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Feb 2, 2009 10:19 AM

Music Industry Dinners

Hi all,

This is my first post on Chowhound so I apologize in advance for any lack of standard etiquette.

I work in the music industry and thus from time to time find myself dining out with artists and their entourages. I often have trouble in New York finding high-end, fashionable restaurants where jeans, sneakers and other items in the average artist's closet are not just barely tolerated but respected and welcomed. Sushi is somewhat easier, as many of the better Japaneses restaurants forego the dress code, but I would really appreciate your suggestions with regard to casual but upscale Italian, Thai/Pan-Asian, and French (oxymoronic as that may be) cuisine in the city. Downtown is strongly preferred, and chains should be avoided if possible.

Thank you in advance, and I am really looking forward to your suggestions!

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  1. I'm not trying to be snarky, but are you saying that these artists and their entourage don't own any nice slacks or shoes other than sneakers? I actually think that in some higher end restaurants, the sneakers would be more of an issue than the jeans, especially if worn with a jacket, which some think is "fashionable." That said...

    I recall one occasion when we were having dinner at Cafe Boulud (one of our favorites), the party seated at a table near ours included a young man dressed in jeans, a sweater and sneakers. C.B. is, of course, not downtown and though there is no dress code, most of its UES clientele tend to dress up a bit, i.e., the gentlemen prefer jackets. But in the case I described, dressing way down was not a hindrance. And that was well before the current economic situation.

    Even if they are wearing jeans (nice ones, of course!), if they ditch the sneakers in favor of closed shoes, I think they would be welcomed at Eleven Madison Park, Gramercy Tavern, and Union Square Cafe.

    1. I actually find that most NYC restaurants these days are quite lax in the dress code. I went to an upscale italian restaurant on Friday in sneakers and a hoodie.

      @RGR: While I'm sure the artists own nicer clothes, they probably just prefer to dress in public to protect their image (whether it be baggy jeans or skinny jeans)

      For upscale french, maybe Les Halles on Park Ave South? Not downtown enough? Try Tribeca Grill - Drew Nieporent and Robert De Niro co-own. Italian perhaps Da Silvano on 6th Avenue by Houston, or Crispo on West 14th Street. Might I also recommend Churasscara Plataforma. Its a brazillian steakhouse in Tribeca (and midtown west) that for some reason I think a musician and his entourage might like so long as they aren't vegetarians. (I'm thinking more of a hip-hop/ rap artist than punk rock though)

      1. L'Artusi
        Malatesta Trattoria

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. Lupa
            Little Owl
            Market Table
            Da Silvano

            1 Reply
            1. re: stephaniec25

              Not only Lupa, but I would think Babbo would be fine, too. Batali is all about informality.