Alinea / Lara Kastner

Crying Baby Disrupts Fancy Restaurant, Debate Ensues

A couple brought in their crying baby to 3-star Chicago restaurant Alinea, much to the dismay of fellow diners and some online commenters.

By Andrew Mitrisin | January 14, 2014

​What do you do when the babysitter cancels? Well, Chicago chef Grant Achatz shared his thoughts on the matter and sparked an Internet debate.

Achatz, the famous chef at the 3 star restaurant Alinea, tweeted this… “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..”

The couple who brought the 8-month-old child claims their babysitter canceled at the last minute.

Here’s how Alinea dealt with the disturbance...

ACHATZ: “The general manager approached the table, asked the party if they wouldn’t mind stepping out into the foyer.”

When the couple causing the disturbance finished dinner and left, many guests complained to the restaurant. Achatz’s restaurant, Alinea, isn’t really considered family friendly.

Alinea was selected as the 15th best restaurant in the world by Restaurant Magazine’s “World’s 50 Best,” and was given “Chef’s Choice” award, voted on by the “50 Best” chefs.

Guests pay between $210 and $265 per seat, not including drinks, and often wait months for a reservation.

The crying baby story led to tons of social commentary as many online people weighed in on the issue.

Scott Manlin writes we can barely enjoy a 30 minute stretch, w/o crying, during dinner at home with a newborn, let alone Alinea. Not appropriate!!”

Robert Alexander tweeted everyone seems to be addressing the sitter issue. Why not maintain a restaurant policy governing disruptive people? Does it exist?”

PARENT1: “How often does it happen? Just be patient and laugh it off.

PARENT2: “I don’t think a chef can say you can’t allow kids, especially if it’s a newborn baby.”

Most commenters were less sympathetic towards the couple with the kid.

“There isn't really anyone who thinks bringing a baby to Alinea is a good idea, right?” says @LuckyPeach.

Achatz later tweeted this photo with the caption “Definitely not baby food.”

Here’s to hoping the babysitter doesn’t cancel on you.

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