Need great food in DC, with an infant
NYC chowhound here.... My husband, 3 month old daughter and I are traveling to DC on Thursday and will be meeting an old friend for dinner. We'll be getting in to Metro Center, though I think we can travel anywhere in the city. Here are the parameters:
My friend needs something on the traditional side (he suggested Prime Rib, which is too expensive and fancy, but that's the kind of stuff he likes).
We'll have an infant in a stroller, so we need a place that will be suitable for that.
We'll also have a piece of luggage (we may be able to leave this at his hotel, but we're not sure).
Any and all suggestions are appreciated!
I would not take a 3 month year old to the Prime Rib---so good call on saying no to that one.
The first place that comes to mind is Filomena in Georgetown. Classic, red sauce Italian done right. Everything is made fresh from the Pasta Mamas (I personally like the gnocchi and ravioli). They are use to handling families, although its certainly not a children's restaurant. The place is large enough to bring a stroller (and I believe they have a coat room to store luggage). Plus, right now the place is decorated top to bottom for Halloween which can be a lot of fun.
Another place to consider would be Brasserie Beck. From what I hear they are really good with kids. The place is large and loud enough that a baby coocooing (or screaming) wouldn't bother anyone. The food is Belgium with a great beer selection. Mussels, steak, veal etc are choices that shouldn't freak out a traditional eater.
I really do NOT think a 3 month would be bothered by the Halloween decorations, as they do not know at that young age they are supposed to be "scary." Besides, I cannot imagine that the decorations would be over the top scary-the decorations (jack-o-lanterns, etc) are probably more cute. Just my opinion, of course! =)
logistics: filomena is downstairs from street level. negotiating the narrow-ish stairwell with stroller and luggage would not make me happy. plus. it is nowhere near metro. (not that this was a limitation, as the op said anywhere.)
check your luggage at the hotel. they'll have a spot for it even if your room isn't ready.
just curious local hounds, what is the food like there at the marriott near metro center?
would cafe du parc near the willard be inappropriate?
i'm just thinking ease of getting to a place from metro center..... and baby-friendly.
i agree with dennis, too. well-rested, food-satisfied baby = quiet, sleepy baby. (that...and a little bourbon....
JUST KIDDING!) ;-)
I need to pass this on, since I got the advice from another hound about 3 years and 6 months ago (the age of our oldest).
You know the timing of your child. Up till about 6 months, most kids are going to be just fine - even in a noisy environment - if they have a full belly, a clean diaper, and somewhere to sleep. We had quite a few nice meals out until 6 months.
Still - you won't want to be overly paranoid about making a scene, so I'd suggest also against anything that's too high brow, but I wouldn't worry about it too much as long as you're timing it right.
I think either Central or Brasserie Beck would be good choices for you. Both are bistro-ey and on the louder end so young children are not an issue. Also, both have traditional and modern choices on the menu, so you should be able to find something for everyone. Both have very good food IMO.
I have reservations about taking a small child to loud places, sure their noise will be masked, but I have to think maybe it could exacerbate it.
a few weeks ago we met up with a friend and infant at Hank's (early) and they conveniently sat us at the very back by the toilets and were quite amiable about the displaced food bits.
infants early, drunks late, it all evens out in the end.
re: hill food
Our own experience was that the white noise of a restaurant didn't disturb the chowpup at all. One thing no one has mentioned so far is that the norm in our area seems to be to bring the kids early, rather than later in the evening. This may not make a difference with your infant's age---with older kids, an overtired child + fancy restaurant = bad combo. We see plenty of families with kids and infants at 6 and 6:30, when the restaurants tend to be a bit quieter. As the evening wears on and the restaurants fill up, the families exit and the noise level increases.
The other consideration for DC should be whether the neighborhood is good for one of you to take your infant out for a stroller ride if they wake, are cranky, and need that to get back to sleep.
re: hill food
Hank's would be a great idea if its warm enough to sit outside on their little porch area. There would be enough room there for a stroller. Otherwise its a pretty small restaurant. While the vibe is fine for children and babies (I see them all the time). I'm just not sure if there is enough room for a stroller. Now a baby in a carrier/car seat would be just fine.
And I agree with everyone else. If you can leave the luggage at the hotel, I would do that first. For example, Hank's can probably accomodate you, your party, and your baby in a car seat, but probably not a bunch of bags.