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Illustration: Andy Friedman

Ask the critics | Baby-friendly restaurants and bossy waiters

TOC’s critics answer your foodiest questions.


We are parents with a newborn. What is a chic venue to go to that is also pretty baby-friendly?—Tiffany, Lincoln Square
We asked a crew of chic baby owners, and their resounding reply was, surprisingly, Revolution Brewing (2323 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-227-2739). “You can get a booth and just put the whole car seat in there,” one hipster dad told us. The loud acoustics “masks the sound of fussy kids,” says a hipster mom. Now, Tiffany, we know what you’re thinking: Is Revolution Brewing “chic”? Maybe not as chic as you’d like. For that, Nightwood (2119 S Halsted St, 312-526-3385) has always treated our friends’ newborns with respect.

Why do waiters think it’s okay to recommend I not order something on the menu? I ordered a glass of wine (okay, the cheapest one on the menu), and the waiter told me I don’t want to order that, that instead I want to order the glass that’s $3 more. Shouldn’t everything on a restaurant’s menu be good enough to order?—Novid, Andersonville
Yes. However, that’s rarely the case and, either way, the quality of the food and wine is pretty far outside most servers’ control. Still, while we secretly like it when servers say “excellent choice” after we order (what can we say, it makes us feel loved), a server’s role is to carry out your order—not evaluate it. And, in your case, denying your cheapo request also seems a little self-serving on the waiter’s part, right? But since the difference in price was only $3, we doubt you were being upsold. More likely, he/she was protecting you from a wine that is shit or—sorry to be sinister—he/she was instructed by higher-ups to push a certain wine. So don’t hate the player, Novid. Hate the game.

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