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Babies/Children in Restaurants (merged topic)


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#121 Pan

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 06:19 AM

Yes, those damn blind people. They're a nuisance and should be dealt with.

I don't think that's the point, fresco. :laugh:

#122 fresco

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 06:23 AM

Yes, those damn blind people. They're a nuisance and should be dealt with.

I don't think that's the point, fresco. :laugh:

You're right, of course. The point was that dogs have keen hearing and was panning the concert. How obtuse of me. :wink:
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#123 fifi

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 06:28 AM



The French love affair with dogs is something that most anyone who's been to France has experienced - the way they feed excellent humans' food to their dog, who is sitting next to them, perhaps without a leash on. I have my doubts that dogs can appreciate haute cuisine better than a nice, juicy piece of raw meat, but who am I to tell people to stop anthropomorphising their pets?


On the whole, I think it is less harmful to treat one's pets as human than to treat one's infant offspring as adults.

In general, I would trust the behavior of one of my dogs in a social situation before I would have one of my infant to toddler children. :biggrin:
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#124 jess mebane

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 06:29 AM

[quote name='fresco' date='Dec 27 2003, 06:45 AM'] but who am I to tell people to stop anthropomorphising their pets?[/QUOTE]

On the whole, I think it is less harmful to treat one's pets as human than to treat one's infant offspring as adults. [/quote]
such a great word, but you can imagine Daffy Duck drowning in his own spit trying to thay it...

And, while I believe that civilization of youngsters isn't pretty and impossible to achieve in a vacuum, trust that I will only inflict mine upon those who are visiting a SYSCO-truck outpost during the hours of 4-5:30pm. I'd rather not be upstaged at a classier joint by my beautiful and terrible offspring, anyway.

#125 Mayhaw Man

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 06:33 AM

trust that I will only inflict mine upon those who are visiting a SYSCO-truck outpost during the hours of 4-5:30pm

This should be national policy. :laugh:
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#126 docsconz

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 06:59 AM

It seems that everyone agrees that unruly behavior by any person or animal should be dealt with posthaste so as to cause as minimal disruption of a high-end dining experience as possible. Where there seems to be disagreement on this board is the mere presence of a child of any age in a fine dining room. Whether one should be there or not IMO depends upon the circumstances and desires of the parent and child. An unruly or inconsiderate person shouldn't be there period, no matter the age, but if I want to bring my child, my child wishes to go and is up to the behavior necessary to be a fine diner, then I feel I have every right to bring him. I also feel that I have the responsibility, that should behavior not go according to expectations to remedy it by removing the offending situation as quickly as possible... even if my kids have to find another way home after finishing their meal :wacko: :laugh:
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#127 Louisa Chu

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 08:13 AM

Pan, I don't know if there is a minimum age for kids at ADPA. I'll find out. But of the two kids I've seen visiting the kitchen with their families, they looked about 8 or 9.

Fifi, I don't know the legalities of banning babies from restaurants in the States.

And why get me started about dogs in restaurants? Do I need to write the book about how my dog dines out in France? In cafes, etc., if the other dogs are wandering around and it's cool with the staff, then she wanders around too. But in one-stars and up - and Robuchon - she stays by my side. At Chez Clovis - one of the last surviving old-school Les Halles bistros - they encourage her to jump up on the banquettes; at Le Violon d'Ingres they bring her a beautiful and huge white ceramic terrine as a water bowl. But like I said she can't go with me to Ducasse - but she is going to Gagnaire.

#128 woodburner

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 08:34 AM

It seems that everyone agrees that unruly behavior by any person or animal should be dealt with posthaste so as to cause as minimal disruption of a high-end dining experience as possible. Where there seems to be disagreement on this board is the mere presence of a child of any age in a fine dining room. Whether one should be there or not IMO depends upon the circumstances and desires of the parent and child. An unruly or inconsiderate person shouldn't be there period, no matter the age, but if I want to bring my child, my child wishes to go and is up to the behavior necessary to be a fine diner, then I feel I have every right to bring him. I also feel that I have the responsibility, that should behavior not go according to expectations to remedy it by removing the offending situation as quickly as possible... even if my kids have to find another way home after finishing their meal :wacko: :laugh:

I agree doc, unfortunately dogs getting into this thread kind of shows a bit of "one up manship" that this country affords itself to, and the lack of respect, individuals have for others in fine dining.
Which brings us right back to the word "policy".

woodburner

#129 Pan

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 08:35 AM

Louisa, I sort of hope you don't feed your dog Pierre Gagnaire's cuisine. As I said before, I have to wonder whether a dog would prefer 3-star cuisine to a nice, juicy piece of raw meat - but honestly, I don't think dogs should get the chance to find out. Feeding dogs haute cuisine really rubs me the wrong way big time, but it is part of French culture, so when I'm in France, I accept it along with all of the things I love about France. And I think I'd better stop there for now. I'm sure if we started a thread on the place of customers' pets in restaurants (no place inside restaurants, as far as I'm concerned, though having well-behaved dogs in the outdoor parts of cafes doesn't bother me), we'd have a very vociferous argument on our hands.

