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Bad News for Restaurant Critics

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If you saw the New York Times dining section yesterday, you saw Florence Fabricant’s story on how fancy restaurants are dressing down. “All around town,” she writes, “bare tables have shed snowy linen, customers’ shirttails are hanging out as ties and jackets are left in the closet, flip-flops replace Ferragamo . . . Even hotel dining is no longer the bastion of gleaming silver, tuxedoed waiters and elaborate folderol.” This is highly alarming: How are I and my fellow critics going to secretly take notes if there is no tablecloth under which to take them? But it’s true–and in Texas there is no better evidence than the recent opening of super-posh Fearing’s at the Ritz-Carlton Dallas (pictured). No tablecloths! (Well, one teeny formal dining room has linens, but not the rest.) And the swank Mansion on Turtle Creek, also in Dallas, which is remodeling its dining rooms as we speak, will shed its linens. Watch for the reopening in early to mid-November. Sign o’ the times.

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