Alinea

Should fine-dining restaurants ban babies? (Pat Doyle / Corbis / January 14, 2014)

I've seen Rene Redzepi, the chef of Copenhagen's Noma, considered one of the best restaurants in the world, discreetly flip out when a couple arrived for lunch one day with a baby. He was too gracious to say anything about it (and instead asked the manager to grab some crayons).

But last week chef Grant Achatz publicly voiced his displeasure about a crying 8-month-old at his Chicago fine-dining restaurant Alinea. It's also considered one of the best restaurants in the world, where dinner can cost $275 per person. He announced via Twitter that he was considering banning infants.

His tweet: "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.."

Tweets in support and against prohibiting babies in fine-dining restaurants ensued, and the Twitter meme @AlineaBaby was spawned.

On Monday, Achatz recalled the disruption the baby caused in the restaurant on ABC News: "I could hear it crying in the kitchen," he said. "We want people to come and enjoy an experience at Alinea for what it is, but we also have to be cognizant of the other 80 people that have came in to experience Alinea that night."

The ABC News segment noted that Alinea is known for its peace and quiet. (In fact, I've been shushed by the staff at Alinea, sans baby.)

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