Excellent choice, ma'am
I'm curious to know how many of you - like me - are totally over hoity-doity dining. I find that much of what you pay for in up-market restaurants is being treated like royalty in an often much too sterile, uptight setting and presentation. Don't get me going on tall food. I know quality can be expensive, but I often find that as soon as the prices get higher, there's a kind of hushed atmosphere that prevails. Has anyone ever read David Rakoff's "Don't Get Too Comfortable" (The Indignities of Coach Class, the Torments of Low Thread Count, the Never-Ending Quest for Artisinal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems) The second chapter is a hilarious must-read for all foodies who are over the hoity-toitiness of it all.
T minus 10 and counting before the "Board Police" take this thread away...
None the less, I hear you and do think it's a fine line between proper service and just plain silly.
Of course, some people dig it, others still, expect it. I think a high end place is going to err on the side of being to proper figuring that even those who aren't looking to be treated like royalty won't mind being so. Meanwhile, the old school or those who make it out twice a year and want the few times they do to be extraordinary (whatever their version of that elusive expectation might be) will be pissed if they don't get their tooshie kissed.
The high end place next to me has gotten complaints from customers that other diners weren't dressed properly, that they should demand a coat and tie. Now I think that's lame and people should get over themselves. However, given that feedback from a customer, any business owner is going to be very concerned about his staff being quite proper.
I agree - I always feel somehow deceived at some restaurants that charge exorbitant prices but have second rate food and try to cover that up with good service. Sure, I don't mind a good conversationalist in a nice jacket to serve me my food, but I would much rather have a decent server that simply takes my order and brings me my good food in an expedient manner.
Why would the board police take it away?
my two cents -- the best place I ever went had the most wonderfull staff. Romy, our waiter, was never there until you needed him. I aske him one time about it, and he said that he was trained in France and good wait persons should be inconspicuous, never hover around the table (it's too much like eavesdropping) but be on a constant lookout to be available when a patron looked like they wanted the waiter. He really was fabulous.
Oh, and the food was exquisite too!