Fancy Dinners and Crying Babies

Whee! had another post planned for you today, but this is a hot topic of conversation right now.

Do fancy dinners and crying babies mix? Not when social media gets involved! According to this article and lots of play on Twitter, Chef Grant Achatz publicly broached the question all parents ask themselves — usually while blushing in the middle of a lovely restaurant when their child transforms into something not-so-lovely! — and the responses were surprisingly heated.

His original tweet:

To give you some back story, the restaurant in question is Alinea, a Michelin-starred spot that charges $250 per person upfront to reserve a table. Does that detail matter? It does when the couple in question was set to lose $500 just because their babysitter cancelled!

Have you ever experienced a similar situation, whether from an embarrassed parent or an annoyed diner perspective? Has there been a time when you either sensed or were told outright that your children were not welcome in a particular restaurant? Were you understanding or outraged? Depending on where you live in the world, children are either welcomed with open arms and a kids menu, or the complete opposite, right?


In France, children are raised with such impeccable table manners — learning to eat with a fork in their left hand, and a knife in their right from age 2! — that I was always so nervous about taking our big circus of a family to French restaurants. But we worked hard on our table etiquette as a family and ended up eating out freely. Still, even with great table manners, in our little town, restaurants were either considered family friendly and kids were welcome, or they were fancier and with few exceptions, we simply didn’t see kids there at all. (As I type this, it occurs to me, that divide doesn’t sound too different from New York.)

I can’t wait to hear your own stories and opinions!

Miss Manners


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Jeannie is a graduate of St. Paul Collage of Visual Arts, accomplished mixed media artist, published jewelry designer and Bead maker. She is the creator of the Echo Creative Club and the ever popular Do Over Challenge. When she is not creating art, she helps people live happy, healthy lives. HUGE De-stash Sale going on now. ALL proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders.
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2 Responses to Fancy Dinners and Crying Babies

  1. I think it’s less “no kids” or “no crying kids” and more parents whose kids are throwing unmitigated Temper Tantrums! I understand kids get tired, they want to move (they have *tons* of energy), & they want to play but playing isn’t allowed in restaurants unless you’re in McDonald’s playground. I get more irritated at parents who have a screaming mimi of a kid and they ignore it as if to say “he’ll quit when he runs out of air, ignore it.” No. He won’t. He’ll keep it up until he gets attention because that’s what they’ve taught him. Sadly, those are the very people who don’t think little Johnny/Suzy is a problem. People like you are concerned their kids have good manners and discerning diners can tell. It’s also, for the most part, those who won’t teach manners to their kids who are offended at the “No Kids Allowed” policy.

  2. Shai Williams says:

    I don’t have kids but I don’t mind them being in the more expensive restaurants if they have been taught how to act. When they are crying and acting up, it really is the fault of the parents for not teaching them table etiquette. So yes I feel that the parents should pack up and leave if their kids aren’t behaving rather then ruin the occasion for the other patrons.

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