Getting the most out of your order
Let your server know what the occasion is
Don’t lie -- but if it IS your birthday, or your first time in the city, or your anniversary, or your anniversary of it being your first time in the city, do let them know. Sometimes it does work out in your favor. They will make a note of it, and you might wind up with free dessert or something, which is always nice.
Chat with your server or bartender, fellow human being in this mortal coil
Show an interest in what he or she doing, or what the kitchen is working on, or what complicated cocktail is on its way to the drink list. If they’re in the mood and have time, they might give you a sample of something the chef is prepping back in the kitchen. But it’s much better to let them offer, rather than ask outright.