All dressed up and no place to go?
Posted 19 April 2002 - 07:44 AM
Posted 19 April 2002 - 08:13 AM
Cafe Des Artistes
La Cote Basque
One If By Land, Two If By Sea
I'm sure there are others.
Posted 19 April 2002 - 08:43 AM
I can add some to your list: San Domenico, Cafe Boulud, Alain Ducasse (obvious, I suppose), Cello. If you want to dress up for a swanky evening, you could do worse than one of the grand hotels like the Pierre or the Carlyle. The food is not cutting edge, but is not bad, and in fact I have been meaning to go back to the Carlyle restuarant since the chef from now-defunct Trois Jean took over its kithcen. Might be good, in a robust French sort of way.
Posted 19 April 2002 - 08:51 AM
I'd love to hear what this gang thinks about this topic, in general. What makes a restaurant "upscale?" Why does the dress/appearance of other patrons affect our enjoyment (it certainly does mine)?
Posted 19 April 2002 - 09:06 AM
Posted 19 April 2002 - 10:10 AM
To address the topic more broadly, while I can appreciate the dismay that some may feel when they notice other diners in shorts, I also feel like a requirement of a suit or a jacket is rather old fashioned and fussy. If I wear an elegant shirt and trousers into a restaurant, I can't imagine that this is going to detract significantly from anyone else's dining experience. I personally find it much more practical and comfortable to dine without a jacket or tie, so while I appreciate the occasional opportunity to get dressed up and really "go out", I'm also a bit resentful of this rather artificial standard of dressed "well enough".
Posted 19 April 2002 - 11:06 AM
I agree with you that jack and tie is not the only way to be elegant. When it's cooler, I would certainly wear suitable kinds of polo/turtleneck shirts with a jacket, and I have been known to wear silk shirts just buttoned at the collar. I have never had a problem with those variations, as I think jacket/tie is in most cases just shorthand for dressing smart. There are places, though, where you will get wrestled to the floor if you try to take the jacket off.
Posted 19 April 2002 - 11:35 AM
Posted 19 April 2002 - 11:45 AM
I support this view. While I have found that tossing a nice sport jacket on makes almost anything decent, there's something very appealing to eat elegantly in an Aloha shirt and shorts (in the tropics).
To address the topic more broadly, while I can appreciate the dismay that some may feel when they notice other diners in shorts, I also feel like a requirement of a suit or a jacket is rather old fashioned and fussy. If I wear an elegant shirt and trousers into a restaurant, I can't imagine that this is going to detract significantly from anyone else's dining experience
In particular, it's the tie I don't enjoy. And in Tabla, I would think a broad standard would apply, allowing anything that wasn't truly shabby.
Posted 19 April 2002 - 12:25 PM
My best guess is guys are more easily intimidated on matters of fashion than women are. If a woman has carefully selected an outfit, nobody in a penguin suit would dare get in the way
Posted 19 April 2002 - 12:33 PM
I have read that several times, and can't see a problem with it.
(W)omen can get by with almost nothing...
Posted 19 April 2002 - 04:50 PM
Posted 19 April 2002 - 07:43 PM
Well said, Tommy. I agree that coats and ties are for the office funerals and other occasions that I prefer to skip, but can't. I find both coats and ties restrictive, and a large portion of my meal is dedicated to avoiding spillage on those articles of clothing. Hence, I often prefer trousers or khakis and a polo shirt, especially when the weather is warm.
i'm one of those who prefers not to "dress up" for dinner. "dressing up" is for the office, funerals, weddings, and other occasions that you'd just as soon avoid. dinner should be relaxing. i avoid those places where most are dressed up, so those that might be offended by my khakis and polo shirt don't have to see me!
I usually draw the line at shorts, but, I don't question the attire of others, and would appreciate others not questioning my attire. I don't see how what I wear can affect the quality of someone else's experience. I believe that people should have the option of dressing as they like (within some very general constraints-- I'd prefer not to see very baggy jeans with boxer shorts hanging out paired with a sports jersey, but if I saw someone wearing such an outfit, I'd probably think of them as a rube or a bumpkin and continue my meal. THe attire of others doesn't influence the enjoyment of my meal. Food, service, wine and company of fellow diners are all that influence my meal.
