Children in Restaurants: Yea or Nay?


Our Man Sietsema and I recently ate out with Zach of Midtown Lunch, and his completely adorable baby, Harry, who might be the best-behaved child ever born. He literally sat in his carrier, chilled out, and gummed tiny shreds of tea-smoked duck. More to the point, Zach was prepared with a bottle and some toys to keep him occupied.

But, as we all know from painful experience, some children and parents are not quite so mellow. Over at The Guardian‘s Word of Mouth blog, Jay Rayner argues that restaurants should be more child-friendly, that children should be more restaurant-friendly–and that it’s often the parents who don’t behave:

The problem is almost always with their parents: with those who, being used to their darling’s squawking and moaning, fail to notice what a pain in the arse it is to others. With those who think they have some God-given right to sit at the table, regardless of what others think, and therefore don’t remove their children from the room for a serious talking to when their behaviour becomes completely unacceptable. With those who visit restaurants without a bag of accessories – pens and paper, a book, a handful of Gormitis – with which the children can amuse themselves if they get a little bored and restless.

So how do you feel about kids (or parents!) in restaurants? What if you held a special, once-a-year birthday dinner at, say, Minetta Tavern, and there was a two-year-old at the next table over? And what about kids in bars? (This is not a hypothetical question in many parts of Brooklyn!)

[Word of Mouth]

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 14, 2009

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