This weekend in the New York Times, Shivani Vora wrote about taking her child out to eat. While she'd once tried to leave young Meenakshi home with a sitter, she discovers that many high-end restaurants will go out of their way to cater to the highchair set:

We were able to check in our bulky stroller [at Fred's, inside Barney's], and when it came to ordering for our little gastronomist, then about 10 months old, the Fred's waiter suggested an off-the-menu grilled cheese on whole wheat with a side of sautéed broccoli. It arrived within minutes. He was amused, not annoyed, by Meenakshi's game of dropping her plastic cutlery on the floor more than a dozen times so he could pick it up...

Meenakshi turned 2 last weekend—we celebrated at Café Boulud, where she selected her raisin-walnut roll from the bread tray to go with her goat-cheese risotto balls, and finished with a milk chocolate and peanut butter bar plus chocolate tuile (they wrote "happy birthday" on the plate), followed, of course, by the signature madeleines. She has been to some of New York's finest eateries, finding obliging staff and a hint of culinary adventure in an otherwise uninspired diet.

It's one thing to wheel the stroller into a pizza parlor; it may be another to expect youngsters to abide by the manners standard at a formal restaurant. What do you think? Should parents bring their kids to fine-dining restaurants?


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