If a waiter brings over my entree along with little bowls of veggies placed on top of the plate, what should I do with the bowls? Eat from the bowls, or pour the vegetables from the bowls onto my plate?
The answer really depends on the sort of restaurant you’re in…is this a fine-dining establishment (in which case the vegetables were put into smaller vessels for a very specific reason) or a more casual dining establishment, in which case there may be a more practical reason for this separation.
In a fine-dining spot, you’ll most likely have a small serving spoon in or next to each of the bowls. In the casual spot, that may not be the case. In the latter case, however, I would request your server bring you a spoon so you can place the vegetables onto your larger plate in portions as you progress through your meal. (Providing there is room on your plate and that this won’t mean you’re mixing sauces or condiments that do not go well together, of course.)