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Just me and the kids....need a fun night

We will be staying in Murray Hill in June. Husband is going to a Mets game, so it will be just me and my 2 kids, ages 8 and 12. They are used to going out, but one is a picky eater. I need to go somewhere fun for them, with good food and a decent cocktail for me! No family style eating, or Chinese or Italian please. Also, I would like to get them dessert afterwards. I don't mind going out of the neighborhood, but not too far. Thanks for any help!!!

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  1. Not sure if this is what you are looking for. I don't have kids my my friend just took her niece, 12, and they loved it. http://www.spotlightlive.com/restaura...

    Spotlight Live

    2 Replies
    1. re: misnatalie

      While my daughter would love it, I think my son would die. Thanks for the suggestion, though. I will keep it in mind when it's just me and my daughter.

      1. re: cthound

        Along those theme based places Cowgirl is cute and fun. great neighborhood, food isn't special but good and an easy menu for a picky eater, western cocktails too. Lots of desserts in the area. Milk and cookies bakery, magnolia, mama mudsliders, cones, batch. You're also right by the water to take a nice walk.

    2. Not sure what kids would find fun (I don't have any), but perhaps Artisanal could work. They have fondue there (which I think can be fun) and steak and fries and mac and cheese for your picky one. I don't recall seeing a lot of kids there but it is a loud, noisy bistro. So if they make a lot of noise, I don't think people would mind. I love the desserts there (especially their cheesecake -- different than your typical NY cheesecake). But there's a Korean bakery called Koryodong a block away with some interesting desserts. Personally, those desserts are not my style but I can see kids (and adults) finding it fun . And you may want to check out Pinkberry or Crazy Bananas which is a block away as well. Not my thing either but they're really huge in NYC now.\

      Oh, there's a cheese cave in Artisanal that your kids may think is cool. And I also forgot -- you may want to forgo Crazy Banana as they've got a display of penises in the store.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Miss Needle

        Thanks for the warning about Crazy Bananas! LOL if I just calmly walked in with my daughter. I don't think my kids would go for the Korean desserts, but Artisanal is a possibility.

        1. re: cthound

          Just wanted to clarify that even though it's a Korean bakery, the desserts are not all Korean style. They've got cheesecake, strawberry cake, chocolate mousse cake, strawberry ice cream pops, etc. in addition to Asian desserts like mochis, chestnut buns.

          1. re: Miss Needle

            Just want to drop a side note to this: I'm not a huge fan of Koryodong's baked goods, but darn, those ice cream pops are good. (I've gotten into the bad habit of getting them at least three times a week.) They're actually more like milky (yogurty?) popsicles than ice cream and come in melon, strawberry, chocolate and coffee flavors, all for just $1 a pop. Great dessert for strolling on a warm night.

            1. re: cimui

              I really like the coffee one. I generally don't drink coffee (former addict) but make the exception for those popsicles.

              1. re: Miss Needle

                i'm an unabashed current addict -- which makes me think i should start getting them in the morning. :)

      2. Shake Shack might be a decent option for a casual, outdoor meal. Many think it offers one of NYC's best burgers, but even those of us (myself included) who disagree think it's a good burger. And although they don't serve cocktails, they do have beer and wine. And Madison Square Park is lovely.

        http://shakeshacknyc.com/index.html

        2 Replies
        1. re: Blumie

          The burgers are a great idea, and I can always drink wine! However, I just read another thread where someone waited an hour to get food. Not cool with kids. Any other suggestions or can you recommend a time when the wait wouldn't be so long?

          1. re: cthound

            It's hard to predict the lines at shake shack, except that at peek times on nice days they always will be long. They do have a webcam that you can connect to to gauge the line. Looking now, I see that the line, at 4:30 on a very nice weekday afternoon, extends to the end of the dirt path and turns slightly onto the pavement. That looks to be about a 15-20 minute wait, with another 10 minute wait to collect your food.

        2. Do you think your kids might like Korean barbecue? Most restaurants in Koreatown (just west of Murray Hill, from 32nd st. to around 35th st.) seem like they're pretty family friendly. I have no knowledge of whether any of these places serve cocktails, tho they do serve sochu and fruit juices -- so if worst comes to worst, you could mix your own.

          3 Replies
          1. re: cimui

            Not sure on the barbeque, but since they get to pick everything out themselves, it may work out great. I'll have to ask them. Anyplace stand out?

            1. re: cthound

              It's not in Koreatown, but Gyu-kaku (http://www.gyu-kaku.com/) is a favorite of my friends from home. They always insist on going there when they come to visit, and there have been several trips into the city (we're from Long Island) specifically to go there.

              1. re: cthound

                i have a pretty uneducated palate when it comes to korean barbecue, compared to some chowhounds on this board. but of the places i've tried on 32nd st. (don bogam, kunjip, woochon, and kang suh), i've liked kang suh best for bbq'd marinated meats.

                i have not tried madangsui (or ma dang sui) on 35th, but many knowledgeable chowhounds recommend it. apparently they are especially good at unmarinated kalbi.

            2. might consider Bluesmoke - good bbq, good kids menu, good for mom too.

              1. Thanks everyone for all the suggestions, some I will use for another trip. Yes, we have a winner. After consulting with the kids, the winner is the Shake Shack. We will try to go earlier than normal eating time and be prepared to wait. We are all looking forward to it.