Sunday, September 7, 2008

Kids and Fine Dining Don't Mix

I LOVE KIDS! Anyone who knows me knows I love kids. I always have and I always will. Not just my kids either. Before I had kids, I'd smile and play with kids everywhere I met them. Except high-end restaurants.

I went out to dinner with my hubby last night. It's been a loooooooooooong time since we've been anywhere with candles instead of crayons and linen tablecloths instead of paper place mats with bears and balloons on them. We went to Sabrosa, a tiny gem of a Latin American restaurant in Rhinebeck. We were all dressed up and ready for a quite and kid free dining experience ... especially with Hannah raging outside.

There's a family there with a little girl (probably about 1 1/2) and a boy (probably about 5). The boy was pitching a fit the whole time they were there. When we arrived Dad had him outside trying to calm him down. Ten minutes later, Mom was shushing him at the table and 5 minutes after that Grandma was dragging him kicking and screaming to the bathroom. I've had similar experiences as a parent but always in establishments where my fellow patrons are paying $2 a pop for a slice of pizza not $27 a plate for Paella.

Fortunately, they were gone before our entrees came but WHAT are people thinking? Or are they thinking at all? Is this usually a model child having a bad night? I doubt it. And even my kids on their best night don't belong in that place at their age. Kids are kids. They want to play and make noise. And they should. Maybe you can get a 6 year old or an 8 year old to understand this is a place to sit quietly and enjoy your food but younger than that and you're kidding yourself.

I think it's just general inconsideration. The fact of the matter is, they are not thinking about their fellow patrons at all. If I had complained they probably would've thought "She doesn't have kids. She doesn't understand." instead of thinking that I DO have kids and this is a well-earned and out-of-our-budget splurge.