In formal dining rooms there is often a long table set to the side and the servers use it to stage dishes before they are served to the table. What is that appurtenance called?

2 Answers 2


I know a few names for them, but one of them I have no idea how to spell.

As has already been mentioned, ‘sideboard’.

Also buffet table when you’re looking through furniture listings.

I think the name I’m trying to spell is banquette, which looks to be built in seating in America, but was also the name for the narrow walkway around a castle wall. It’s what I grew up calling it, but I don’t know if I got that from my dad’s side (French Basque/Argentinian married to an Italian-American trained in Russian Ballet) or my mom’s side (Sicilian x4)

  • I think sideboard is the word I was looking for. Commented Dec 15, 2021 at 3:13

I believe it is simply called a "side table" or a "center table," depending on its location in the room. This practice has roots, or at least a history, in French-style fine dining. Also, as you probably know, sometimes service is done from a "cart" as well.

  • 1
    Of course! it's à la carte...
    – gnicko
    Commented Dec 15, 2021 at 17:04
  • @gnicko...well, as you probably know, that has nothing to do with carts. The literal translation is "by the card," and it means items that can be ordered separately, as opposed to part of a combined meal.
    – moscafj
    Commented Dec 15, 2021 at 17:30
  • 1
    I couldn't resist... Please forgive me.
    – gnicko
    Commented Dec 15, 2021 at 17:34
  • @gnicko...I figured :-)
    – moscafj
    Commented Dec 15, 2021 at 18:19

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