On our anniversary trip this year, Will and I opted to go for the mid-week special that our bed and breakfast offered. For an additional $75, we would get a lunch and a dinner added to our stay, with all the details worked out for us.
The following day was the dinner and we were instructed to show up at a place called Downey's at 7 o'clock in the evening. We figured on a similar sort of experience--nice, but casual. Let's do the math: if we paid $75 extra for the two meals and subtracted $35 for the lunch, there should be about $40 left for dinner. Maybe a little more, since it was the "special" and all. Nice, but casual.
Will is wearing a black t-shirt, I am carrying an enormous handbag. And just like that we walked right into one of Santa Barbara's finest four-star restaurants. Who knew.
The meal was fabulous, with lots of delicious courses which, seriously, took three hours to get through. There was a cheese course involved--a whole part of the meal set aside specifically to eat cheese (hello!)--and some seriously incredible desserts. Our seventeen waiters were very nice and I think there was one person who had the single job of refolding napkins when people got up to use the restroom. Both times that I went off to pee (three hours of drinking wine and coffee!), my napkin was refolded all fancy-like before I got back to the table.
Our $50 estimate was dead-off, with the tip alone being practically that much. And, yet, nobody even blinked an eye at the flip-flops. While plenty of people were wearing suit jackets, one guy had on a hippie shirt and another was wearing a bright shirt with a fish pattern.
People, if you want to drink $100 bottles of wine in your Tommy Bahama clothing, California is totally where it's at.