Metrowest with kids ..
Over the past year, we've been struggling to find new places to go out to eat with the kids. We're a younger family (30's) with a two year old and a six month old son.
We're looking for a place where it's noisy enough that the kids won't drive anyone nuts if they start chattering away a little bit - but still had some decent food - at a reasonable price. Nothing extravagant - someplace were we can grab a beer and glass of wine.
Some of the places we've been - which admittedly includes a bunch of chains. (We're in the Needham area - so anything as west as Framingham, and a little bit into Newton would be ok).
Not Your Average Joes
The whole Chilis/TGIF/CPK thing
Not exactly "fine" dining ... but things seem to change with little ones about :-)
Thoughts? Suggestions on great places to take the kids?
You should check out Harry's diner in Westborough on Rte 9. Very casual, but the food is excellent, and there's something for everyone (including a very small offering of beer and wine). Their fried clams and scallops are as fresh as I've ever had, and for the kids - great burgers, sandwiches, mac n cheese. Save room for Rasberry Lime Ricky and homemade pie.
Since you are looking for places that you can grab a beer or glass of wine I noted where the places I recommended is BYOB> But, looking through some other reccs. you should know that alot of these place are no alcohol ( eg Rosie's and Johnny's Luncheonette). Let us know how you made out. One other place I forgot to mention is YAMA- the Japanese place on the secondfloor across from Whole Foods in Wellesely Hills. Again.,BYOB>
The tavern at the Sherborn Inn is casual and noisy, and the food is decent. Depending on what time you go, kids would be fine- the tables can just be a little close together, so on the earlier side would be better. Also, my daughter, who is now a teen, always loved The Villa in Cochichuate (very geared to kids- a magician makes balloon animals on Sunday evenings). Another poster mentioned Legal- she always liked the fish shaped ravioli. Gourmet Decisions in downtown Natick is a good breakfast place, and I always see kids when we go there. As for other chains, Fresh City has decent salads, wraps, etc., and would be an easy place to bring kids, though I'm not sure what they have for them, and if you have a reason to be at the mall, my daughter always liked the kids' menu at California Pizza (I typically do soup and salad if I'm there). Franco's, at the golf course on Speen St. might be an option as well-pizzas and pastas, etc., and definitely casual enough for kids, with a hallway connecting to the golf areas that would be a good place for the 2 yr old to let off some steam if restless.
We take our three year old and one year old out frequently in Metrowest and have since the first one was 6 months old. Sichuan Gourmet in Framingham has great food and is very family friendly. There are always other little kids there, tons of families and they are very friendly.
Rosie's in Wellesley is good (and much better than the execrable Vidalia's), John Harvard's in Natick is decent food and beer and actually great for little ones.
RIP: Udupi Bhavan in Framingham, where you could foist vegetarian South Indian food on your toddler and they'd put up with it because trains kept going by. Dosas and choo choos - a great combination.
Paparazzi & Bertucci's in Wellesley are just fine too.
Also Lam's Vietnamese on Washington St in Newton is very tasty and they love children.
I don't know that I'd recommend Kouzina in Waban in Newton just yet. It's so small (yet loudish) that if you have to suddenly change the baby or nurse them or something there's just no room to get away. Add a year or two and you'll be fine.
But if you like Greek I would recommend Farm Grill & Rotisserie on Needham St. It's cafeteria style and loud and there are babies and children in there all the time. The food is very good.
I don't care much for the food at Skipjacks a little farther down Needham St but there are often babies and small children there.
We have been taking out our granddaughters to places in Metrowest for several years. They are now 4 and 6 but were six months and 2 when they moved here. One place the kids love but the only time it is open for dinner is Friday night is the Maugus in Wellesley Hills. pastas, chicken and pork souvlaki, greek salad, a kids menu with grilled cheese. hamburgers etc. One girl hates vegetables and loves the fried zucchini there -they also love the fried calamari there! Very kid friendly. (PS great breakfast there- mickey mouse pancakes, etc). Another place that is a bit noisey and very welcoming to kids and a bit upscale is Kouzina in Waban center. Have a great kids menu.(need a reservation). Probably not the choice of many on this board but the kids also love Legal seafood for fish as well as hamburgers. Tha Captain's Table (restaurant attached to Captain Marden's fish market) in Wellesley - fish is good but side dishes are so so - hs a great kids menu- everything from fish and chips to chicken fingers and burgers- very casual and kid friendly.(BYOB).Jimmy's Cafe down the street (Linden Street)from Captains- also very casual, nice food and BYOB. And, very kid friendly, a place that the girls ask us to take them to- is Brazille - a Brazilian meat place with hot and cold buffet- in Framingham. Very inexpensive, very kid friendly.
More upscale places we go with them are Oga's - Japanese place in Natick on Route 9- they will seat you in the back and bring out some rice etc quickly for the hungry kids; the Met club for brunch on Sunday- not a buffet, very nice to the kids; Bernards in the Chestnut HIll Mall for upscale fresh and delicious Chinese food (kids love their won ton soup and potstickers, chinese broccolli and sirloin).
Hope this helps.