In his column this week on The New York Times Frank Bruni wrote about gender-based customs and differences in restaurants. Even in the age of third-wave feminism and political correctness, some restaurants still observe rules like serving a woman first, taking the wine order from the man and giving the man the check. Some of the rules have pretty much disappeared: giving a woman a menu without prices if she's there with a man, and seating a woman against the wall so she's facing out. I didn't know these were common customs, however I do prefer sitting facing out—doesn't everyone? That way you can check out the entire room. But apparently men and women do have different preferences when it comes to dining out, and proprietors have to take the variations into account when planning menus and decor. According to the article, women tend to like healthier menu options, while men ask about steak; if there will be lots of women at an event party planner turn up the heat, because women wear less clothing; gals want to know about lighting, men almost never do. According to famous chef Mario Batali, "'Women are looking for somewhere comfortable, men are looking for somewhere to show off.'"