Posh restaurant. Screaming baby. What would you do?

So dinner costs at least $500. Do the diners have a right to eat in peace?

To bring a child to a restaurant, or not to: it’s a question parents have grappled with for aeons.

It’s a tough call. For parents, leaving their offspring at home means organising a babysitter, and subsequently doubling the cost of a simple meal out on the town. However, for fellow diners and wait staff, noisy, boisterous kids can be disruptive and annoying.

Would you call this Alinea dish kid-friendly?

It's one thing to put up with a kid's screams when you're grabbing a bite at a cafe or Maccas - but when you're sitting in front of a $200 meal at one of the world's top restaurants, which you've had reserved for 3 months, it's not quite as cute.

So as you can imagine, diners at Chicago restaurant Alinea, which boasts 3 Michelin stars and is currently ranked number 15 in the world, were none too pleased when a couple arrived with their eight-month-old in tow last weekend.

Apparently unimpressed by a menu filled with oyster leaf and lobster with carrot and camomile, the bub spent much of the night in tears, prompting the restaurant's owner and head chef Grant Achatz to tweet about the conundrum he faced.

Alinea's owner and head chef, Grant Achatz

And so began the debate.

Several Twitter users were critical of the parents' actions. "If I paid $1,000 for ur tasting menu & had 2 listen 2 a baby crying whole time, I'd ask for a refund," one tweeted. "I would not have been pleased. Unless we had a sitter, we did no fine dining when we had a child that age. Not fair to others," said another.

Many suggested that if parents could afford to dine at Alinea they should have the means to pay a babysitter. According to NBC Chicago, the parents at the centre of the storm had arranged a babysitter who then cancelled at the last minute, so they obviously knew the restaurant wasn't the ideal venue for their bub but were left with no choice. Most parents know that feeling.

However, other users supported the rights of parents to take their kids out where they please. "Hosts should be prepared for anything. Seriously. You can create the mouth-magic that you do, but not handle an 8 month old?" one user tweeted to Achatz.

Alinea's co-owner Nick Kokonas chimed in with a valid point, tweeting that in previous instances of hosting babies in his restaurants it's been the parents, rather than their babies, who dictate how well the situation plays out. And he's right - there' a big difference between parents who let their kids run through the building, and those who attempt to monitor their behaviour.

So where does that leave us? For some parents, opting for early reservations on typically quiet nights is the easiest way to sidestep the glares of fellow diners when their child starts to holler.

But perhaps it's not the fellow diners or wait staff parents should be thinking of first when choosing an eatery for the night. After all, how much fun is a child going to have at a fine dining restaurant?

What do you think - should babies be allowed to dine at upscale restaurants?  Where you do eat out with your kids?