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Jan 22, 2008 12:37 PM

Sunday lunch with kids?

I'm racking my brain for a place to have a good lunch on Sunday with some (reasonably well mannered) kids in tow. I thought about dim sum or some other option in Chinatown but one in the party is deathly allergic to shrimp and it's too much of a land-mine to enable everyone to chill.

Sel de la Terre does a low-key lunch and I've seen kids there on the late side. Does anyone take kids to Eastern Standard Kitchen? That's the kind of vibe and atmosphere I'm looking for. Gaslight? Other ideas?

Downtown Boston, Somerville, Cambridge are geographically desirable but we can go south to JP and environs easily as well.

I need some help here guys. Does anything spring to mind?

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  1. ESK is a hotel restaurant; I'm sure it would be totally fine, especially for a Sunday lunch/brunch. I say go for it!

    1. If you don't mind paying the Four Seasons premium, I like taking kids to the Bristol Lounge and sitting in a sofa and side chairs, rather than a dining room table, as kids seem to do better that way. Also, the place has a way of calming everyone, including the kids, down so you can have a more relaxed meal.

      1. Although Atwood's is a bar, is pretty welcoming to families and Sunday is particularly mellow (jazz band). Downside is its a brunch menu, so the specific lunch choices are fewer from a fairly small menu to start with. More homey than SDLT or ESK. Better for kids than East Coast and B-Side, less crowded/rushed than Blue Room Sunday.

        Dante's brunch menu seems to have more for everybody (including a $12 burger), some adventurous cocktails.

        Some Somerville places (eg lil vinny's) don't open until evening. I have always liked Portugalia for lunch (over dinner, Sunday probably dinner menu) and they are one of the few Portuguese restaurants that has several 1/2 bottles of wine. Downside is their meat entrees don't compare compare with the salt cod plates. Lunch can sometimes be pretty empty.

        1. Might Clink be a fun spot for kids? At the very least, the kids would be distracted by the "cool" lobby while the adults could enjoy a cocktail or two. Can't vouch for the food, though.

          4 Replies
          1. re: digga

            Just read the Globe's review of Highland Kitchen, a place we have been to several times now. The Sunday brunch complete with live country music sounds better than Clink (what a dumb rec) and I know that kids fit right in at HK since I've seen scads of families eating there.

            1. re: digga

              I was thinking about HK too ... but am heading there earlier in the same weekend so unless it's really exceptional I might not want to be back so soon.

              What I really want is to be taken to a country pub for lunch, in Sussex. I want the kids to be able to run around in the garden and for the adults to drink pints and eat sausage and mash. However, I just awakened from my reverie and realized that is not a possibility this time so I'm looking for alternatives. I think ESK is still my best bet, even tho it's quite definitively NOT a pub.

              Thanks for thinking about it, tho digga!

              1. re: yumyum

                Wow, the Sussex pub is so appropriate it is indeed hard to get beyond it. I wish I were going there Sunday too.

                Sel de la Terre is very kid friendly with adult food and drinks. Full Moon has great concept, and sounds good for younger, active children.

                If you are leaning toward ESK I would go for it. The menu should please everyone, and it is large enough that the kids can move about without worry.

                The danger is that they will re-discover how good dining out can be, and they will quickly move up from the kid's menu and on to the expensive stuff!

                1. re: yumyum

                  Seriously, dude. I just got back from a xmas holiday in Orrell near Wigan (40 min outside Manchester). In the lovely old pubs, I'd see like 5 generations of families hanging out, drinking cask beer, snacking, and (horrors!) talking to each other all day.

                  Short of that, Itaunas had a good suggestion with Atwood's. Food is definitely above average pub food, but it doesn't have the Old World ambience for which I think you are shooting.

                  I'm interested in the ensuing posts...and I don't ever have kids in tow! Where are the real pubs in town, where everyone is welcome?! Big old fireplace, footie on the tellie, and everyone saying hello to each other.

            2. Perhaps Geoffrey's in JP would be a fun option. There food is pretty good, and the staff is wonderful - I've seen folks in there with kids and they all seemed to enjoy it.