I have eaten at Union League Cafe about five times now. When I first read about ULC I heard about how it is hi-brow and intimidating. That, not to mention the prices.
Yes, you are required to wear a sports coat (no ties required). Yes, you are allowed to take it off, once there. I have done it twice! I have actually walked around without my jacket on. It IS a place full of middle-agers and old farts. Some Yalies eat there every evening!
The servers tend to be older men who occasionaly seem a litlle frustrated and impatient with the noveau riche or the uninitiated. They might roll their eyes or they might actually have a good sense of humor about someone's lack of sophistication and/or lack of knowledge of French wines.
But, OMG, the food! It can be heavenly, rich and orgasmic. That's how it was for us Monday night. And the old building and the room with marble columns and stained glass windows is spectacular architecture. What a great room.
The only thing I could complain about (as if I have to) was our bar waiter thinking that all of wanted another round when only I asked for another scotch. Two in our party "forced" themselves to drink another round. The spectacular bathroom sink with an expansive marble surface had a coating of soap on it on one side from people using the soap dispenser and trailing it back to the sink. This created a white film on the coppery marble. I was surprised at that.
So, to those that have passed on ULC because of its reputation: save your dough, buck-it-up and go. It won't kill you, though you might think you have died and gone to heaven!