Following Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s decision to peel back the dress code for Senate members, Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman has decided to take full advantage, sporting hooded sweatshirts and athletic shorts in one of the most powerful places in the world. As a result, New York Post reporter John Levine decided to see if that same dress code would fly in some of the nicest restaurants in The Big Apple.
It turned out that Levine was barred from gaining entry at Daniel on the Upper East Side, where a seven-course tasting menu runs about $275. A maître d said that he “would not be permitted here.” The New York Post report noted that the restaurant seemed to demonstrate “more common sense than Congress.”
The maître d at Daniel confessed that she did not even know who Fetterman was. She added that the establishment has “turned away guests for being improperly dressed regardless of their occupation.”
The next stop for Levine was Le Bernardin, where a maître d named Julien reportedly said that there was “[n]o athletic wear” allowed at the establishment. The Post reported that even though the three-Michelin-starred dining room is reservation only, walk-ins are still allowed access to the casual lounge, but not if they are dressed as Levine was.
Le Bernardin’s wine director, Aldo Sohm, said that jackets and pants were on loan to those those who did not seem capable of reading the room.
The double-Michelin star Jean-Georges near Columbus Circle, which has a 10-course tasting menu that costs around $368, said that they would not allow anyone inside who was wearing shorts. The dress code at the establishment reportedly would not allow jeans, sneakers, or sweatshirts.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s Lady Gaga,” one employee said. A second employee was so stunned by Levine’s stunt that she was reportedly not able to finish her sentence, saying: “I’ve never had anyone come in dressed like…”
However, the report did confirm that Levine was able to use the restroom.
Levine’s stunt was meant to draw out the absurdity of a sitting senate member being allowed to wear shorts and a hoodie.
A letter, signed by 46 GOP senators, stated: “Allowing casual clothing on the Senate floor disrespects the institution we serve and the American families we represent. We the undersigned members of the United States Senate write to express our supreme disappointment and resolute disapproval of your recent decision to abandon the Senate’s longstanding dress code for members, and urge you to immediately reverse this misguided action.”
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