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Southern Westchester: Kid Friendly and Not So Kid Friendly?

liyuan Nov 3, 2007 11:41 AM

New parents trying to tell which restaurants are kid friends and which are not - any advice? Our best and worst experiences:

Rosies in Bronxville: We made a reservation specifying a high chair. When we got there, they said their ONE high chair was broken and refused to seat us in an empty booth that was the only place my 1 yr old could sit (their other chairs all had large holes that she would have slipped right through). Gave me the impression they couldn't care less. We left.

Global Gatherings in Hartsdale: Cleanest high chairs I have ever seen and a cute kids menu (excellent mac & cheese!). Waiters were all very friendly. And the grown-up food is excellent too - don't be put off by the strange theme (furniture store and restaurant in one??) - I have had several wonderful meals there.

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  1. d
    Dim Sum Diva RE: liyuan Nov 5, 2007 07:04 AM

    I couldn't think of a worse place for kids than Global Gatherings with all of the "untouchable" things around to tempt kids to get up and explore, touch, break. The concept just doesn't work.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dim Sum Diva
      gordoma RE: Dim Sum Diva Nov 12, 2007 02:25 PM

      You have no idea what you are talking about. We've taken our three year old there for most of his life. Sure you have to mind the child, but most of the things they sell aren't that fragile. The owner and staff are completely accomodating. The fun of the place is wandering between courses to see what's around. We've gone monthly since they opened without incident. In all GG represents one of the best combinations of great 'slow cooking' cusine, an interesting setting in an atmosphere that keeps the kids from going batty.

    2. m
      mfenimore RE: liyuan Nov 5, 2007 08:04 AM

      I find the Mexican restaurant on Central Ave in Scarsdale (next to A&P) very kid friendly. I cannot remember the name. But food comes quick and is decent and they have music. Q in Portchester is kid friendly also.

      2 Replies
      1. re: mfenimore
        dolores RE: mfenimore Nov 5, 2007 08:07 AM

        Tequila Sunrise in Larchmont is kid friendly.

        Last I was there, their food had vastly improved.

        1. re: mfenimore
          KenK RE: mfenimore Mar 6, 2008 06:50 AM

          Casa Maya -- I like the music, but it is overpriced and the food is so-so.

          Sunset Grille on Gedney Way in White Plains is better food and prices. I have not been there with the kids.

        2. r
          rolise RE: liyuan Nov 5, 2007 09:32 AM

          Blue Moon in Bronxville is very kid friendly. If you go before 6:30 it is mostly families with kids. My six year old loves to go there, last time they were giving out glowsticks, and I like the sangria and food is better than the mexican on Central Avenue.

          We also take our son to the Japanese (don't remember name) and Indian Restaurants (Spice Village) in Tuckahoe located in that little shopping mall catty corner from the train station, which are both very accomodating and to Spring Asian in Fleetwood. They will make him singapore noodles even though not on menu and always treat us and him well. All three of these restaurants usually have a few kids eating there when we go.

          1. v
            valerie RE: liyuan Nov 5, 2007 12:01 PM

            We recently moved to the area and have 2 kids (ages 3 and 1). I've been keeping a list of places to try and after reading this thread, we went to Valhalla Crossing this past Saturday night (thanks Dim Sum Diva!).


            Although they have a big menu, we kept it simple -- I had a cheeseburger (with onion rings rather than fries), my husband had a fish sandwich, and my kids both had chicken fingers. It was all pretty good -- especially of all things, the onion rings. I saw people eating the shepherd's pie and that looked good too, just not something I really like.

            My 3 year old is well behaved and she loved the occasional train that passed by (we were seated right by the window). My 1 year old, is a 1 year old -- he sits and eats, and then he doesn't want to sit anymore. They were very nice, and it was as stress-free as it could be dining out with a 3 and 1 year old. We have it down though...we get in, we order, we eat, we leave.

            We have also taken them to Toyo in Mamaroneck. At around 6:00, there are a fair amount of families there.

            Someone recommended Chat 19 in Larchmont as a good place to bring kids, but I haven't really seen it mentioned on Chowhound. Any thoughts on Chat 19?

            4 Replies
            1. re: valerie
              laylag RE: valerie Nov 5, 2007 12:31 PM

              A lot of people like Chat so I may be in the minority but I think the food is pretty weak and although not "pricey" per se, not worth it for what it is - passable. As for kid-friendly, it's fine and the earlier definitely the better - it can get to be a bit of a "scene" the later it gets. Larchmont Tavern is very kid-friendly and good for burgers, sandwiches, etc.

