Some restaurants both here and abroad are instituting a ban on children. Some confine it to the under-5, others are stricter with a no-one-under-18 rule.

Society can only hope the concept catches on. In Houston, Virginia, Pennsylvania and California, it already has.

Having never been a proponent of children in bars, I’ll admit my bias up front and once turned to a father who’d seated his kid on a barstool and asked, “What’s he having?”

I also realize this is in no way the fault of the children but their parents for failing to manage them properly.

Sorry, but the needs of the few don’t outweigh the needs of the many. You have no right to foist your children on others, their electronic devices don’t help, and adults who’ve paid for dinner out or to drink should not have to endure them. (When I was young, even at home, there was a card table for children, separate from the parents and guests. There was a reason for that. You didn’t get the privilege of dining with adults until you demonstrated you’d earned it.)

Lest you think this an isolated problem, a former staffer at an upscale River Ranch establishment had this to recollect: “They were in a booth in the main dining room. Both parents were doctors and looked very much in need of some time away from their children. Instead, they gave them colors, encouraged them to color on the walls and drank their martinis. They ignored the kids the entire meal. The wall had to be repainted the next day.”

Which gives new meaning to "seeing the writing on the wall.”

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at

Iron Chef

If it swims, it was there. Louisiana chefs from near and far threw down at the 10th annual Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off at the Cajundome Convention Center.

Alexandria’s Ben Fidelak; Baton Rouge's Ryan André; Henderson’s Dustie Latiolais; Lafayette’s Ernest Prejean and Brad Tanner; Lyle Broussard, of Lake Charles; Monroe’s Chris McKnight; Eric Cook, Austin Kirzner and Nathan Richard, of New Orleans; Shreveport’s Anthony Felan; and Bonnie Breaux, of St. Martinville, all competed for the crown.

In the end, it was Breaux who took it home for her crackling-crusted black drum with fennel marmalade and Abita-infused potatoes.

Chefs cooked live before a VIP audience of local dignitaries, food bloggers and friends and had an hour to prepare before presentation and judging. Hosted previously in New Orleans, the competition opened in conjunction with EatLafayette, a summer campaign to encourage local dining.

Enjoying the indoor seafood festivities were Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, former mayor and the missus Joey and Lynn Durel, local seafood restaurateur Frank Randol, barbecue king Greg Walls and Daniel Elsea, who declared Twin Burgers’ chocolate cookies were “the best cookie I’ve ever eaten.” None too shabby itself was Café Josephine and its corn and crab bisque, Bon Temps’ Cuban sandwiches and Abacus, which had some killer crawfish pasta.

Martini Madness

Moss Motors hosted Healing House for its 2017 Lafayette’s Absolut Best Martini kickoff. There were cocktails and cool jazz by Jeremy Benoit, plus the unveiling of this year’s commemorative glass created by local artist Dana Manly.

“I had to think about how a glass represents Healing House — a house for spirits, so I painted healing elements of water and music,” said Manly.

In coming weeks, competing restaurants will vie for martini superiority, including Walk-On’s, Bonefish Grill, Chuy’s Ruffino’s, Fezzo’s, Tsunami, Bon Temps Grill and Zea, last year’s winner. The culminating gala is Aug. 19 with all proceeds benefiting Healing House.

That’s My Daddy

The fourth annual Fathers of the Year Awards Banquet got underway at the Cajundome Convention Center, courtesy of 100 Black Men of Greater Lafayette. Sponsored by AT&T, attorney Valerie Garrett and others, multiple men were singled out for filling their paternal roles beyond the call of duty, including Oscar Benoit, Michael Edwards, Rickey Julien Sr., Purvis Morrison, Charles Edwards, Russell Dorion and Alvin Lewis.

“I want to thank the 100 Black Men for this recognition program, an inspiration to fathers in the community to engage with their children and others who need fathering,” said Michael Edwards.

Perhaps the best testimonial came from Mrs. Edwards. “He’s a great daddy. He’s late because Troop 955 needed squaring away, he had to make sure they got home.”

Among the many giving the gentlemen their props were Angela Morrison, Dr. Brent and Harmony Rochon, Dr. Quentin Brisco, Alton Trahan, Patrick Williams and Melvin Caesar.

Afternoon Delight

This was a lovely time. Author Melanie Jarrell and florist Kim Veillon collaborated at the Petroleum Club, much to the delight of guests and members. Jarrell presented an overview of her book, “Refinement of Manner: Manners, Etiquette & Elegance for the Twenty-First Century Woman” as well as new ways to entertain — the brunch, the tea, the garden party and the aperitif.

Veillon, owner of It’s a Wrap by Kim, and assistant Andy Ducharme conjured appropriate floral arrangements for each event while the ladies enjoyed dainties. Jarrell’s best brunch advice? Keep it simple and small but detailed, and don’t do it on an LSU weekend.