Baby-Friendly in Atlanta
Now that my baby is nearly 10 months old, and is reasonably well-behaved in a high chair as long as she has a handful of Cheerios to entertain her, I'm looking forward to going out to dinner with her more frequently.... after all, my husband and I are huge foodies and we want her to grow up knowing how to behave herself in restaurants!
In particular, my birthday is coming up next Wednesday and I am in search for somewhere to go that is:
a. Baby-friendly (or at least tolerant!)
b. Has good food and a somewhat nice/upscale atmsophere, but isn't a "scene"
c. Is ITP
Can anyone make a recommendation? We'll be going on the early side, around 6:30 or so, and I don't care what sort of cuisine, as long as it's well prepared.
My initial thoughts were Sushi Huku (granted, that's just barely ITP, but I love the sushi there and I've seen lots of kids and babies), Watershed or Wildfire Grill (I've always wanted to go to the latter but I have no idea if it would be appropriate for my kid).
Suggestions are appreciated!
Our Chowpup is 2, and it's kind of a mixed bag these days. Sometimes she does great, others she's a total PITA. Great the other night at Taqueria Sundown, but I fear the Fellini's at Garden Hills b/c she just wants to run around the fountain and won't eat. Unless you're going to be a stern authoritarian, there are just going to be times when they don't want to sit there while you do a whole meal. Don't get to give the munchkin the best view for people watching, otherwise he/she might be craning to watch them over a shoulder, and that makes it hard to get the food into the Chowpup's mouth.
We did a Mother's Day dinner at Eugene when she was right at a year without incident. Much as the Taqueria folks overtly do to discourage kids, families are still a good chunk of their business. Somewhere like Eclipse di Luna earlier in the evening would be a good bet, too.
Honestly, I think as long as you don't pick somewhere too fancy/stuffy, and if, like us, dinner these days comes generally at around 6PM, then you'll do OK by avoiding some of the rush/scene if there is one. But be flexible and don't overreact if the Chowpup doesn't cooperate with your plans.
We also had a date at FAB for the restaurant week dinner Saturday, and even saw several kids there.
Yeah, speaking of Taqueria-- we went there for lunch a couple of weeks ago and I was shocked that they didn't have high chairs! Why would you discourage kids at what is essentially a fast food place? I thought that was ridiculous.
Thanks for the advice... I know what you mean about it being unpredictable how they'll behave. For us, it all depends on how long it takes her to eat her own food. We had a family dinner at Dante's the other night and we ended up taking turns walking around with her... luckily the jazz trio was the perfect distraction. I've learned to eat very fast!
The weekend's given 2 more points of reference. It's more than I've eaten out all summer. First is Piebar, which was loud enough that it didn't matter except to someone 2-3 feet away if she was making noise. The food was good, not great, and expensive even with a coupon. They also seem to have inherited Marco's bread offering (defunct, dreadful Roswell road Italian eatery that was my sister-in-law's family's fave), which is round rolls swimming in a pool of garlic butter.
The second was Woodfire Grill last night. I don't know that I'd take a little kid there, but we were in a big enough group to have a curtained-off room in the back. And I took her to look around once when she got antsy. We/she ended up conversing w/ Chef Tuohy about the tomatoes ("red tomato," "orange tomato," "green tomato"), and he was charming, though I don't know she'll be adding "aubergine" to her vocabulary anytime soon.
Dinner was excellent, though distracted b/c it was way past the Chowpup's bedtime. Much much better than our last visit, which was for the Sunday evening bar menu and wine special a couple years ago. It's a toss-up whether that meal was better than Marco's famous "pasta with water sauce." Though the half-price bottle of Wit's End shiraz almost made up for it.
Sorry to say that at 10 months and after everything goes down hill for dining out...it may be good for a few more months but after that your little one won't start knowing how to behave in restaurants until maybe 4 or 5.
This disappoints me greatly because I would love to take my kids out (2 and 4), but it's usually a nightmare. You just can't expect them to behave properly.
With that said, when we do take the plunge and take them out, we look for outside patios or as you say go early.
We had a great experience a couple weeks ago when the manager at Baraonda allowed us to sit at the pizza bar and the kids made their own pizza.
Would love to hear what other parents are doing.