Toddlers and Toques: Should Fine Dining Restaurants in Dallas Ban Children?

Tall toques and toddlers: good or bad idea?

Lots of chinwagging taking place in the webosphere. Fine dining restaurants, such as this place in Pennsylvania, are banning children under six years of age. I tend to dine early and have witnessed children who squeal and squirm while their parents sip wine and attempt to enjoy a fine meal. I believe it is a good practice to take children into fine dining restaurant. It’s important to learn manners at an early age. The only time it chaps my sass is when the parents don’t reprimand their misbehaving offspring or take charge of the situation. Take this recent example from a loyal Disher.

Jump for the shrilling report.

So I went to a restaurant because it is intimate, romantic, and adult. So why were there two tables with three year old (or younger) kids? One table was dining early – and they only had one child which was very, very well behaved. But about halfway through our meal (7:30ish) two couples came in with their two toddlers and were seated in the dining room. One mom whips out a bag of cooked, plain spaghetti and plops some on each kid’s bread plate, then another bag appears with sliced fruit. One kid won’t share the apple, the moms are trying to work it out, the dad’s are oblivious, or ignorant, continuing their conversation with their heads bent down, One kid wants out of her high chair, badly, and mom’s trying to coax her to stay, in the meantime sticky spaghetti is falling from the plate onto the floor. Every mom’s nightmare – it doesn’t work – and the kid erupts with about 6 shrill LOUD screams.

The dining room stops. The older couple seated to our left have sunk about a foot lower in their chairs, grasping their wines glasses with whitened knuckles. The parents glance over and with embarrassed shrugs kind of throw out an I’m sorry in the general direction of everyone else. The dads just smile, nod, and continue their discussion, going back to ignoring the moms and kids.

Yow. Zah. What is the solution? I think it should be left up to the parents. If I were one, I wouldn’t be happy if my kids were banned from restaurants. I’m still waiting to be able to take my dog to the French Room.