Wilfrid, you are a turncoat . But, no harm done, I will simply ignore your stares of incredulity when we meet at Bid--if we meet at Bid. (Alas, I will be away for the Ninth ave gourging.)
PS i will also avert my eyes from all of the (gentle?)men who choose to wear silk shirts with "only the collar buttoned."
Posted 19 April 2002 - 08:16 PM
Restaurant dining is, in many ways, theatre. Everything adds or subtracts from the atmosphere. The whole dining experience, often but not always, includes things like how welcomed you are made to feel, the noise level, the music, the lighting etc.
How could anyone think that the attire of the patrons is not an element in all of this?
Granted, not every restaurant experience has or needs all of these elements but many of the ones that people are referring to here are the ones that do.
In other words, your dress affects my restaurant experience and vice versa even if you don't think so. Appropriateness is key within a very broad definition of appropriateness, of course.
If you want to eat in shorts and a "wife-beater" well, I'd say choose your venue accordingly. Thats what I do and I want to dress casually much of the time.
And anyway, there's nothing like tearing apart a lobster in the privacy of your own kitchen wearing a bathrobe.
Posted 19 April 2002 - 08:38 PM
Picture an undershirt, white, often ribbed cotton, with, how can I say this, kind of straps instead of sleeves and a deep u-neck opening. Now picture someones father in it, with, perhaps, some curley chest hairs sticking out the top.
What is a "wife-beater"??
Oh, also, it goes best with a nice pot belly.
Need I go on?
Posted 20 April 2002 - 02:33 AM
The problem I see is that those of us who do feel that dressing well in such places is respectful and appropriate are not given the choice of that kind of atmosphere as long as others feel differently. Hence places with dress codes.
Posted 20 April 2002 - 06:58 AM
It has reliably drawn the ire of feminists, but I won't raise the question of fashon imperatives and feminism in this forum
Posted 20 April 2002 - 07:07 AM
Posted 20 April 2002 - 07:13 AM
Posted 20 April 2002 - 08:12 AM
A little later a couple in their 30's were ushered to a table next to ours. Her hair was a lovely shade of different hues of blue, spiked straight in the air, his hair was different shades of orange, also spiked. She had a number of nose rings, earrings and other such things protruding from her face, he had about the same number. They were dressed in early Soho. We, by the way, were dressed for the occasion.
At some point in the meal, my husband did have to go to the bathroom and I am not sure how, but I started a conversation with our neighbors. It turns out that they were both social workers and every year, at this time, celebrate her birthday at a fine dining restaurant. To be able to afford this they save all year long for this one big splurge. Because of their looks and because we were the only "outsiders" we both were being treated rudely. By now, I had gotten used to their appearance and they were really a very interesting couple. Also, I was incensed that they were being treated so badly - here when they had spent a year saving and saving for the experience of a lifetime and they were getting the worst treatment.
By this time we were about to order dessert - it was about midnight. I saw on the menu that I could order a soufflé, but it would take 45 minutes. I said to our waiter that not only would we have the soufflé, but I'd like to buy our neighbors one to celebrate her birthday.
We left the restaurant after 1:30 am with the entire tuxedoed staff standing in the main dining room "with looks that could kill." It definitely was worth it.
I must say, in spite of the above, that I appreciate people dressing for the occasion.
Posted 20 April 2002 - 08:29 AM
I would consider myself a feminist and have since my college years but my take on "wife-beater" is more anti-male and anti-working class in that it assumes a man in this variety of shirt is automatically a wife abuser. Nonetheless, I think its a funny descriptive. Having a sense of humor and a political/social opinion are not mutually exclusive, for me at least.
Vaguely, I recall the fashion term "wife-beater" is a late '90s usage reminiscent of the Stanley Kowalski character's wardrobe in A Streetcar Named Desire. I don't believe it was in use prior to 1998 or so.
It has reliably drawn the ire of feminists, but I won't raise the question of fashon imperatives and feminism in this forum
Posted 20 April 2002 - 08:30 AM
We left the restaurant after 1:30 am with the entire tuxedoed staff standing in the main dining room "with looks that could kill." It definitely was worth it. I must say, in spite of the above, that I appreciate people dressing for the occasion.
