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Should kids be welcome in high-class restaurants?

Posted by Claire | Thursday May 13, 2010 1 comment
Candlelight. A jazz pianist playing softly in the corner. The gentle clink of wineglasses filled with a vintage worth more than your next car payment.

And then the hostess seats a family of 4 at the table beside you. Are you horrified?

A recent article in the New York Times (via CNN) is drawing heat for giving the nod to high-end NYC-area restaurants that not only deign to allow younger patrons entry, they even cater to them.

A kiddie menu listed below your Chateaubriand and escargot? Not likely! you huff. After all, for what you're paying, you shouldn't have to deal with squirming and whining.

And yet, as the article points out, is it inherently inappropriate to bring your children out to a fancy restaurant? I know many a youngster with better table manners than off-colour-joke-telling, cellphone-mashing loudmouth business types (disclaimer: my kids are not among them), and am the first to support parents who try to expose their kids to new cuisine and exciting experiences.

Would you boycott a restaurant that welcomes younger guests? Or do you give props to businesses who would fill the void of family-friendly establishments that offer more than chicken fingers?
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1 Comment

on August 06, 2010  Schmoopie  794 said:

I'd have to say that I'm of two minds about this particular subject. While I love kids and find them highly entertaining to watch and interact with, I can't say that I would be really thrilled to be seated near a family with really small children at a very high class restaurant. I'd have no objection if the children were well behaved but I'd definately have a problem with parents who have not taught their kids the proper way to behave in a restaurant, be it a 5 star restaurant or even a McDonald's or Burger King. I have seen those kinds of parents before and I always steer clear if at all possible. Anyone acting disruptive in a restaurant, be it a child or adult, can ruin the evening of the adjacent diners in that restaurant. The more expensive the restaurant, the more important this issue becomes. If my very expensive dinner was ruined by parents who let their children get away with bad manners and bad behaviour, I would definately have something to say about it.

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