#130 Mayhaw Man

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 08:44 AM

As the great philosopher W.C. Fields once said-"Any man who hates dogs and children can't be all bad." ...

While I love children (generally) and I am crazy about my dog (yellow lab, well behaved except for a propensity to sleep on unoccupied beds), I would rather dine with well behaved humans (regardless of age or national origin). :laugh:
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#131 NeroW

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 09:05 AM

The US seems to be full of parents who think that thay can have children and still lead the lives they had when they were single.

Not "seems to be." Is.
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#132 docsconz

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 09:08 AM

The US seems to be full of parents who think that thay can have children and still lead the lives they had when they were single.

Not "seems to be." Is.

Is this moreso in the US than in other countries within similar socio-economic situations? I doubt it.
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#133 hjshorter

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 09:13 AM

The US seems to be full of parents who think that thay can have children and still lead the lives they had when they were single.

Not "seems to be." Is.

Is this moreso in the US than in other countries within similar socio-economic situations? I doubt it.

Well, we haven't been able to afford a trip to Europe (or anywhere else for that matter) since our kids were born, so I can only speak about the US. :smile:
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#134 SobaAddict70

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 10:58 AM

Fifi, I don't know the legalities of banning babies from restaurants in the States.

Probably about as legal as banning babies from X-rated movie theaters or from underground sex clubs.

Which is to say, not illegal at all. But then again I'm not a lawyer -- I'm just a paralegal. :biggrin:

Any legal eggheads out there wanna weigh in on this one?

Soba

#135 beans

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 11:08 AM

I remember some sort of litigation from two women that were banned from entering a restaurant and bar where my friend was one of the managers. If I remember correctly, the owner of the establishment won. In this matter, these were two women that provoked a disturbance and were asked to leave.

Who would bring a suit on behalf of baby, infant or child for not being welcome in high end, fine dining? Would it be on behalf of that child's rights, by and through their parents? Or would it be on behalf of the parents' rights?

:wacko:

Boggles one's mind for such legal frivolity. (IMHO)



edited to clarify "frivolity"

Edited by beans, 27 December 2003 - 11:09 AM.


#136 WHT

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 11:14 AM

Is it true that you can't do a "no babies" policy in the US?

It might be considered to be politically incorrect to do so but you can. Under law you can refuse service to anyone as long as it is not based (in most states) on Race, sex, religion or country of origin. Studio 54 was a prime example of this.
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#137 fresco

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 11:22 AM

It may not be illegal, but it is, um, a motherhood issue. How many restaurants want to court notoriety by announcing they exclude ANY class of customer?
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#138 Bux

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 11:56 AM

I believe rhat by law children under a certain age are barred from attending the showing of X rated films.
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#139 WHT

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 12:08 PM

I believe rhat by law children under a certain age are barred from attending the showing of X rated films.

Yes the age is 18.
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#140 bleachboy

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 01:26 PM

Refusing service due to age (race, gender, etc) is probably not legal in the US. However, refusing service due to boorish behavior is, I bet, perfectly okay.

So if you want to bring your four-year-old and his hyperactive friend into Daniel, that should be allowed. But the second the child throws something, the whole party's out in the street. If I went into Daniel (at age 31) and started throwing shit around, I wouldn't expect to be welcome for very long.
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#141 tommy

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 01:36 PM

If I went into Daniel (at age 31) and started throwing shit around, I wouldn't expect to be welcome for very long.

although i agree, i think there's a difference between behavior that's acceptable for a 31 yearr-old and what's acceptable for a 4 year-old.

#142 bleachboy

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 01:46 PM

although i agree, i think there's a difference between behavior that's acceptable for a 31 yearr-old and what's acceptable for a 4 year-old.

No doubt about that.

I suppose what I meant by my post, but didn't properly articulate, was that the parents should be held responsible for their child's actions if they're bringing their child to a place where adult rules of conduct are expected to be enforced. That sends a clear message to the parents, which they will undoubtedly pass on to their children.

Similarly, we would hold the parents responsible if, say, the child set fire to the neighbor's Bentley.
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#143 docsconz

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 01:48 PM

Similarly, we would hold the parents responsible if, say, the child set fire to the neighbor's Bentley.

Ouch!
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#144 tommy

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 01:49 PM

all i know is i don't want to be the guy deciding that the kid has crossed the line and then ask the party to leave. additionally, i wouldn't want to be sitting in the same room where this is happening. sticky situation to say the least. all this talk of rules and policy is great, but i think we just have to all hope for the best in that people will make reasonable and rational decisions when it comes to bringing a child to and keeping the child at dinner at a high end restaurant.

