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Feb 7, 2008 10:26 AM

Kiddie meal?

Going to lunch with a friend and her 1-year-old on Sunday. What's a good place to eat that will be accommodating to my friend and her child, but is not a fast food restaurant?

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  1. The usual answer to this question is Full Moon -- a child-friendly spot in Huron Village, Cambridge.

    And it sort of depends on the one-year old. It could be a meatloaf and asleep in the carrier or it could be flinging noodles into your hair. I'd defer to the mom on this ... does she have any favorites?

    2 Replies
    1. re: yumyum

      I know Full Moon is the usual answer, but I strongly disagree with it. It's certainly one of the better, if not the best, of the child-oriented restaurants, but there's nothing relaxing about eating in a restaurant full of screeming kids.

      My usual recommendation is the Bristol Lounge at the Four Seasons. An incredibly relaxing place to begin with, the sofas and plush chairs are amenable to a child sitting through a meal, and the entire experience will be much more condusive to adults trying to engage in conversation.

      1. re: Blumie

        Oh don't get me wrong Blumie. I'd rather gouge my eyes out than sit through another Full Moon meal with 2 - 5 year olds, but for my group of breeder friends, at least, the thought of ALSO having to monitor table manners (or shoes on the couches, or sippy cups on the hand-knotted rugs) at the Bristol would make the parents nuts, not just the kids.

        This is why when we go out, I specifically request a place where the non-parents can drink.

    2. Do you have a specific geographic area you're interested in? As the other poster said - it depends on the kid. Is s/he mobile yet? Will s/he be a fiend b/c s/he is on the brink of naptime? How much stim. does s/he need? We went pretty much everywhere w/our one-year-old - she was walking but was still plenty entertained by all the activity at restaurants - content to sit in the high chair, eat finger foods and watch the action. If that is your friend's kid, then you can go wherever you like.

      1. She's a pretty happy, engaging baby. Ideally there will be available, parking, but a cheap parking garage would be fine too. (Last time we took the kid and stroller on the T it was very complicated when we got to the stations and transfers w/o elevators, etc.)

        Last time I went out to eat with the kid (September?) she was very active, but we were like the only patrons in Takeshima in Brookline. (Baby loved the colorful sushi... too bad she couldn't eat any of it.)

        1. There was a similar thread last year, but for a younger child:

          1 Reply
          1. re: Aromatherapy

            Hey, that was me! Well, that 7-month-old is now a 19-month-old, and we've been everywhere with her. It seems like Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese places are always accomodating - that's generally the type of place we go. We mostly eat in the 'burbs though, and I get the idea you might be more interested in places closer to the city? Sel de la Terre has a kids menu, so that might be a nice place to go for a good Sunday lunch/brunch. I've always intended to take my daughter there and just haven't made it yet. One place we like to go with her near home is Stone Hearth Pizza - and I think there is one in Needham if that's convenient and you like that kind of thing.

          2. We take our son to lots of places as well, and now that he's 3 1/2, he's almost acceptable at restaurants :). That being said, my best recommendation is go anywhere you like, but be mindful of the timing. As other posters have said, don't stick around long enough to be encroaching on nap time. We have found that anywhere is fun and the staff is accomodating if we go outside the busy time.

            I will also echo the sentiment on finding a place that serves at least beer and wine. And, not just for the non-parent, especially for the parent.

            We have had lots of meals at Full Moon and love the food and kid-friendly atmosphere, but it's almost more of a chore to have to get up and watch your child in the play area to ensure everyone is playing nicely. If there wasn't a play area to distract him, we'd be happy sitting at the table.

            We, too, have found that Asian restaurants are very friendly to children, I assume because the family gathering is much more a part of their culture than leaving the kids home with a sitter. Dim Sum is probably my best recommendation, as there are a lot of different things to try, fun textures, fun flavors. We've been doing Dim Sum with my son siince he was born and he loves the BBQ pork in the Char Shiu Bao.