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Is formal dining holding its own?


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QUOTE Perhaps the confusion arises because there are new optionsplaces like Momofuku Ssamwhere you get haute European cooking without most of the trappings. But it's a misconception to suggest that

First, anyplace that forces a male to wear ties is out.   Second, anyplace that feels like a Cathedral and forces hushed tones is out.   Third, anyplace the accepts reservations appears to be on

Just because something is a ten-course New Nordic tasting menu, that doesn't make it fine dining. You still have to see how good the ingredients are and the kitchen work is. It could still be ambitiou

It's another thing to be "formal" and also have a high energy level and play alt rock and retro-pop/electronica music (and be the kind of room where a man could be absolutely comfortable in shorts). My position is that it's not only another thing, but impossible. But maybe I'm hanging onto an outdated definition of "formal".

 

I don't think so.

 

Whereas we are past the point where formal restaurants can compel their patrons to wear ties, we are not at the point yet where it will feel right to wear shorts.

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It's another thing to be "formal" and also have a high energy level and play alt rock and retro-pop/electronica music (and be the kind of room where a man could be absolutely comfortable in shorts). My position is that it's not only another thing, but impossible. But maybe I'm hanging onto an outdated definition of "formal".

What is it about Le Coucou that makes it feel like shorts wouldn't be entirely out of place? It's not quite the room exactly, is it?

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I don't understand what the worry is if someone else looks like an asshole. I try not to let that stuff interfere with my dinner. It's not like a table of screaming people next to you, which may be what ends up happening on a Saturday night, evidently.

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It's another thing to be "formal" and also have a high energy level and play alt rock and retro-pop/electronica music (and be the kind of room where a man could be absolutely comfortable in shorts). My position is that it's not only another thing, but impossible. But maybe I'm hanging onto an outdated definition of "formal".

What is it about Le Coucou that makes it feel like shorts wouldn't be entirely out of place? It's not quite the room exactly, is it?

 

 

It's the crowd, right?

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My reaction to someone wearing shorts at dinner there would not be very complimentary, to put it mildly.

 

But what can you do? I mean, they let him in. And, as I keep saying, at least to me he didn't seem at all out of place.

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Whereas we are past the point where formal restaurants can compel their patrons to wear ties, we are not at the point yet where it will feel right to wear shorts.

Soon. Soon. :)

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An old geezer like you could miss it. That's why Sneak has to help out here. :)

I'd say there was definitely a hip vibe. For the time and place: think of the artist-designed menus.

Okay, so formal amenities plus a kind of relaxed, hipper downtown vibe is not new: the nature of the vibe, of course, has changed.

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I don't understand what the worry is if someone else looks like an asshole. I try not to let that stuff interfere with my dinner. It's not like a table of screaming people next to you, which may be what ends up happening on a Saturday night, evidently.

 

I agree completely. If they let you in, you pass. But I don't want to hear about your professional or personal problems or your latest financial coup.

 

There was a great comment on Chow from a Parisian re intrusively loud tables: "the French like to enjoy their own evening, not yours".

 

This discussion of anything goes attire at Coucou is interesting. The same could be said for Spring in Paris, but I have usually felt that most people, particularly women, were overdressed. Maybe getting gussied up correlates to how hard it is to get a reservation.

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