2023 Author: Cody Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-24 11:20
They dirty, they scream, they run, they cry. In a nutshell they disturb. Daughter means giving up going out so as not to irritate other customers - and the chef? Even themselves, I am told by various parents who are differently happy to eat by constantly getting up, or by scolding their offspring. There are also those sitting, composed and intent on eating. In this case there are two hypotheses: either they are already morbidly attracted to food, or they have parents who grew up in the Goebbels myth.
In short, it is clear, after the crying baby at the Chicago Alinea, the protagonists of the day are they: the children in the restaurant. The intolerance towards the under 10 grows, and at the same time, the places where families with children are ghettoized receive ad hoc offers. Brunch is especially strong: children eat schnitzel with chips and then off to the play area, and parents peacefully sip a bloody mary, waiting for the saturated fats.
At the brunch of the San Vittore in Milan, the children have at their disposal an animator, make-up artist, magician and puppets. At the Bar del Fico in Rome, the little ones are busy making collages and cake design (!). At the Ketumbar they play and draw in a beautiful setting and at Rec 23 they even deserve Tibetan bridges and slides: the success was such that it is repeated even on Saturdays.
The equation is simple but not to be underestimated: make the children happy, the parents happy, and they make you happy by booking and rebooking together with friends cum filios.
Of course, we are talking about a completely different kind of venue than Alinea. This is why we asked four Italian chefs how they behave when mini-customers enter their restaurant, the kind that the Michelin stars draw with pastels.
Chicco Cerea - From Vittorio, Brusaporto (BG). Three Michelin stars.
Children are the customers of the future, the nursery to be cultivated. They must learn to appreciate culture, environment and atmosphere from an early age. I ran my three children to the best restaurants in the world. We usually have intelligent customers and no unpleasant incidents happen to us. However, I remember an episode when my father was still there: a three or four year old child (the son, among other things, of a well-known person) kept beating the cutlery on the silver placemat that was part of an old collection of family. He was crossing himself but his parents didn't say anything: my father went to the table, took the placemat and took it away.
Raffaele Alajmo - Le Calandre, Rubano (PD). Three Michelin stars.
Our policy, explained on the site, is to warn customers that we are not equipped to accommodate children under eight. We made this decision after a few unpleasant episodes. I remember an embarrassing one: a lady was having dinner with us with her husband. On one side she had two small children, on the other a baby in a pram crying. She was furious, she told us “I came all the way from Florence to have dinner, not to stay in a kindergarten!”. Then, of course, we are willing to evaluate individual cases: there are children even better than adults. If the parents warn us first we can put them in a private room or in an isolated corner. On the other hand, if they show up with their children without having told us, what do we do? Sending them away is certainly not hospitable - not even smart these days.
Niko Romito - Casadonna Reale, Castel di Sangro (AQ). Three Michelin stars.
It takes common sense on the part of parents. I would never take a child to a restaurant like mine, out of respect for him, who would be bored, and to enjoy dinner. He can stay with grandparents, babysitters, parents. Would she ever take a child to the theater? They must be treated like children, until they are interested in a different gastronomic offer. There is nothing worse than eating in a restaurant whose visit I have been planning for a while and having a child who is desperate beside you.
Moreno Cedroni - The fisherman's Madonna, Senigallia (AN). Two Michelin stars.
Honestly, children in restaurants are an issue that doesn't bother me at all. We have always accepted them and indeed we are equipped to entertain them with games, papers, colors. That they are a little lively is normal. Usually, however, adults are far more rude. If a table speaks a little louder, what should I do then?