Michelin-star restaurant Alinea launches debate on baby ban, creates stir among parents

When a Michelin-starred chef took to Twitter to complain about a crying baby in his restaurant, more than a few feathers were ruffled, as the twitterverse went on a debate about banning babies in fine dining establishments. The debate has divided the Twittersphere into several different camps: those who side with Achatz; those who sympathize with parents; and those who complain about the complaining. Chef Grant Achatz started the discussion with his tweet that read, “Tbl brings 8mo.Old. It cries. Diners mad. Tell ppl no kids? Subject diners 2crying? Ppl take infants 2 plays? Concerts? Hate saying no, but…”

According to a report by Good Morning America, the couple had no choice but to bring their baby to his high-end, triple-Michelin-starred restaurant Alinea Saturday when their sitter canceled at the last minute. And when you’ve already dished out a non-refundable $265 a person! Unfortunately for them, their eight-month-old infant wasn’t too impressed either and broke out into fits of restless crying that could be heard all the way in the kitchen, usually a hushed and hallowed space at Alinea.
So what is your take on the issue, now dubbed ‘Babygate’ by pundits. While some parents agree that taking an eight month old to a restaurant like Alinea is a tad bit out of order – after all why ruin their own experience of the restaurant others disagreed saying it was an odd case and a ban would be too aggressive.

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As a parent-to-be, I’ve already started to redraw several social boundaries for the sheer lack of more ‘fine’ options for parents out there. I for one wouldn’t by choice take my baby to a restaurant that doesn’t have high chairs and chicken fingers on the menu but not at the cost of losing out on a couple of hundred dollars. Chef Achatz – also a parent, said in an interview with Good Morning America, that there is nothing wrong in exposing children to the restaurant experience as long as his other guests are not robbed of their experience at Alinea but would he have refunded the distraught diners their money? Or rescheduled them easily to another reservation? According to Alinea’s unique booking system – not quiet so, which may have been the reason for the dinner date plus one, after all?
Parents with little children already restrict their social gatherings on many levels (smoke-free, loud music-free) and to be further subject to a ‘ban’ on some restaurants does sound harsh. Maybe a few private dining rooms are in order, Chef Achatz – than dissing your guests on social media?

[Via – Luxuo]