              1. re: laylag
                valerie RE: laylag Nov 5, 2007 12:48 PM

                Thanks, my husband is on a burger kick lately, so we will try Larchmont Tavern.

              2. re: valerie
                liyuan RE: valerie Jul 18, 2008 07:43 PM

                Wow, thank you to those of you who suggested Vallhalla Crossing. We've stopped there several times now on the way to the Berkshires, and loved it! It is very kid-friendly and has good grownup food too. I like the fact that it has interesting sandwiches and nicely flavorful entrees too - fits the bill most nights, whether we are in the mood for light casual fare or more traditional dinner food.

                1. re: valerie
                  jwg RE: valerie Mar 6, 2009 04:33 AM

                  The "Train Restaurant" at the Valhalla Train Station was great to entertain the kids. Fine pub food too.

                2. l
                  lollypop RE: liyuan Nov 6, 2007 12:18 PM

                  My suggestion is Piper's Kilt in Eastchester. The food is cheap & honest and the scene is very casual so a child that gets a little out of line will hardly be noticed. We also like Il Baccio in Bronxville. It gets very crowded so go early. The kids can have Pizza and the adults can enjoy some pretty good Italian food. Gelatto for dessert!

                  1. l
                    laylag RE: liyuan Nov 6, 2007 12:33 PM

                    lollypop's rec reminded me of something else in our area liyuan. Now, I've not eaten there but some others say it's not bad although hard for me to imagine considering what it is but... Bellizzi in the Trader Joe shopping center has games and activities for the kids - very kid friendly obviously. They do birthday parties too. I would think the food would be horrid but I've heard otherwise. I reiterate - can't vouch for the food myself and I practically shudder at the thought but maybe worth trying? It's often busy but then again so is Applebee's so...

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: laylag
                      momof3 RE: laylag Nov 6, 2007 01:02 PM

                      I had a salad from there today (take-out) and it was really bad. The greens were not picked through, and some were black and nasty. Turned me off to the whole salad that was not cheap either. My kids have gone there with the grandparents though and loved the pizza.

                      1. re: momof3
                        laylag RE: momof3 Nov 6, 2007 01:19 PM

                        Ew - black lettuce/greens is one of the grossest things in life imo. Probably get their salad from a bag which is also yicky. Thanks momof3.

                      2. re: laylag
                        shellyesq RE: laylag Nov 7, 2007 08:40 AM

                        I've been to the Bellizzi in Larchmont and the one in Mt. Kisco and was pleasantly surprised with the food. I had the Pasta Nonna, and the red sauce was better than I expected it would be, considering the type of restaurant it is. We had my son's birthday party at the Larchmont location, and everyone seemed satisfied with the food.

                        valerie - thanks for the Valhalla Crossing review. Anything train-related would go over well with my son, so I may have to try it.

                        I agree with the suggestion of Q as kid friendly. Being able to pay ahead of time and not having to wait for a check is a plus at the end of the meal. Two other places in the Port Chester area that we've found kid-friendly, but decent enough to take the grandparents out to are Edo (Japanese hibachi) and T&J's Vilaggio Trattoria (Italian).

                        1. re: shellyesq
                          valerie RE: shellyesq Nov 7, 2007 09:21 AM

                          We've been meaning to try Q as well, just haven't gotten there yet. I didn't know that you pay ahead of time, but I definitely agree that it's a big plus when having dinner with small kids.

                      3. SweetPea914 RE: liyuan Nov 7, 2007 09:40 AM

                        Rosie's used to be one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants. We went there in July with my daughter who was only 3 months old at the time and were given the biggest attitude from the hostess. They sat us in Siberia, which I was fine with, but the disdain from the hostess was over the top. She actually scolded my husband for not properly making the reservation (he should have told them 5 to make room for the baby, he made it for 4). At the end of the night our waitress said she had never seen such a well behaved baby, I only wish she had said it in front of the hostess!
                        The hostess was so rude when seating us though that I doubt we'll go back anytime soon.

                        Pretty much everywhere else we've taken her has been fine, J.C. Fogerty's (Fioly is my favorite waitress ever!) and Il Bacio Trattoria are both great for kids. Village Cafe has been very accomodating, the waiters at Haiku just LOVE my daughter, they are all so sweet to her! And obviously, any of the chains, like California Pizza Kitchen work well too.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: SweetPea914
                          laylag RE: SweetPea914 Nov 7, 2007 11:03 AM

                          My experience SweetPea is that a small baby/infant is one thing and toddlers another. We didn't live here at the time but places that wereaccommodating and adoring of my daughter before she was mobile were not always so happy to see us when she got bigger and didn't always care to be in a restaurant. A crying infant who can be walked out is different than a tantrum-y or active two, three or four year old.

