a napkin that has been on a chair? Or, who wants to sit on a chair that may have grease or lipstick on it because a soiled napkin was placed on it?' "

And the envelope, please . . .

"When one gets up during a meal, the napkin is crumpled and placed to the left of the plate, soiled side down," Everding says.

Just who decides on "da proper napkin routine?"

"People make the rules, we just add common sense and enforce them," Everding explains.

Enforce? What's the punishment for a faux pas? Jail? A Spam luncheon with Martha Stewart?

Seriously . . . for "politeness" help, contact Salt Laker Mia Merrill, etiquette consultant and member of the Etiquette Institute at 1-801-951-1312.


Epicurious Food offers "Chic Techniques," answers to alleviate one's manner angst.

What to do with those pesky paper wrappers?

If you've ever been torn between the ashtray or the floor, here's what you should really do with those little pieces of paper. Sugar wrappers can be tucked under your saucer next to your plate, lying flat. Leave butter wrappers or jelly containers on your butter plate.

We're confused, guys. Isn't lying flat next to your plate tacky?