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The end of American civilization-shorts at Bouley

kennethpollock

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There are only 8 restaurants in New York that have received two or three stars in the Michelin Guide. Bouley is one of them. I most recently ate there, for the fouth time, for Friday lunch, on September 1. It was better than ever. The room is beautiful, the service sublime, the wine list glorious and the food fantastic. It is also a bargain at lunch, with two superb prix fixe menus at $38 and $48, respectively. It has a charming and sophisticated Maitre Di from the three star Restaurant V, in the George V Hotel, in Paris. He and I discussed the best place for me to find a good cheese board on my next trip to Paris. He also recommended several other places for me to dine while there.
Now for the disastrous part. I never saw him, as my wife's nephew and I were facing the wall, while my wife and her sister were facing outward. However, after we left both my wife and my sister-in-law said they saw another customer wearing shorts. They had not told me earlier, as they feared that I might leave. I would not have left, but I certainly would have told the Maitre Di what I thought. Whoever he was, he had no excuse whatsoever, as it was about 73 degrees that day.
I think this may be the last straw. This was worse than the baseball cap at the Gotham Bar and Grill. While wearing a baseball cap may be slightly more disrespectful and more of an insult to the other diners than shorts, Bouley is a far far grander restaurant than the Gotham Bar and Grill.
This does it. I am moving to France.
 

LabelKing

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This is indeed quite distressing; it eliminates all aesthetic aspects of dining as well as ruining any pre-existing ambiance.

He might have been an homeless person.
 

Kent Wang

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I was dismayed to have read on Chowhound that someone was permitted into the Driskill Grill -- Southwestern haute cuisine in a Four Seasons-level Victorian hotel -- here in Austin with flip flops. He actually called the maitre d' and received permission from him.
 

Kent Wang

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Perhaps we should institute a fashion gestapo.
 

Earthmover

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I've been to Bouley, and I agree with Ken. Bouley is a wonderful place, an idyllic french country garden in the middle of the city (It's even in a one-story standalone building, which is quite striking for Manhattan) and I think it's galling to hear that someone came dressed in shorts. First, I would blame the management, but the level of insensitivity and disregard for respecting proper behavior required to wear shorts to Bouley is extremely high. Yes, it's not the end of the world (duh), but if we care about things like black suits for business, french cuffs with open collar and white after Labor Day, I think shorts at Bouley is a pretty big deal.
 

acidboy

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perhaps the shorts are kiton?
 
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It was me. I'm sorry. I just think hairy legs should be shown.
 

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