                          Generally though, most chains are fine with all of it. It's the non-chains that are trickier.

                          1. re: laylag
                            valerie RE: laylag Nov 7, 2007 12:52 PM

                            Certainly I wouldn't go anywhere that gave me an attitude, but I agree. An infant in an infant car seat is a whole world away from a toddler who is trying to pull everything off the table. They should have been happy to see an infant...it's about 100 times easier to go out when they can't go anywhere!

                            1. re: valerie
                              laylag RE: valerie Nov 7, 2007 01:04 PM

                              Exactly. Now that mine is seven eating out with her is not a problem any longer but I remember the in-between time and how I longed for the early days plopping her right on the table in the carseat and having her sleep peacefully through our meal. Of course, I was generally exhausted too but we could take her just about anywhere.

                          2. re: SweetPea914
                            MRS RE: SweetPea914 Nov 7, 2007 01:55 PM

                            I wouldn't feel too bad about how they treated you at Rosie's as I've been there 4 or 5 adults and no children and were still treated rudely by the hostess. I haven't been there in some time, even though I love the food, b/c i simply cannot tolerate being treated that way!

                          3. t
                            traceyk RE: liyuan Nov 8, 2007 02:40 PM

                            I take my 2 & 4 year olds to Sushi Niji in Dobbs. It's their favorite resturant. The waitress are great and very child friendly. The hostess, Jenny, give them a special treat after they've finished.

                            1. m
                              MarkD RE: liyuan Nov 10, 2007 11:37 AM

                              I second Lollypop's advice - Piper's Kilt has VERY GOOD burgers and is informal and child tolerant. Il Baccio is very good as well but we generally see older kids (8+) there - the service is a bit loopy. Another good choice is Gordy's at 502 New Rochelle Rd (near Pelham/Bronxville/Eastchester) - they have 6 or 8 booths with TVs in them. The food is adequate (I differ with those who think the burgers are special) but the glass teat makes for a quiet meal. Service is indifferent but amiable.

                              Gordy's Steak House
                              502 New Rochelle Rd, Bronxville, NY 10708

                              II Bacio Trattoria
                              1 Park Pl, Bronxville, NY 10708

                              Piper's Kilt
                              433 White Plains Rd, Eastchester, NY

                              1. l
                                liyuan RE: liyuan Nov 21, 2007 04:25 PM

                                Thank you all for the suggestions! This will expand our eating out horizons. I have been to Piper's Kilt and Blue Moon, and definitely agree with the kid-friendly assessments (as well as the good food assessments).

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: liyuan
                                  PhishFoodie RE: liyuan Nov 21, 2007 07:08 PM

                                  Rockwell's is pretty kid friendly...
                                  Maybe Spiga, since it is family style, & Pizza & Brew is always full of kids. There's always Pizzeria Uno & the other chains etc too...

                                  1. re: PhishFoodie
                                    Foodie Fairfield RE: PhishFoodie Nov 22, 2007 06:51 AM

                                    RTe. 22.

                                    1. re: Foodie Fairfield
                                      MisterBill2 RE: Foodie Fairfield Dec 10, 2007 06:09 PM

                                      I ate at Route 22 a few months ago and I was not at all impressed. It was not as good as Applebees but much more expensive.

                                    2. re: PhishFoodie
                                      jhopp217 RE: PhishFoodie Mar 13, 2012 01:45 PM

                                      Spiga closed a few months ago.

                                    3. re: liyuan
                                      newrotreats RE: liyuan Dec 10, 2007 09:40 AM

                                      We also like Tomatillo in Dobbs Ferry for weekend brunch. It offers deliciously fresh Mexican, and they are great with the kids.

                                    4. juweee RE: liyuan Dec 10, 2007 02:56 PM

                                      I can't think of a place more kid-friendly than City Limits Diner (the original one, not the one in the mall). And the food is very good, which is a double whammy for me.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: juweee
                                        jwg RE: juweee Mar 6, 2009 04:36 AM

                                        Ditto the rec for City Limits. Wonderful for the kids. I think the one in the mall is closing or already closed.

