On Friday night, my boyfriend and I had reservations at 21 Club. Despite the fact that their Restaurant Week menu was fairly hum-drum and of course didn’t include their $30 burger–which is really the whole point in going–we decided to give it a shot simply because it’s one of those classic New York City restaurants you always see in programs like “I Love Lucy” and in movies like Rear Window.
You’ll note that both of these examples are from the 50s and should have tipped us off as to what sort of attire would be required of us, yet neither of us thought a thing of it when Kamran donned a pair of perfectly-pressed dark blue jeans. Kamran’s a fashionable guy and is usually seen sporting anything from plain wool trousers to sensibly plaid slacks, so this departure into casual jeans was a welcome one.
As soon as we walked up to the door of 21 Club, I sensed that I didn’t belong. I’ve eaten plenty of expensive meals with Kamran at this point, but I still feel like an Ohio farmgirl, and I think it’s obvious where I come from with everything I say and do and wear. So when the coatcheck guy stopped us a foot inside the door, I wasn’t surprised. When he said Kamran was the reason we had to leave, I was shocked. Kamran asked if there were any exceptions to the no jeans rule, but he wasn’t holding any bribe money when he said it, so we were sent on our way.
Now, I’m all for restaurants that keep riffraff such as myself out for the enjoyment of other, richer patrons, but Kamran was lookin’ fiiiiiiiine that night in a navy-and-orange-checked button-down in honor of his Princeton alma mater and a navy sweater vest that I bought him as an early Valentine’s Day gift. If ever there was reason for exception, I think a navy blue sweater vest is that reason. You?
When I told my best friend, Tracey, the story of our sad restaurant rejection, she said, “Don’t they know who Kamran is?” No, no, they don’t.