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Apr 4, 2007 04:46 PM

Romantic birthday dinner ... with kids

We'll be in Montreal for a few days to celebrate my wife's birthday, and on one of those days I would like to take her to a nice dinner. The only problem, our 8- and 4-year-old sons will be with us. While they have good restaurant manners, it would be nice to find a nicer place that is kid friendly.

Any suggestions?

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    1. re: rcianci

      I called, and the food for kids seems limited (though I think my wife and I would love it). Yes, our sons can be picky. Any other suggestions?

      One of my wife's clients recommended Joe Beef, but it didn't sound like a good kids place.

      1. re: JonPi

        Kids are generally only picky if people cater to their pickiness. There would almost certainly be something that the kids could enjoy eating.

        1. re: eoj

          It always seems to be a shame to spend a lot of money on a leisurely fancy dinner when little ones rush us through, don't you think? I've seen children sharing fries and a hot dog at Au Pied du Cochon while their parents have the poutine foie gras but it seemed like a bit of a waste, more stressful then festive. I've seen mothers eating alone while dad and baby rush out of Brunoise at 5:30pm, not so fun either. I've taken our boys to Chez Levecque and usually served them a pasta while we have fish soup and lobster. Friends of mine have taken their children to L'Express but it always seems rather grown up and noisy to me for a family dinner. Cote Soleil on St-Denis will rush over with crayons and paper when they spot children and I just received some flyer from them about nicoise happy hour, sounds fun. Or consider going somewhere for brunch like Reservoir which is more casual and always delicious. In the summer it is easy to put together a gourmet picnic and head to one of the parks. Sigh.

        2. re: JonPi

          We took our 3 year old to Joe Beef last summer for an early dinner. We were in town without a babysitter and really wanted to go. The dining room is quite small and I wouldn't recommend bringing a child there. In summer, we were able to have a lovely family dinner on the back patio.

      2. On one of our visits to Montreal a few years ago, we went to the French bistro Lemeac. The food was delicious! While it's not very romantic, the large space has attractive decor, and there was a nice upbeat vibe. I think it's the kind of casual place where there would not be a problem with you bringing your children along. I'm sure you'd be able to find something on the menu to please them (steak/frites?), and you and your wife will enjoy an excellent meal.

        I've not been to Restaurant Holder, a French brasserie, but it seems like the kind of casual place where you can bring along children. All the reports I've read about the food have been very positive.

        Happy Anniversary to you and your wife, and Bon Appetit!

        1. We eat out with our 4 year old often. I guess it depends on just how picky your kids are, but we like:
          -Casa Tapas - you don't see too many kids there, but they are pretty kid friendly and the atmosphere is fairly casual but they still have cloth napkins--there should be something your kids would like to eat
          -Pied de cochon - we used to eat there often, but lately find it too heavy (or maybe its us who are too heavy!) Anyhow, it is LOUD so for us never a problem with the kid--she likes the atmosphere there and there is a lot of food your kids should like.
          -l'Express - I agree with another poster that it seems a bit 'grown up', but again, we like the noisy part and so does our daughter--bring your own colouring books or something though to entertain--the food is consistently good
          -Lots of good restos in Chinatown--every kid eats noodles, right?

          Good luck--oh, and I would pass on Joe Beef.