chez panisse attire?
One of the few things I miss about the east coast is that people often dress up a bit for dinner.
My partner and I are headed to Chez Panisse Friday evening for dinner and I'm curious to know the appropriate attire. While we aren't celebrating any specific event, this will be a special night out for us, and I do like to dress up.
Do men commonly wear jackets? Dresses for women? Any suggestions or experience would be much appreciated!
One evening while parking near the Gourmet Ghetto I saw an unusual sight for me. A couple, he coat and tie, she dressy dress. As I assumed, they were going to Chez Panisse. It happens. If it make you feel good, do it. Do not, however, be surprised at what other people consider proper dinner attire at a world renowned restaurant.
It seems like people dress according to the occasion, at least downstairs. I usually see jackets and dresses, sometimes a tie, full suits not so much...full wall street suits, I've never noticed.. As mentioned, if you think you should dress up, you should. You won't be out of place. Upstairs in the cafe is where you'll see a wider variation of dress.
Please notice that the downstairs vibe is far more formal than the upstairs vibe; OP, you don't mention which you're going to.
I would feel uncomfortable there without a jacket, but I've been with people in simple collar shirts. I think I asked my girlfriend to put on regular slacks instead of jeans, but that's berkeley.
CP downstairs is about as formal as it gets around here. French Laundry, Gary Danko, Masa's, what else would be on folks' list?
When I went to the downstairs, I wore khakis, a nice collared shirt, dress shoes and a nice sweater. I did not feel underdressed.
However, like many have said, if you wore a suit, you would not be overdressed. So it's all personal preference.
I personally would not wear jeans, shorts, t-shirts or sneakers.
What I liked about Chez Panisse is that despite being one of the fancier restaurants I've ever eaten in, it did not feel pretentious at all. I didn't feel like anyone there was judging or even noticing what I was wearing. It's all about good service and good food.
re: Dave MP
To clarify - we went to the downstairs restaurant, not the upstairs cafe. I ended up wearing a dress and my partner wore a collared shirt, khakis and a navy sport coat. We were on the dressier side, but not alone - many other men wore jackets, though I don't believe I saw any tweeds with sueded elbow patches :)
I agree with Dave MP - there was no feeling of pretentiousness, and the food and service were excellent. We really enjoyed our evening.