east bay dinner to please adults and kids?
Where in the east bay can 4 adults enjoy a decent Friday night dinner while 5 kids (ages 6-13) will like the same menu too and will be able to step safely away from the table to do something fun? Chez Panisse with minigolf would be the dream spot. What about reality?
I like to go to La Estrallita in Oakland (12th and 5th ave) for great Mexican food and margs. They do have a kids menu too. They don't rush you and I never feel like the kids are being too loud--most of the time anyway! They are great with families and there is room for the kids to get up and walk around.
There is also Shen Hua or Tachibana on College for sushi. I'm sure there are plenty others but those are our favorites with a bunch of kids along.
Pizzaiolo in North Oakland would be perfect. Sophisticated, Cal-Italian food and wine for the adults. The head chef is ex-Chez and everything on the menu is excellent. Simple pizza, pasta and pie a la mode will please picky kids. The restaurant is very family friendly, and the owner/chef loves children. They're good about getting the kids' food out early, they'll happily give them stuff to color with, and there's a patio with bocce court out back to take the kids if they get antsy.
You can make a res by calling them at 510-652-4888 between 3:15 and 4:15 Tues-Sat.
It's not that far from Chez Panisse with mini golf...
"away from the table" will be the tough part of your request.
That said, we've had good luck at Barclay's and Spettro. The food isn't Chez Panisse, but better than average choices of salads, pastas, and entrees. Great beer selection at Barclay's (College just south of Claremont) and no corkage at Spettro (on Lakeshore). Both have crayons (my kid is 2!), Barclay's has sports on TV as well as outside seating.