Dish

It's a Kid's World After All

So why not wake up to the fact that the wee ones don't leave when the snowbirds and turkey vultures do? They're growing up here, and with or without them (when their folks get lucky enough to find good babysitters), their parents are paying customers. I'm not expecting high-profile eateries like China Grill to add booster seats to their décor, though chef-proprietor Jonathan Eismann of Pacific Time encourages me to bring Zoe along anyway. Nor would I want to dine with Zoe at, say, Tantra, which would be completely inappropriate for her and unpleasant for me, because when she's with me I eat my meals while walking her around -- and around and around -- the restaurant.

Most of all, though, I wish other customers weren't quite so hostile. I refuse to feel embarrassed because someone calls me Mama a little too loudly during the pasta course, or squeals with delight at the sight of chocolate cake. This is my daughter's South Beach as much as it is anyone's -- maybe even more so, 'cause she was born on SoBe soil, and I have her birth certificate to prove it. Ready for her or not, these are her neighborhood eateries, and she's a frequent diner. Deal with it.

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