Remember the Harryhausen’s scene from the Pixar flick Monsters, Inc.? A variety of furry, fanged, tentacled beasts are enjoying a civilized evening at a fancy restaurant, the kind where you have to pull strings to get a reservation. And the sudden appearance of a wide-eyed, pig-tailed human toddler — believed to be toxic — sends them all shrieking into the streets, summoning hazmat teams and inciting mass panic.
A five-eyed blob tells a news camera, “I tried to run from it, but it picked me up with its mind powers and shook me like a dog!”
An eerily similar scene recently played out in a super swank Chicago restaurant, sending foodies shrieking into the blogosphere for days on end.
It seems a party of four dared to bring an infant into Alinea, a sort of culinary art gallery, where the morsels of sculpted monkfish and squab resemble flowers more than food. Once named the best restaurant in the U.S., Alinea sells tickets in advance to its nightly tasting-menu-palooza at about $250 per person sans tax, tip, or wine — and believe me, when your dishes include fiddlehead fern, something called “mastic,” and, I kid you not, helium — you’re going to need a lot of wine.