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Le Gavroche - The Topic


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It's always easy to be iconoclastic and turn up to a posh restaurant in jeans and trainers, very rock and roll etc. I think as one gets older a sense that this is very brattish comes to the fore. Yes your money is as good as anyone elses but its really rather pointless and bad mannered towards the other diners. I would hope a 'good'restaurant wouldnt care how rich you were

Firstly I will reiterate, it is not about wearing Jeans and Trainers( which I think is fine on us younger diners), shorts and t-shirt etc. You can still wear smart clothing without it being jacket and tie. When you have one option it imposes an elitist code.

How not wearing a shirt and tie equates to bad manners is beyond me. Equally how can it be bad manners to other diners? I have never been offended by what other people wear, nor have I heard anyone utter the phrase ' You know the meal was great, restaurant splendid, but I was rather put off by the chap in table 6 who did not wear a jacket or tie'. Now if people get offended or find it bad mannered about what others wear that is their own issue.

Maybe this is a generational thing? :biggrin:

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It's quite simple, really. If you object to wearing a jacket or dressing in a particular way, don't go. Maybe Le Gavroche isn't for you. It seems to have been doing ok for the last 40 years and isn't exactly short of customers.

Personally, I really like the place. Bearing in mind my wife will spend several hours getting dressed up the nines I doubt she would be very impressed if I couldn't make the effort to look half decent.

Chacun a son gout, or something like that.

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when i went to LG (which was oddly enough pretty much exactly 4 years ago to the day- it was the first night of our honeymoon and our anniversary was yesterday, luckily i remembered.) i felt the need not to conform and wore a jacket but no tie. But then I like to live on the edge. And i'm a messy eater and dry cleaning ties is a pain.

I don't like formal dress codes but then again oddly i quite like it when people have 'made an effort', for somewhere like LG or Winteringham Fields it's in keeping.

you don't win friends with salad

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Or as MPW recently put it; 'How many people walk into a Michelin-starred restaurant and don't feel comfortable? They can't take their tie or jacket off, can't speak too loudly. When I had my three stars I never had a dress code. Who am I to dictate how people should dress?'

Nothing like a good old Friday afternoon debate... :wink:

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Maybe this is a generational thing?  :biggrin:

Actually as I have got older I have put more store on things like dress. Considering I was a full on sixteen year old punk in 1976 it's rather ironic. I dont think it's elitist to impose a dress code, not unless its to do with expensive labels only, or throwing out anyone not wearing a rolex.

I think it is bad manners if you ignore or flaunt a dress code even if that dress code is implicit rather than explicit. Places like the Gavroche have a reason for having a dress code, even clubs for young people do " no trainers" for example.

It's a filter basically. Seems fair enough to me and if I was going to the gavroche I would dress well as part of the enjoyment. I know my wife would for sure. We'd both be pissed off if someone was there who clearly had made no effort and yes, it would spoil my meal.

Looks like my days of singing "Anarchy in the UK" are behind me eh?

S

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Or as MPW recently put it; 'How many people walk into a Michelin-starred restaurant and don't feel comfortable? They can't take their tie or jacket off, can't speak too loudly. When I had my three stars I never had a dress code. Who am I to dictate how people should dress?'

Nothing like a good old Friday afternoon debate... :wink:

yeh but MPW is a thug

S

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i saw MPW in lucianos the other week, his chosen attire was an immaculate dark blue pin stripe suit, proper yellow braces and a white t - shirt. Only marco could pull that off :laugh:

If i hadn't been with a company i would have been over for an autograph!

you don't win friends with salad

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On a more serious note, I always dress up to go to dinner regardless of whether the resto concerned has a policy or not. Never having had to wear a suit for my job, I like the change.

My dining partner last night had a lovely 50's inspired full length dress on with subtle (but ample) cleavage :rolleyes:

I can understand that for guys that are suited all day they might want to be more casual when out, fair enough.

But how many places in the whole of the UK are actually that strict about a dress code? Not many I'll wager, and if it really is an issue for you, don't go!

As has already been stated LG is busy, so it's obviously not an issue for their clientelle.

Any new experience can make people feel uncomfortable. Remember your first trip abroad or first day in a new job?

I never drop my voice or change my behaviour in starred places now, because I am relaxed in that environment. I feel confident that I know what I am doing. I like confident service.

Vive le difference

I

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HI there, Im off to la gavroche with a mate tonight but im kinda stuck on the dress code, They have said its smart but casual and didnt mention a jacket. As we dont live in london we are having to get the train and underground, its looking to be a rather hot day today and would hate to have to carry a jacket around with me let alone wear one!

Will I be out of place without one?

chris

jacket and ties are obligatory aren't they?

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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HI there, Im off to la gavroche with a mate tonight but im kinda stuck on the dress code, They have said its smart but casual and didnt mention a jacket. As we dont live in london we are having to get the train and underground, its looking to be a rather hot day today and would hate to have to carry a jacket around with me let alone wear one!

Will I be out of place without one?

chris

jacket and ties are obligatory aren't they?

http://www.le-gavroche.co.uk/main.html

"The dress code at Le Gavroche is smart casual. Male diners are required to wear a jacket."

HTH

I

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"The dress code at Le Gavroche is smart casual. Male diners are required to wear a jacket."

Pah! thats an oxymoron.

In the context that you used to have to wear a tie as well, it isn't oxymoronic :laugh:

I wonder what they would do if you turned up in proper shoes, smart jeans, a collared shirt and decent jacket?

I

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If someone is soooo concerned by my attire, I am not sure they're the sort of person I should be inclined to please.

