Rant: Let's Bring Back The Dress Code

Leslie Kelly

Hey dude! Yes, you. The guy in shorts and T-shirt and flip flops walking through the Metropolitan Grill dining room carrying a bottle of electric blue Gatorade: Get a clue and put on a nice outfit, huh?

Seriously, the Met is one of the few places in Seattle where people dress up, especially on a Saturday night and you look as if you’re heading to a Grand Theft Auto marathon. Please!

Yes, I get it. There’s no restaurant in this city with a dress code. Jacket and tie required are a thing of the ancient past, and I’m going to come off like a T-Rex in this rant, but the sight of that gentleman looking a hot mess sure got me fired up. Without spiraling into full-on “what’s the world coming to?” mode, I’d like to suggest that some restaurants adopt a dude-free dining policy. No shorts, no slippers, no wearing your company’s badge to complete your look. People! Show a little decorum.

The Gatorade-toting guy wasn’t the only way under-dressed character I spotted that evening. Fortunately, those sightings were balanced by the many tables occupied by those embracing the idea of dressing for dinner, as well as a virtually flawless meal. I was the guest of a Met regular, who’d been invited to sneak preview a really cool new wine-pairing program the restaurant is rolling out soon.

The soon-to-launch pairing program showcases the mad skills of master sommelier Thomas Price, who pours customs flights from the Met’s spectacular cellar based on what each diner orders.

Price, looking ultra-dapper in a tux, asks a few questions about palate preferences “Do you prefer Old World or New? Rich reds or something lighter?” and then makes some stellar selections. Our two top gave the master free rein to choose and the marriage of food and wine was bliss. Almond-crusted scallops and DeLille’s 2011 Chaleur blanc, plus the ’09 Gaja Ca'Marcanda Magari and medium rare rib eye were the most memorable matches.

The premium flight is $65 per person, while the elite flight is $85 apiece. Not cheap by any stretch. But this is a splurge-y place and those flights are going to take you to some incredible highs.

After that last sip of Italian dessert wine and while enjoying the final bite of cherries jubilee, I had nearly forgotten about the dude.

I get it. We live in a super chill city, a wonderful spot on the map where many embrace Casual Fridays 24/7. Still, I’m going to make a plea to the sloppy set: If you’re going out to a special occasion kind of place, could you please put on a pair of pants? And leave the Gatorade in the car, man.