Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Babies R Us

January 22, 2014

I recently heard a news story about a high end restaurant chef tweeting about the appropriateness of taking children to expensive restaurants. I so enjoy trying new restaurants and different cuisines. It is an activity I look forward to whether here at home or when I travel. I love to read about new places and dishes. Going out to eat is one of my most favorite pastimes.

I HAD to look up the details of this story. The restaurant, Alinea, is in Chicago. It looks fabulous. Pretentious, but fabulous. If you are a foodie look it up. It's amazing. Dinners are $210 per person. AND you have to purchase tickets months in advance. You can not cancel without forfeiting the money for the dinner. Definitely not a place for children, especially 3 month olds. This particular couple had babysitter issues at the last minute so they brought the infant with them. Apparently said infant was unhappy throughout the meal and cried loudly. So loudly that the kitchen staff could hear them in the back.

I have lots of sympathy for that couple. Having kids is HARD WORK. It involves SACRIFICE. And other things I won't mention here as this is not a childrearing post. It is terrible that your big evening was going to be ruined by babysitter problems. Let me clue you into something....lots of evening will be ruined by many issues involving your new addition. And not just evenings, but days and nights as well. But to inflict this on the other diners who were out for a special night is just rude and insensitive. Not to mention stupid.

The chef did not ask this particular couple to leave but put the problem out on Twitter. I think there should be a policy in such a high end, expensive place. No children under age 12? 13? What do you think? And before you say that children should be exposed to all kinds of dining experiences, I totally agree. But the line has to be drawn somewhere. If I'm in a family restaurant a little rambunctiousness is fine. I love to talk to kids, they are great. In fact I love them a lot more now since they are not returning home with me! But if I've gotten myself all dressed up to enjoy a QUIET, adult dinner in an expensive restaurant I don't want to hear a screaming baby or put up with a toddler running around my table. Just saying.

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