A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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i saw MPW in lucianos the other week, his chosen attire was an immaculate dark blue pin stripe suit, proper yellow braces and a white t - shirt. Only marco could pull that off  :laugh:

If i hadn't been with a company i would have been over for an autograph!

MPW is a pretty natty dresser and Saville Row loves him. Wish I could afford to dress like that but I'm saving my money for more dining adventures.

SB

"who needs a wine list when you can get pissed on dessert" Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares 2005

MY BLOG

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nb that generally these type of joints tend to be a bit more laid back at luncthime

my suspicion would be that if you did look like a complete tramp this is the sort of joint which would lend you a jacket if it was a stipulation and you were without.

of course that's just my hunch, but if you explain you've come into town specially etc and its boiling, any front of house worth its salt should show some common sense rather than turning away a hundred quid ticket.

J

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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nb that generally these type of joints tend to be a bit more laid back at luncthime

my suspicion would be that if you did look like a complete tramp this is the sort of joint which would lend you a jacket if it was a stipulation and you were without.

of course that's just my hunch, but if you explain you've come into town specially etc and its boiling, any front of house worth its salt should show some common sense rather than turning away a hundred quid ticket.

J

I was taillevent recently for lunch. where they were quite insistent on a jacket, which was promptly fitted for moi, they quickly and sensibly waived my guest through. At 6 foot 11" they quickly realised that discretion is the better part of valour!

A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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I ate at LG last week (Wednesday 13th June) for evening dinner. Many of the male diners were not wearing jackets, and indeed, the staff were taking jackets away to be hung up, rather than having them on the backs of chairs. Some chaps were open necked too... The dining room was pretty hot, but not so hot that I couldn't retain a jacket and tie, which is clearly the preferred option in the place. M Roux came to talk to us during the meal, but studiously avoided talking to any diners who had ignored the dress code...

The food:

Very disappointed with the mini-baguettes - extremely chewy with a ridiculously thick crust. Not impressed at all.

A starter of duck pancakes with huge foie gras was sublime; the creamy texture of the foie contrasting beautifully with the coarse shredded duck.

My partner chose the Terrine de foie gras, and pronounced it to be the finest she had ever tasted; smooth and light, with a delicate yet clear flavour.

I followed with a thick piece of veal, taken off the bone at the table and sliced for the plate, accompanied by mashed potato and a pressed tower of spinach, surrounded by strips of carrot and green bean. The meat had been cooked exactly to order, but I was rather disappointed to discover lumps in the mash. The vegetable tower was delicious, with all three flavours clear and precise - wonderful!

Across the table a lobster was swimming across a virtually black sea - deliciously so, apparently. No complaints at all from madam about this dish; simply prepared and beautifully executed.

A single passionfruit souffle dessert was ordered for me, which appeared large enough for two. Very sweet indeed though, and not really to my taste. The petit fours with coffee were fantastic; a very pleasing selection. I particularly enjoyed the toffee coated physalis... but would have preferred once again some sharper chocolate bases to match the full flavour of the coffee.

Service throughout was first class, except when it came to settling the bill - amazingly difficult to achieve this!

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"Gentlemen should always wear a jacket unless dining in a kebab shop."

No, gentlemen should be gentlemen and when required smart and presentable. (also swap gentlemen for lady). You can look like a tramp in a (crumpled, stained) jacket and tie or very presentable in (black or white) jeans and a good short sleeved shirt or (well cut, subtle) T shirt.

For places that make a dress code known then I, and most people I know, would try to fit in, but if I was too hot in my jacket I would expect them to let me take it off. I once took a friend to Les Ambassaduers, Paris but he only had a wool suit as he never normally wears a jacket. When he got too hot about a 3rd the way through the meal he tried to take his jacket off but was made to put it back on - as a result he didn't enjoy the meal as he was too hot, the rest of the restaurant had to watch someone uncomfortable and sweating. (This was 5 years ago so I've no idea if they are as strict or if there Air Con has improved).

I also remember my meal at Le Tante Clair, when I was told on booking the dress code was smart and I arrived without a jacket. when I got there I was informed a jacket was required (ok a fault on their part) but they were able to offer a vast range of jackets and I found something that worked but this did get the evening off to a very 'stiff' start but, and that’s a long story, it ended up a legendary meal.

However ultimately I would prefer to be in a room with ladies and gentlemen (i.e polite people) no matter what they wore than be in a room of rowdy impolite people dressed to the nines. Rules give guidelines, but can be bent, broken and ways are there to enable this. The skill of the Maitre d'/receptionist is working out when and how to do this.

As for the people who say dress makes no difference (and sorry if it's my take on aesthetics) seeing someone in a a wife beater, skin tight shorts and flip flops in la gavroche would distract from my dining experience as my attention would be drawn to them as standing out and away from the food and my dining companions (however if they were polite I would prefer that than an impolite person in an Armarni suit).

BTW not eaten at la gavroche but at many other similar places and aim to eat there one day.

Edited by ermintrude (log)

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

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drewf i was very interested in reading your review. I also found themini-baguettes very tough. But the salted butter was sublime :rolleyes:

my dining partner also had the duck for the starter and being the low class idiots we are he let me have a taste and to say i was amazed would be an understatement. The balance of flavours in the whole dish was totally perfect. Infact I would go so far to say that even though I didnt order it, it was prob the most perfectly balanced dish Ive ever tasted. But to keep things in topic I shall write my review in the relivent section.

Oh and dress code seemed to be pretty relaxed, Most men there didnt have a tie on and I even saw a man with jeans on. Although they were dark jeans.

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