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Babies at Fancy Restaurants

Do Kids Have a Place at Fine-Dining Restaurants?

There are two types of parents — those who rely on a sitter for everything — from an early dinner with friends to a trip to the grocery store — and those who tote their babies here, there, and everywhere (OK, there's a healthy middle ground, too). One Chicago family took being a part of the latter category to the extreme this past Saturday night when their 8-month-old accompanied them to Alinea, one of the most buzzed-about (and superupscale) foodie destinations in the country.

Later that night, Grant Achatz, the restaurant's chef, tweeted the following: "Tbl bring 8mo.Old. It cries. Diners mad. Tell ppl no kids? Subject diners 2crying? Ppl take infants 2 plays? Concerts? Hate saying no, but.."

Since voicing his concern to the social media world, Achatz has sparked a national conversation (and even inspired the Twitter handle @AlineaBaby, whose profile reads "I'm a baby who likes fine food, fine drinks, and crying.")

We love that the acclaimed chef has taken such a good-natured approach to the controversy, tweeting out a photo of a duo of fish heads stuffed with crustaceans with the caption "Definitely not baby food... @AlineaBaby."

One thing to note about Alinea is that it's not your standard Saturday night date destination. Dinner runs a hefty $210-$265 per person, which includes 18 courses (yes, you read that right). The average evening at Alinea lasts about three hours.

So what do you think? Were these parents completely out of line? Or do you think that they paid for the right to treat their dining experience as they wished? Weigh in in our poll below!

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NicoleGermana NicoleGermana 3 years
I don't bring my child anywhere if I'm not okay leaving that place on a moment's notice. And I definitely wouldn't be okay leaving a $250 dinner! I think they should have expected the baby to act up (an awfully long time for an 8 month old to be in a baby-unfriendly place) and acted accordingly.
eleanorbeebe eleanorbeebe 3 years
I agree with writer VyVo13649...They should be allowed at a restaurant until they act up. I have even left Mcdonalds when my child has become fussy. What happen to training our children to be good guests?
HaleyLeos HaleyLeos 3 years
If you can afford $250+ per person for dinner, I think you can afford the extra $50 for a baby-sitter! My God, I hope the couple didn't split a bottle of wine before they drove home with baby in tow! If I were a patron of that restaurant I wouldn't mind until the baby acted up. Maybe they went late enough that it slept the whole time.
KimBlackburnHagan KimBlackburnHagan 3 years
There is a time and place for everything. If a person is goingto pay $200 or more a a meal they expect a certain quality. Unfortunately, taking a baby to an expensive upscale restaurant us not the place. Just like taking a baby to an opera, concert, or theatre'sIisn't appropriate also. As a mother myself iwwouldn't subject my children to that. Now a nice family restaurant is appropriate for family whereasan upscale rrestaurant may no be the right place.
VyVo1364962726 VyVo1364962726 3 years
It's just like the movies should be allowed to bring kids anywhere to show that you've properly trained them for the environment you're putting your kid in but the 2nd the kid cries, whines, or disturbs another patron (wherever you are), then get rid of the kid if you want to stay. That was the parents' risk if they want to waste $300 on a meal that they have to walk out on if their child gets fussy. If they're not willing to risk wasting good money on good food because their child may not behave, then don't put themselves in that situation. No one is making them go to a fine-dining eatery. But if they want to be parents, then it comes with sacrifice. Sorry! Can't have your cake & eat it too!
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