Taking Our Kids To Fancy Restaurants-Should We?

So I don’t know if you had heard by now, (I am kind of late to the game for those who have, I know)  but one of our fellow fine dining establishments here in Chicago sparked a controversy that actually has been up for debate for quite some time.

This place is called Alinea, a five star restaurant that costs your first born to eat there (ok, not quite, but one month’s mortgage is more like it).

Well this couple had reservations there, and it is not easy to get in. Sometimes you have to make reservations a year in advance to get in here. It’s pretty fancy schmancy.

Apparently, the babysitter bailed last minute and the couple felt they had no choice but to bring their 8 month old, who was crying apparently the whole time, to the point where Grant Achatz, the famous owner of this place, took the debate to Twitter and asked if he should ban kids to his establishment or not.

This went viral and it even made it to Good Morning America. Every point of view was thrown out there you can think of.

I am blessed (knock on wood) to have a kiddo that is pretty good at restaurants, even some of the fancy ones. I did a post-birth baby shower at a restaurant so she has been going to restaurants since she was 2 months old. I do know that if she ever was to throw a fit or get antsy, I make sure I either remove her from the situation or try to give her something to occupy herself. This doesn’t always happen since she is pretty distracted with the fact that there are people and food around her. I have no idea why the couple didn’t do the same. Then again I wasn’t there.


Picky toddler up in here. But nonetheless,behaving like the good kiddo she is.

Picky toddler up in here. But nonetheless, behaving in a restaurant like the good kiddo she is.


I do see both points of the debate-why would anyone on earth bring a baby to such an expensive restaurant? And if I was taking a break with the hubs on a date and there was a wailing baby at the next table, I am not sure how I would react. I think the owner was feeling the same way because he has kids of his own. You feel for the parents, and as the media was saying, their babysitter canceled and they probably were waiting forever to get in this exclusive restaurant. I know how it is to finally plan a date night out and then when plans fall through you feel like the world is crashing on you because let’s face it, we love our kids but we REALLY have to step out once in awhile.

But then again, I can imagine the people there that also booked their reservations a year in advance only to be subjected to a screaming baby to disrupt their experience that they are probably not going to get again. Ouch.


What do you think? Should kids be banned from certain restaurants? Or should kids be sectioned off at least like on airplanes? Or would you not change a thing? Do you take your children to restaurants or no? Would love to hear your comments!





  1. I feel sorry for both the parties. I have come across a similar situation during my flight to India ( 16 hrs flight ) and kiddo kept on crying with a few breaks in between, by the time I got down at Bombay I was having a severe headache.
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  2. When others have kids at a fancy restaurant, I don’t mind. Personally, we tried taking our kids to fancy restaurants and it’s just not worth it. Even if they are well behaved, there’s still that anticipation of the possible meltdown or tantrum. The restaurant anticipates it, too, and we ended up once in a crappy table in the back. Often times those fancy restaurants take a LONG TIME to prepare the food. I’d rather just enjoy my meal, the ambience, and the company I’m with and get my money’s worth.
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    • Chi City Mom says:

      Yes usually it’s just me and the hubs heading out to a fancy restaurant for special occasions. We usually wing it when we take the kiddo out at a restaurant that is not that fancy. I do anticipate taking her out al fresco on Rush St one day though lol. At least out there she will blend in with the other noise haha.

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