Dining in Style

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Having recently taken my mom to dinner at Red Lobster, a favorite of hers, I recalled my childhood years and the rare trips to “eat out.”  We would on rare Sundays go to Blazers, a seafood restaurant by the lake, as I recall.  It, like any other trip to a restaurant other than a Drive-in, was a dress up occasion.

Times have changed, and casual dining has taken hold.  I’m generally okay with that.  But, the dude with the wife beater T-shirt, sweat pants, and unshaved face, leaving the restaurant with a date, led me to reflect on just how much the standards have changed. 

So, how do you know, anymore, when more formal attired is appropriate at a restaurant?

Well, Sinatra Restaurant at the Wynn in Las Vegas in a no-brainer.  I can’t imagine any man without a jacket desecrating the remembrance that is that restaurant. 

That’s easy.  But, locally, casual dining seems to have taken hold everywhere.  Is it a certain entree price that defines the dress?  Seemingly not.   And I’m not actually complaining as such.  Jeans are omnipresent.  Certainly they’re more comfortable than wool or linen dress pants.  Well, maybe not, but there’s an intractable paradigm that says I shouldn’t curl up on a couch or invite a dog into my lap while wearing dress slacks.  Jeans are appropriate for some places, and other places not.

Recently, I had the pleasure of dining at Bone’s Restaurant, a longtime fixture in Atlanta’s Buckhead area.   “Known for business lunches and business dinners” may bring an expectation to the classic, masculine tones of the interior, and it doesn’t disappoint.  Although the food was good, it’s the ambience that I remember, not the least of which was the bar at the entrance where men sat drinking mixed drinks... at lunch. It’s a tribute to old time elegance.   There were no men without suit jackets, and many wore their jackets through lunch rather than hanging them on their seats. 

Red Lobster brought to mind that our whole society is reflective of a sample group of patrons at Wal-Mart, the lowest common denominator in public dress and behavior being perfectly acceptable. That may or may not be a model of societal endurance.  We’ll see.  But from a business standpoint, perhaps Carnival Cruise Lines will provide a leading indicator of how it pans out.

In any case, I’m glad places like Bones exist.

1 comment :

  1. Paschal's is a close second. Not everyone had a jacket, but all were dressed well. Glad I elected not to wear a sports shirt!

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