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Entertaining & Etiquette

Dining Etiquette Question

Jesuki1 | Feb 8, 200209:44 AM     12

My date and I went out to eat at Union Square Cafe. Having heard great things about it, we were really looking forward to a leisurely, delicious, quiet meal.

We got there and were seated next to 2 tables: table 1 had a couple and their approx. 5-year old child (drinking her shirley temple with cherries), table 2 held 4 lively, alcoholically lubricated adults.

We waited quite a while for our waiter to take our order, and had the chance to hear the child singing and clanging her silverware. Her parents made occasional attempts to shush her, but I suppose were amused at her noisy antics on the whole. The table of adults continued to get louder and louder. One of the women at the table started saying "f**k" and variations on that word every 5 minutes or so.

As our meal progressed, the child continued to clang silverware. I overheard the lady at table 2 confide to the waiter that she was drunk and had had too much champagne. She put her head down on the table twice during the meal (presumably to rest?). Table 2, once done with their entrees, started playacting and hiding behind newspapers and in general making a racket.

I was in no mood to finish my entree, much less linger over coffee and dessert. We asked for our check posthaste and scooted out of the restaurant.

What were our options? As the waiter to shush them? Shush them ourselves? The dining room was relatively full, so I didn't feel like we could really move. Or is this a case of grin and bear it?

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