When did it become acceptable to wear worn and faded jeans, a less-than-clean cotton T-shirt (undershirt style) and a backwards baseball cap to a fine dining restaurant? Was I absent the day they changed the rules on this?
Last night for our anniversary, Kevin and I went to a well-established, long-historied fine dining restaurant in Arcadia. It opened it's doors in 1922 and has been 'the' go-to fancy restaurant in the area for decades. I've been going to this restaurant since I was a child and it's always been the same: lush, well maintained, elegant - one of the very few old steakhouses left. And as such, diners has always been appropriately attired. I'm not talking about evening gowns and tuxedos by any means, but certainly gentlemen wear slacks and at least a collared shirt, and ladies wear dresses or upscale separates that are appropriate to the occasion.
About halfway through the evening as we dined our fine meal, in walks a man somewhere in his late twenties/early thirties - old enough to know better. He was wearing faded jeans, a ratty T-shirt and a backwards baseball cap. We were both pretty shocked, but thought he was at least going to sit in the bar. Nope. Grabbed himself a prime seat, right smack in the middle of the restaurant. We couldn't help thinking to ourselves: Really? You couldn't go home, clean up and change into decent clothes for your $100.00plus meal? How nice that you decided to share your grunginess with all of us who bothered to shower and dress appropriately. Hrmph.
Elitest? Maybe. Call me old fashioned by I still believe there is a place and time for everything. For the most part I have no problem with casual - it's appropriate in many cases. However, that particular restaurant is not one of them. If you go out looking like you're ready to chowdown on some wings, swish a coupla beers and watch the game, fine ... but do the right thing and drive a couple of block down the street and do so at Chili's.