Yesterday, chef Parind Vora announced that he would open his new Restaurant Jezebel on Halloween, and that it would have a dress code, setting the stage for a comment shitstorm from diners who really, really resent being asked to wear a jacket at dinner. Writes one: "Thanks but no thanks. Uchiko has no problem with me dropping a $300 bill for two people as I eat in shorts and a button up."
And of course, the word "Dallas" was uttered, because all the world's bad fancy things are from Dallas: "Jackets required? Sorry but this is Austin, not Dallas." It wasn't long before Vora himself jumped in to defend his decision. He wrote, in part:
"To all. I moved to Austin & not anywhere else for a reason. We decided to go with a jacket required policy not because it's pretentious or a 'gamble' but because when you dress up for a night out where you spend the money we charge its is not about 'I do not want to wear a jacket & how dare you say I have to' but it is wearing a jacket because everyone in the room will notice that this was something they ALL 'got dressed up for' and will be even more anticipated and special. The entire experience is not about just food to be consumed but to truly 'dine'. In asking many of our regulars the consensus were for the jackets. People used to get dressed up to fly and you really felt elegant.... Now with people wearing sweats on the plane...not so much."It wasn't all jacket haters, though. Writes commenter KateM: "This pretentious "I'm too laidback/cool to worry about what I wear to Uchi" attitude is just another sign of sophomoric BS so prevalent in Austin. If you can afford to drop $80 on a bottle of wine, you can afford to put on your big boy pants for one night."
Chef Vora, in a jacket. Doesn't look so hard. [Photo: Courtesy of Braise]