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applewood with baby? or other nice restaurant in brooklyn?

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montecoretiger Oct 21, 2007 06:59 PM

hopefully i will be spared any mean baby bashing since i know this is a topic of some controversy. i have a 7-month old. he is usually very well behaved out in public (and he generally loves restaurants), but of course he is a baby, and he is ultimately unpredictable. i do not usually take him to fancy / upscale restaurants, though i do take him to cafes and cheap ethnic places in my neighborhood.

anyhow, it's my sister's birthday. i want to take her somewhere really nice for dinner with some friends. it's a once a year thing. a babysitter is not an option that evening for many logistical reasons. my husband will be there, so one of us can take the baby for a walk outside if he gets noisy.

i'm thinking of applewood, open to other ideas. need someplace where i can come with a baby and not feel uncomfortable / hostility from other diners. something nice and delicious but not too snobby obviously.

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    elecsheep9 RE: montecoretiger Oct 21, 2007 07:40 PM

    Blue Ribbon is perfect for babies. It is naturally noisy enough that no one will notice.

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      montecoretiger RE: elecsheep9 Oct 22, 2007 06:06 AM

      he is actually *usually* pretty quiet. he loves looking around at people in restaurants and find sthe whole experience very absorbing and is generally happy and not noisy. my main concern is that no one is rude to us.

      so is applewood a bad idea? i was most into going there, but if people will give me mean looks then i'll change plans.

      1. re: montecoretiger
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        jmj RE: montecoretiger Oct 22, 2007 06:45 AM

        Alas, the consensus on this board seems to be that Applewood is not baby-friendly, though unless I'm having a senior moment, I think I remember taking a small one there and having a good time. One suggestion is Convivium--Michelle has a couple of kids herself, and is an incredibly warm hostess. Why not give them a call and see how they feel (that's probably a good suggestion with Applewood or any other restaurant as well)?

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      ceasar11 RE: montecoretiger Oct 22, 2007 06:54 AM

      i have been to applewood a few times and seen a lot of baby's there and been impressed because they were as a whole the best behaved I have ever seen. It seemed like it was a friendly place for babys who behave well. Though these may have been brunch events, I do remember making a point of metioning it to my companion.

      Additionally, as a single person, with no baby, i have to say the issue of having babys in a restaurant, is not about bringing the baby, but how the parents respond when the baby acts badly. If you are going to do that walking thing that i remember my parents doing to me, but i don't see anyone doing any more, why should there be a problem.

      1. famdoc RE: montecoretiger Oct 22, 2007 07:00 AM

        I was in Applewood for an early (6:45) seating on Friday night and was seated next to a table of six celebrating a birthday with an infant present. Early in the meal, the infant cried, but was easily consoled. Later in the meal, the infant cried again and grandma took the baby outside. No major problem, I dare say. And no mistreatment by Applewood employees. In other words, Applewood is baby-tolerant.

        Having been in your position and now having nearly-grown children, I wonder why a babysitter is not an option. Applewood is really not a place for infants: most diners want a peaceful experience. Just as one would resent a cell-phone user or a loud-talker, a crying baby just detracts from the ambiance. If you really have no choice, Blue Ribbon is indeed better for a family, but, provided you have the personnel to do as our neighbors did on Friday, Applewood is fine.

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          maggiepc RE: montecoretiger Oct 22, 2007 07:09 AM

          I have never really paid attention to whether or not there were babies present when I have dined at Applewood. There were, obviously no disturbances which is, of course, key. Being responsible is important. My children are now grown but they both accompanied us to many restaurants throughout their baby and childhoods. We never let them create disturbances.

          As far as Applewood being baby-friendly goes: I cannot imagine that they are not since the owners had a new baby themselves when they opened the place. She, Tatum, I believe, was often present; in fact her mother waited tables with the baby strapped to her chest!

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            bklyndiner RE: maggiepc Oct 22, 2007 08:04 AM

            One downside to Applewood is that the restaurant is a bit cramped. There is not a lot of space between tables and chairs so I am not sure how comfortable you will be even if the baby is well behaved. When our kid was small we tended to try to eat very early and in places that had enough space to accomodate our gear, like the infant seat or just even the diaper bag. You are going to face varied opinions about what to do and a lot of people will be downright offended by your intent to have a kid and a life and to dine out. Just go and have a great time.

            1. re: bklyndiner
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              ceasar11 RE: bklyndiner Oct 22, 2007 08:08 AM

              i like seeing babys and kids out and about with parents. I do like it when they get up and walk them if they fuss though.

          2. oolah RE: montecoretiger Oct 22, 2007 10:27 AM

            I've seen babies at Applewood, but only at earlier seatings, and most were cleared out by 8PM.

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              bklynite RE: montecoretiger Oct 22, 2007 11:12 AM

              I've never been to Applewood, so can't speak to its ambiance per se, but I think the idea of dining on the early side is key (unless your baby tends to be cranky at 6-ish and settles down later - obviously you'll know best and of course they're often unpredictable!). I'm always a wee bit apprehensive if I'm seated next to a potentially cranky baby with potentially oblivious parents. But I figure that if I've chosen to dine early, when babies and toddlers are more likely to be present, then to a certain degree it's my problem, and tolerance and patience on my part are absolutely called for. I figure earlier hours are more likely to populated by other parents, and hopefully we're a more tolerant bunch, having been though it ourselves. Later hours are more the realm of the non-geezers who can actually stay awake past 9:00 pm :)

              Have a wonderful dinner, wherever you choose to go, and I applaud your willingness to walk the baby if he gets noisy. Consideration for others is a wonderful lesson to teach your child, at any age, even if he doesn't know it yet.

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              1. re: bklynite
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                montecoretiger RE: bklynite Oct 22, 2007 11:43 AM

                thank you. by the way, i am open to other restaurant suggestions by all means. if there is something else along the same lines (small, cozy, delicious but not too chi-chi and haughty), please let me know. it doesn't need to be brooklyn either. i sort of thought park slope places would be nicer than manhattan or other places about babies, so that's how i settled on applewood. i don't even live in brooklyn, so it's not like it has to be exactly that.

                i'd like to go early, though it needs to be late enough for people to get there after work. i'm thinking 7. we should be out by 9.

                any other ideas for where to make this dinner?

                1. re: montecoretiger
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                  JackS RE: montecoretiger Oct 22, 2007 11:54 AM

                  I would recommend the Farm on Adderley, on Cortelyou Road between Westminster and Stratford Road (a few blocks west of the Q train). The food is terrific, Applewood-level -- they do a lot of different salads, meats, fish, at least one veg dish, creative cocktails, and good desserts. It may sound boring, but I actually got the hamburger a couple of times on recommendations from others. The first one was heavenly, the second not so much.

                  And they're baby-friendly (there are a lot of parents with small kids in the 'hood). My wife and I have a three-month-old, and we've taken him there twice already. One time, they accommodated us by clearing a space at a table in their garden for his stroller (He slept through it, but if he were to cry, we would have sped out of there to bounce and comfort him).

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                bluishgnome RE: montecoretiger Oct 22, 2007 03:11 PM

                A half teaspoon of whiskey for the baby and everyone will enjoy the night.

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