Grant Achatz tweeted something about a young child being an irritant at Alinea and it seemed like maybe not such a big deal at first (these things happen, right?), but suddenly we're all taking about kids in restaurants again. Do we really need to have this conversation one more time?
There is nothing to debate. It's a very simple concept to grasp: Some young children are well behaved, some are not. If yours falls into the not category (or even if he or she doesn't), perhaps you would be well advised to not bring your little bundle of crying joy to a restaurant where other people pay hundreds upon hundreds of dollars to be coddled, and fawned over, and generally made comfortable in a way that is very much disrupted if 2-year-olds can be heard screaming their heads off.
This is common sense.
Then again, if you own one of these restaurants, perhaps you need to accept that no matter how well your guests typically behave, there will always be idiots in the world who don't have much regard for their fellow man, and so as owner you should realize that it's totally fine to make it explicitly clear that young kids are not to dine in your restaurant.
It's not like banning kids from fancy restaurants is a new thing. Set the cutoff age at, like, 13: You'll still please most people and the amount of business lost because some parents are upset about your policy will be worth it for the greater good. And by "greater good," I mean we won't have to talk about this again next year.