#145 woodburner

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 02:07 PM

but i think we just have to all hope for the best in that people will make reasonable and rational decisions

see, that's how this whole thing got started, some people don't. :angry:
meaning the rest of us have to live with rules and policies to protect us, from them. :blink:

A nice little Danish lady and her husband left their young child in a stroller, outside of a NYC restaurant, well within her view. Seeing that there was not enough room inside for the stroller and other diners, customary in her country to leave the child outside while parents dine.
Some rat bastard called the cops, who took the child away, and her charged with endangerment of a child. :blink:

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#146 beans

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 02:12 PM

all i know is i don't want to be the guy deciding that the kid has crossed the line and then ask the party to leave.

Aw, but that's why management are paid the salaried big bucks. :wink:

They get to be the one that quietly suggests they return at some other time to enjoy a lovely meal without their children.

#147 jhlurie

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 03:01 PM

A nice little Danish lady and her husband left their young child in a stroller, outside of a NYC restaurant, well within her view. Seeing that there was not enough room inside for the stroller and other diners, customary in her country to leave the child outside while parents dine.
Some rat bastard called the cops, who took the child away, and her charged with endangerment of a child.  :blink:

Yes, but I'm not sure that even in NYC,which we all know these days is heralded as one of the safest big cities in the world, that it's a good idea to physically seperate yourself from your child. While we can argue about the propriety of taking the child inside, there is another opion--don't go to that restaurant. The problem is that the nice little Danish lady fell back on her own learned behavior. The real question for me would be whether or not the cops and DCFS people, after hearing her explanation understood that.

And the person who called the cops likely assumed the child was abandoned or something (I'm assuming the kid sat there for a while), but was in too much of a hurry to go inside the restaurant and ask. Not perfect behavior, but not monstrous.
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#148 Katherine

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 03:05 PM

I started the thread to discern if there was a way to tell people discreetly, other than a NO BABIES sign posted at the door

Why can't you ask when they make the reservations something like how many adult will be in their party. If they reply that they have children/toddlers/babies you can respond that you prefer not to seat children under a certain age or that you only seat tables with children for lunch/before 6:00, etc.
Wouldn't there be some way to do this when the reservation is being made.

Or, when you find out they will be bringing (or have brought) children of a certain age, a gentle reminder that the restaurant policy is that children must remain in their seats, and if they become noisy or otherwise disruptive, should be removed until they calm down.

#149 docsconz

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 06:24 PM

I started the thread to discern if there was a way to tell people discreetly, other than a NO BABIES sign posted at the door

Why can't you ask when they make the reservations something like how many adult will be in their party. If they reply that they have children/toddlers/babies you can respond that you prefer not to seat children under a certain age or that you only seat tables with children for lunch/before 6:00, etc.
Wouldn't there be some way to do this when the reservation is being made.

Or, when you find out they will be bringing (or have brought) children of a certain age, a gentle reminder that the restaurant policy is that children must remain in their seats, and if they become noisy or otherwise disruptive, should be removed until they calm down.

This sounds like a good idea, but may be difficult to achieve diplomatically. One may not care if the offending parents get pissed, but those may be the very children who otherwise would have been fine and patrons (perhaps good patrons) may have been po'ed unnecessarily.

I still think that the best approach is to have a policy toward any unruly diner that is consistent. A fine dinner can cefrtainly be ruined by an unruly child at the next table, but it also can be ruined by cellphones or obnoxious people in general including someone who may assume that a child may become unruly and act accordingly (I have never actually seen this happen).

Is the presence of younger children more of a problem at lunch or dinner in high-end restaurants? I would think they may be more common at lunch but more difficult at dinner. Any thoughts?
John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

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#150 suzilightning

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 07:04 PM

hmmm

change restaurant to library and you have what i deal with everyday. when does out of control, loud, intrusive behavior that impacts the majority of patrons become a "suggestion" that a parent(that is assuming the parent is in the building)
a) quiet the child down or b) take them outside till they calm down or c) get what they want and leave?

funny, with all the talk of christmas i remember the year i turned 6, 1960. my nana had died that summer and pop couldn't handle christmas dinner at home. after prezzies pop, my mom, the sister(age 5), and i got dressed up and went to riverhead to have christmas dinner at the Hotel Perkins. we were expected to behave in a particular manner and we did. that was the christmas ritual for another4 years or so till pop could face christmas dinner at home again.

from the time all of us were in 7th grade we were expected to eat in restaurants(ok maybe not boloud) but nice restaurants with tablecloths and china and deport ourselves in a respectable manner. johnnybird, who grew up in a higher socioeconomic bracket than i did(make that several brackets), had to be taught how to behave in a fine dining situation since he had been left with babysitters until he was old enough to go out with his dad - then he was too busy hanging out with his friends to bother to go to restaurants.
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