One complaint we sometimes see in this site's reader reviews, often about otherwise good restaurants, is a sense of being rushed. Gotta admit, this is a pet peeve of ours, especially at a higher-end establishment. I want to have time to sip on my wine and enjoy some good conversation in between courses. When entrees arrive before we've even finished appetizers or salad, that really reduces the enjoyment of our meal. If we want fast food, we'll go to Milo's.
We never have that problem anymore, because here's what we started doing: We refuse to order our entrees at the same time we order our appetizers. Even if we already know what we want for the main event, when we order the appetizer, we tell our server we haven't decided yet on the entrees and will wait to order until after we've finished our appetizer. If they don't take the hint and come ask us again for our order, we'll nicely tell them that we aren't in a hurry, that we want to take the time to really enjoy the meal. As a result, it's not unusual for us to spend two or three hours having a three-course dinner.
We enjoy each bite, each sip. In between courses we get a chance to talk, or may enjoy a chance to chat with our server or the owner or the restaurant's resident wine expert, whether it be a formal sommelier or a particularly wine-savvy server.
We've never really had any problems with this approach. In fact, servers and restaurant owners often seem to really appreciate the fact that we want to take time to fully enjoy the meal.