Way to go Lizziee. A great "revenge" story. I do think how people dress has an impact on the overall feeling and ambiance of a place, so it is an issue. Yet short of banning shorts and "beach wear" and requiring jackets for men, it's hard to figure out any other control. I very much resent having to wear a tie, but I want the option to be mine. Awful looking clothes on patrons is like graffiti or bad art on the walls. There's not much one can do except not go back if the overall experience isn't worth it. If people do not wish to be influenced by social convention, our society, thankfully, allows that.
I am bothered much more by *very* loud talking, laughing at extremely high volume levels by groups of, usually, quite young women and "frat guys" in otherwise sedate restaurants. I've been seated next to tables full of screaming, shreiking and yelling people, each seeming to try to outdo the other in volume. It isn't fun.
Posted 20 April 2002 - 09:56 AM
....but I won't raise the question of fashon imperatives and feminism in this forum
I would consider myself a feminist and have since my college years ...Nonetheless, I think its a funny descriptive. Having a sense of humor and a political/social opinion are not mutually exclusive, for me at least
The Times had an exchange on the use of this term back in more pleasant times, divided between the predictable positions.
My original direction was the acceptance by many women of "fashion imperatives" which deliver painful shoes, uncomfortable clothing, and, in some cases, very careful positioning when seating or changing positions. If I was a maitre'd, I'd be very hesitant about challenging any woman's choice of attire
Posted 20 April 2002 - 10:10 AM
Posted 20 April 2002 - 01:12 PM
I still feel that members who are concerend with the attire of others in a restaurant (within a broad spectrum of appropriateness/reasonability) are being obssessive and a bit crochety!
Perhaps my views are due to my (relatively) young age. I'm firmly of the opinion that one should be free to dress in as disheveled a fashion as one prefers. Now, I freely admit that others, including restaurants, draw inferences from a sloppy appearance. But the balancing between the consequences of sloppiness, and the comfort/desirability of so dressing should be left to the individual.
Posted 20 April 2002 - 01:21 PM
And I am not at all obsessed with the issue.
For me, it's about the aesthetics of the overall dining experience. Take Alain Ducasse NY as an example. A very thoughtfully decorated, rich and stately dining room, with some interesting art works on the walls and even the tables. Diners (if they got in) who wore ripped t-shirts, shorts and open-toed sandals would detract from the appearance and hence the atmosphere. I think it is reasonable to expect people to dress in such a way that everyone's experience is enhanced. (Extreme example, I know, but I guess it makes my point). As I say, that's my preference. I'm not insisting on it, and a fat lot of good it would do if I did! :confused:
Posted 20 April 2002 - 01:31 PM
Moreover, for the record, I would note that the wearing of jackets is by no means the norm in Michelin 3 stars. THis is especially true of the countryside. However, even in Paris, there were invariably some gentlemen not wearing jackets, and I didn't notice any hostility toward them on the part of the House. That said, I also note that almost everyone every native I encountered in France was smartly dressed--jacket or no.
As to being judged by one's clothing/appearance, I believe that it is a regrettable, if unconcscious, fact of life, but this is an issue that could easily spawn a swarm of digressions and rebuttals.
Posted 20 April 2002 - 02:08 PM
Posted 20 April 2002 - 02:10 PM
I have the kind of fanatic egalitarianism about restaurant attire that comes from a lifetime of eating in restaurants with my superannuated parents, who were old even when they were young. They customarily make comments like "Look at that guy over there in the Bermuda shorts" or "Doesn't he look cute with his hat on backwards?" A lifetime of that will have you cheering for the guy in the tank top as he eats his meal.
Usually I'm concentrating so diligently on the food and on what the other people at the table are saying that I never even NOTICE the people at other tables. Having said that, I do tend to automatically dress reasonably nicely: nice slacks and jacket, usually, at most places, but not a tie. My pet peeve is the guy who parks diagonally across two handicapped spaces in his Cadillac. Which I ALSO got from dining with my father, who uses his fraudulent handicapped rear-view-mirror-hanger as if it makes his car invisible.