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Entertaining & Etiquette 9

Etiquette questions about eating out with a young child

musigny | Apr 11, 200505:01 PM

My husband and I used eat out at fine (and some not so fine) restaurants all the time, but we haven’t had much of a chance to eat out since our daughter was born and am not sure how to handle the ordering and tipping part.

Our daughter is 1.5 years old now, and is usually well-behaved in public places. However, she has quite a lot of food allergies (wheat, eggs, nuts, soy) and it is very important that she does not eat any of that. So whenever we eat out, we bring some back-up food for her just in case there is nothing in the menu that she can (or will) eat. Is it rude to bring out our own food? It seemed OK when she ate pureed baby foods, but now that she is eating the same kinds of foods that we eat, it seems awkward to me.

Are we expected to order a separate dish off the menu for her? We usually order 2 appetizers and 2 main courses, and give her small portions from our plates.

When we tip the server, are we expected to add the price of an additional entrée to the tab and tip accordingly?

We need to go to Chez Panisse cafe and Oliveto some time this month. Do you think that a young child will create problems at these restaurants (we know to leave if our daughter starts being difficult)? Lastly, could you recommend some Napa restaurants that are accommodating towards young children?

Thanks in advance for your advice.

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