Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2008 09:11 am
TO Jenny Moon, the whole business of giving menus to women before men, taking orders from women before men and clearing women’s plates first just didn’t make sense, not in the East Village in 2008.
Although the goal in many public places and in much of public life is to treat men and women equally, most upscale restaurants haven’t reached that point.

Then again they haven’t really tried all that hard. They’ve learned that ignoring gender is risky, and often foolish, because men and women approach and respond to restaurants in different ways, looking for different things.

A broad generalization? Absolutely. It’s also nowhere near as true as it once was.

Certain musty rites " chivalrous from one perspective, chauvinistic from another " have faded or disappeared. It’s a rare restaurant that gives menus without prices to women dining with men. And most restaurants no longer steer the “ladies” toward the banquette, assuming they want to face out toward the room.
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Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2008 09:20 am
“Women are looking for somewhere comfortable,” Mr. Batali said. “Men are looking for somewhere to show off.”

A man is more likely to care about being greeted rapturously and treated like an insider, according to the restaurateurs and servers I interviewed.
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2008 09:26 am
My husband and I went to an upscale restaurant in California during the 1970s. The waiter brought two menus. My husband's menu had the prices, mine didn't. I became very irritated and asked for a menu with prices. The waiter said he couldn't do that because it was against the rules and was the custom. I asked to speak to the owner. I told him that if I didn't get a menu with prices, I would write a letter to the editor of our local newspaper about their rule. I got the priced menu. We returned to the restaurant several months later and everyone got priced menus.


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Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2008 09:28 am
Women more often ask if a menu has leaner, healthier options. Men more often ask if they can get a decent steak. Laughing
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2008 09:32 am
Restaurateurs I interviewed noted that more men than ever veer toward salads, and that low-carbohydrate diets have nudged more women toward generous cuts of red meat.
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Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2008 09:51 am
Look forward to reading the article. (I have to pick my football teams for the week first...)
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Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2008 02:13 pm
I 've run the fine dining special interest group for NY Mensa
for the last 30 years. I choose the restaurants. Some of the
maître d's have gotten to know me and are friendly within reason
in greeting me upon arrival, but nothing untoward.
I don 't go for that rapturous frenzy of greeting,
or whatever it said in the article. That never became a problem.

I have never seen any of my members endeavor to show anything off.
That just never came up.

What I care about in selecting a restaurant
is burgeoning gastronomic hedonism in congenial circumstances
with decent table service, conveniently situate with a good parking lot.

The Pastry Chef shoud be a successfully creative artist,
channeling down abstract beauty like lightning from the higher planes,
sculpting & molding it into multiple ecstasys of euphoric elation.
The confection shoud be fraught with ultrasybaritic flavors
rendered in ineffable symphonies of smooth, creamy texture
and set forth with flawless symmetry of form and color,
ultimating in intra-oral novas of superhedonic glory; too much was still not enuf.

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Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2008 04:28 am
Women more often ask if a menu has leaner,
healthier options. Men more often ask if they can get a decent steak.

Guys r from Mars; chicks r from Venus ?
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Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2008 09:33 am
Interesting article. I've had that happen to me, too, where I ordered the wine but the bottle was shown to my husband, plenty of times. Didn't bother me, though. And I never notice who gets served first. I'll have to take a look if I ever get out of this godforsaken camp.
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Merry Andrew
Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2008 10:15 am
Shakespeare wrote a play about this once. Much Ado About Nothing. (But I am enjoying ehBeth's little ripostes.)
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