                                        1. re: jwg
                                          surman RE: jwg Jun 8, 2009 02:35 PM

                                          The mall location has indeed closed.

                                      2. b
                                        bdr RE: liyuan Aug 2, 2008 04:17 PM

                                        Was at Valhalla Crossing for dinner tonight. Prime Rib was a disaster. Ordered it Medium Rare, it came Medium Well, and waitress didn't come by once I started on it until everyone was mostly done with their meals. Didn't offer free dessert, nothing.
                                        Maybe it's my fault for thinking a Pub/Kid-friendly place could handle the challenge of a properly cooked steak. Won't make that mistake again.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: bdr
                                          jwg RE: bdr Mar 6, 2009 04:37 AM

                                          stick to the pub food, and I suggest you'd be happier.

                                          1. re: bdr
                                            keithwdixon RE: bdr Mar 11, 2012 12:14 PM

                                            i agree! man, skip valhalla crossing. giant overpriced portions of MEH food, lotsa, cole slaw STRAIGHT from a cafeteria bucket, pizza looked like a frozen thing slung in the oven by a college kid still hungover from last night's kegger. all that to watch a train whiz by for ten seconds, and the kids didn't even care. it wasn't terrible, it was just like...what's the point? why it lousy to average food when there's so much great stuff on offer out there?

                                          2. l
                                            LetLug RE: liyuan Aug 2, 2008 07:24 PM

                                            Pizza,Pasta and Things in Port Chester, is the second worst for kids. The place is quite dirty, they do not provide high chairs (yet have a small childrens menu), they service is terrible and they do not care one bit if you have one child with you or 10!

                                            1. j
                                              jwg RE: liyuan Mar 6, 2009 04:31 AM

                                              Unfortunately, Global Gatherings has closed. It was a great place to entertain the children, but you had to watch them.

                                              1. l
                                                liyuan RE: liyuan Jun 6, 2009 06:40 PM

                                                New addition to the kid-friendly scene: Martinis and Chocolate in Eastchester - see separate series of posts on Chowhound. Nice children's menu (some weird things such as mac & cheese pizza, but spagetti and meatballs is really good). Very nice space, relaxed atmosphere (at least when we were there at 5:30pm on a Saturday), attentive and friendly service. Very clean high chairs. Food is solid Italian, but also with burgers and sandwiches - tad salty but very tasty. Very nice bottled wine list.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: liyuan
                                                  jhopp217 RE: liyuan Mar 13, 2012 01:47 PM

                                                  Martini and Chocolate has been closed for quite a while now. It's now Burrata wood fired pizza.

                                                2. l
                                                  lollypop RE: liyuan Jun 9, 2009 07:07 AM

                                                  My kids (3 and 6) really like when we eat at Burke's in Yonkers. Pub-type food but pretty solid for a burger or grilled chicken sandwich. I've also eaten steaks and shepherd's pie there that were fine. The kids can pretty much be themselves and walk around a bit without causing a scene.

                                                  1. j
                                                    jamesSchu RE: liyuan Feb 19, 2010 09:16 AM

                                                    Is there a clean nice version of Chuckie Cheese Near Hastings on Hudson?

                                                    1. s
                                                      sandralee RE: liyuan Mar 3, 2010 06:05 AM

                                                      b & b's pub in pelham nice place and also roadhouse in rye

                                                      1. j
                                                        jhopp217 RE: liyuan Mar 11, 2012 12:40 PM

                                                        Piper's Kilt - Eastchester: Multiple high chairs. Kid friendly menu. Very nice staff.
                                                        Quarry - Tuckahoe. Not sure about high chairs. Friendly staff. Kid friendly menu.
                                                        Sherwood's - Larchmont. Only been there a handful of times, but there are always families there.
                                                        AJ's - New Rochelle - not sure about high chairs, but the menu is perfect for little kids.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: jhopp217
                                                          debmom RE: jhopp217 Mar 11, 2012 01:53 PM

                                                          One word on Sherwoods- while both food and staff are kid friendly my daughter could not get passed the taxidermy hanging on the walls

                                                          1. re: debmom
                                                            jhopp217 RE: debmom Mar 13, 2012 09:13 AM

                                                            Never even realized that, haha!

                                                        2. h
                                                          HamTech87 RE: liyuan Mar 13, 2012 04:39 PM

                                                          To me what makes a restaurant kid-friendly is that it is located in a walkable downtown. Invariably, my kids would get antsy and need to go for a walk, and that's why I love Dobbs Ferry. A long downtown with things to see and do in the evening.

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