Chef's tweet prompts controversy over babies in restaurants - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Chef's tweet prompts controversy over babies in upscale restaurants

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Photo: Grant Achatz - not baby food! Photo: Grant Achatz - not baby food!
CHICAGO -

Here's a question drawing plenty of comments on social media. Should parents take their baby to an upscale restaurant?

A chef in Chicago raised the issue, and it's causing quite a stir.

Alinea is one of the top restaurants in the world and on Saturday night, a couple whose babysitter canceled at the last minute brought their eight-month-old infant to the restaurant. The baby subjected other diners to a wailing serenade.

Chef owner Grant Achatz sent out this tweet essentially asking what he should do when a baby disrupts other diners.

He posted, "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.."

Chef Omaro Cantu, owner of the fine dining restaurant Moto, knows the situation all too well.

"It's definitely happened. It's very obtrusive to other diners. They don't want to deal with that even if they have kids," said Cantu.

Social media is blowing up over this controversy. It's NBC Chicago's second most popular story today with almost 100 comments.

The Red Eye Dining Critic tweeted, "It's absurd to bring your baby to Alinea."

But some parents we talked to disagree.

"How often does it happen? Just be patient and laugh it off," said one parent.

"I don't think a chef can say you can't allow kids, especially if it's a newborn baby. Not everyone is comfortable leaving a baby with anyone, but still want to have a life," said another.

Chef Cantu's solution for families that bring a young child was to set them apart from other diners. He uses booths that can be closed off from the rest of the dining room.

Some parents say the controversy can be easily dealt with.

"We don't go to restaurants too often with a baby because we consider other people that paid money and want to be quiet," said one parent.

Of course, the Twitterverse responded by creating an @AlineaBaby account, described as, "I'm a baby who likes fine food, fine drinks and crying."

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