Post # 1
Hello Bees –
There is an article in the Chicago Tribune today about a couple that brought an 8 month old baby to a very expensive restaurant, and the controvery that is surrounding it.
The restaurant that this happened at is called Alinea. It is a 3 star Michelein (sp?) restaurant. Reservations are made months in advance and it cost around $300/person. I’ve never been there before, but from my understanding they don’t have a “menu” per se, you order what they have for that day or month or whatever. It’s a very exclusive and obviously, expensive restaurant, but I talked to a few people that have been there that said the food is outstanding but you go more for the experience than anything.
So, the couple in the article brought their 8 month old baby because their babysitter cancelled at the last minute. Naturally, the baby started crying and a lot of patrons were upset. The couple was not asked to leave.
I don’t have kids of my own, but my FI runs his family’s restaurant, which is not in the same category as Alinea, but it’s not Chilli’s either. I’d say it’s a more upscale restaurant. They allow kids but generally you don’t see a lot of kids on Friday and Saturday nights, or if you do, it’s earlier in the evening.
I feel for the couple in question. If they had these reservations for months and their babysitter canceled, if I was in their position I might take the baby too. On the other hand, I feel for those other patrons that also waited months for their reservations, many of which I’m sure had to arrange for their own babysitters for an evening to themselves, and wanted to get away for a few hours without a screaming baby disturbing them.
What do you think?
Post # 3
We take DD to Red Robin and other ‘family’ restaurants, but anything nicer than, say… Maggianos or Metling Pot- NOPE. Kid is staying home.
Post # 4
ButterflyButterfly my FI runs a restaurant too! His is definitely fine dining and you don’t see children often but people definitely bring children to the restaurant. I don’t really see the issue if the child is behaved (obviously you can’t help an 8 month old from crying) and the parents don’t let the children behave badly (e.g. running around, throwing food, screaming incessantly)
Post # 5
Typically, I would say no it’s not appropriate to take a baby to a nice restaurant, not at that level anyway, people are paying a FORTUNE for their food AND the experience. If you DO find yourself in the situation they did, and your baby cannot calm down, it’s your responsibility to go outside until you can fix the situation.
Honestly taking children to restaurants as a whole has rules. Even if you go to Red Robin, allowing your children to run wild like banshee’s isn’t acceptable.
Post # 6
@ButterflyButterfly: If your babysitter cancels, you just don’t go. It’s a restaurant – a luxury restaurant at that. Not somewhere that you HAVE to be, and it’s one of the sacrifices you have to make when you have children.
When DH and I have kids (if we have them), we are going no fancier than Pizza Hut until the kid gets to an age where they understand what “STFU” means. We refuse to be “that” couple/family with the screaming infant at a fancy restaurant.
Post # 7
If I am paying that much and have to listen to a crying baby I would totally walk out. Fancy restaurants aren’t for kids, try applebees or mcdonald’s. I like kids but sometimes you need quiet time.
Post # 8
I would take a newborn but probably not an 8 month old because 8 month olds have a schedule and are harder to calm down and would probably want to sit/eat at the table. A newborn sleeps a lot, could stay in their car seat carrier and probably would only cry to be fed/changed. There is a fancy restaurant like that around here and there is a cancellation fee of $50 per person for cancelling within 24 hours, I wouldn’t want to pay $100 and not get to have my date night either. I would look into other babysitting situations like a neighbor or friend, but in the end, its the couple’s call if the restaurant doesn’t have a policy about kids.
Post # 9
Assuming it’s prepaid and reservations can’t just be moved and I can’t be refunded, I’d suck it up and take the kid. But if it starts fussing, the kid needs to be taken outside. In general though, no. I mean, if I’m paying that kinda money for a meal, I want to enjoy it wihtout having to tend to my baby too!
Post # 10
No way! No babies at nice restaurants.
But I can also understand that they’d already paid the $470, and didn’t want to lose that money! So I can totally understand why they did it.
Post # 11
@ButterflyButterfly: I will be honest, I don’t have any kids yet, but eating in restaurants where kids are present can drive me crazy. I’m more forgiving if it is a more casual/family place like Friendly’s or Applebees…but if it’s Saturday night, DH and I are dressed up and looking for a night out at a nicer retaurant, I don’t want to see or hear your toddler. In MOST cases, if you can afford to eat out, you can afford a sitter. If your babysitter cancels, then reschedule for another night.
Post # 12
It should be up to the restaurant.
Post # 13
@ButterflyButterfly: Totally depends on the baby. I don’t know that I’d ever take a baby to a $300 a plate retaurant, just because I’d need to relax and enjoy it, but a lesser but still really nice place? Sure, if the baby was well behaved. As a baby I was super calm and easy. My parents took me everywhere- plays, concerts, nicer restaurants. My sister, on the other hand, was a terror. It was embarrassing taking her to a fast food place, much less anything nicer. So to me, it depends far more on the child than the circumstances.
Post # 14
@ButterflyButterfly: So if a child is well-behaved, I see no issue. A baby certainly cannot be reasoned with to be quiet but does cry when needed because that’s just what babies due (hey, can’t stop nature!). I would expect parents to tend to any disruptive child. This includes taking time away from the table and dining room to soothe or reprimand the child.
I was in a Thai restaurant over the wekend with my friend. There was a snotty 3 or 4 year old doing the whiny-crying routine for 10 minutes. If that was my kids, I’d haul his ass out of there, smack him, let him cool down and then, IF and ONLY IF he was capable of behaving, would we return to the dining room.
Regardless of price point, a misbehaving person or child can ruin any meal, movie, airplane ride, etc.
Where’s the “eject” button?
Post # 15
Oh god I would NEVER. I hate taking DD places where she might make a scene, because it comlpetely ruins the experience for ME. I spend the whole time worrying about if/when she’s going to go off. So I wouldn’t even enjoy myself at that fancy restaurant, while simultaneously ruining everyone else’s experience!
I agree with @DaneLady that I’d only take her somewhere where loud children are kind of expected.
Post # 16
I would generally say that no, they shouldnt be taken to those kinds of restaurants. I understand them taking her though, because of their sitter canceling. If I was them, I would have taken her to the restroom or car until she calmed down.