There's been quite the furor in Chicago this past week. Briefly, a young couple took their 8 month old baby to a very fancy restaurant, where it appears it may have cried (fact not quite established), some diners complained and the chef, instead of handling the situation one way or the other, Tweeted about it. You can read a good synopsis here.
Well. As you can imagine, the Twitterverse blew up, and national TV stations here have been discussing the issue. The poor couple apparently had a babysitter lined up who canceled at the very last minute. Alinea, the restaurant, has a very strange reservation policy where you buy a non-refundable ticket rather than simply booking a table. Basically, you pay your $250 up front, and if you can't go for any reason, you lose that money. Oh, and, there's no mention of babies or small children not being allowed in the restaurant.
Not surprising then that the couple took the baby. Personally I can't think of anything more stressful than taking a small baby to a fine dining place but each to her own.
Many people are saying that the couple were completely out of line, ruining the dining experience for everyone else there. (Bear in mind that you're paying upwards of that $250 - per person - for this meal.) One of them should have taken the baby outside, etc. etc. (How many times have we all had to do that?)
You know who I'm blaming? The chef. Had he had the spine to deal with the situation in the first place, perhaps asking the parents to take the baby out until it had calmed down, feathers wouldn't have been so ruffled. But to start Tweeting about it? (He claims he was trying to find out what the other diners were thinking.) The chef has over 82,000 Twitter followers. What did he think was going to happen?
I'm just waiting for some keen reporter to discover the identity of the couple - who can then claim "defamation" or similar ad actually benefit from this debacle.