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Nicest possible dining with infant

t
truro_ns Dec 23, 2008 04:45 AM

The 26th the 1st birthday my husband will celebrate with our daughter. I usually take him out for a Radius/Aujourd'hui/CSB Chef's Whim type of thing BUT alas I can't see any of these places happening with a 4 month old in tow. So...I was wondering if people had suggestions for the nicest place one can reasonably show up with a car seat. I called Harvest and they seemed warm to the idea. Having dined many places on Dec 26 I can attest it is typically a slow night even at popular restaurants - any better ideas?

  1. f
    foodieX2 Dec 27, 2008 01:46 PM

    We took our son everywhere as an infant. the 4-9 month range was easy and I was never treated badly for bringing him. And there is no need to leave if they get fussy. Its easy to discreetly feed a babe in arms and continue to enjoy your meal!

    1. cassoulady Dec 26, 2008 05:34 AM

      I would say a noisier place. I personally think it is risky to take an infant to a nicer restaurant, if the baby wakes up and cries you can then spend most of the meal outside settling the baby ( and in this weather, I am not sure where you could go while the baby is crying since it would be too cold outside). Maybe save the high end restaurant for a night you have a sitter and head to a pub while baby is with you.

      1. s
        stradacouple Dec 24, 2008 04:48 AM

        I'd recommend going to the Bristol at the 4 Seasons. Well spaced tables and large room so a "few baby crys" would not be an issue. You can have a relaxed dinner in an elegant space. Happy Birthday!

        1 Reply
        1. re: stradacouple
          m
          macadamianut Dec 26, 2008 04:16 AM

          Stradacouple that is a good suggestion because Hotels are used to catering to couples with small children in tow. The Four seasons is a lovely hotel and the food is quite good.

        2. Harp00n Dec 23, 2008 11:25 AM

          Hi truro ns,
          Never been, no ankle biters, but this one often got mentioned when the subject came up.
          Their website has a blurb from Zagat , billing it "The Cadillac of family-dining restaurants."
          I'm assuming they're still in business but, as I said, never been.

          Harp

          -----
          Full Moon
          344 Huron Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

          1 Reply
          1. re: Harp00n
            Chris VR Dec 23, 2008 12:30 PM

            I like Full Moon and it's great for toddlers/young children. And you'd be just fine bringing a baby in there. The food is good- better than it has to be, for the most part. The appeal is the play area, kid-friendly menu options and laid-back atmosphere. Even when you see people without kids dining, you don't worry that much about trying to keep your kids toned down- after all if they didn't want to dine with a ton of kids, then they wouldn't have chosen a place with a play room! However, it's not where I like to go when I want a top notch dining experience. The food, service and atmosphere don't come near to a fine dining experience. Again, it's very good for what it is, but it wouldn't come anywhere near to previous meals at Radius/Clio/Aujourd'hui/CSB.

          2. p
            pemma Dec 23, 2008 09:54 AM

            We took our children as infants just about anywhere. It can actually be a great age to take them as they tend to sleep so much. But if the baby starts to cry, immediately take them out. The only reason I would hesitate to take the infant to a very high-end place is that because the length of the meal tends to be so long, there is more of a chance that they will wake up and be cranky.

            1. m
              mcb70 Dec 23, 2008 06:48 AM

              In my experience, louder restaurants are better with kids. We have had success with Estern Standard and Sel de la Terre. Maybe Via Matta would work too?

              7 Replies
              1. re: mcb70
                MrsCheese Dec 23, 2008 07:10 AM

                I was going to recommend Sel de la Terre too - any place with a kids menu has to be welcoming to kids. Blue Room is an option.

                I also agree with the comment re: dining early. Dec. 26 might be a little busier than typical this year since it falls on a Friday night (I know I'm going out since grandparents will be here to babysit!) - but as long as you're there a little earlier than the typical dinner crowd you'll be fine at lots of places.

                1. re: MrsCheese
                  Chris VR Dec 23, 2008 11:09 AM

                  Sel de le Terra and Blue Room have always been lovely to my toddlers and would be good with a younger baby.

                  Given that you know your baby's temperament and don't expect her to cry through the meal, you can probably count on her being quiet/asleep through the meal.

                  What about something like the small private room at Mamma Maria? I haven't been there but have heard good things and you wouldn't have to feel like you're getting the stinky eye from other patrons that don't know you'll be a good parent and decamp if the baby disturbs other diners.

                  I agree with pemma, though, don't go for a big long meal, skip the apps, do dessert if it works out but be ready to pack it to go if you must.

                  I haven't been to the small room at Mamma Maria

                  1. re: Chris VR
                    p
                    pollystyrene Dec 25, 2008 08:46 PM

                    I wouldn't recommend Mamma Maria with a child. It's a very romantic place, and there's nothing like baby noises to kill the mood. Even if they snagged the small, private room, there is no door and the sound would carry. I agree with the Eastern Standard and SDLT recs.

                    I'm actually surprised at how many posts there are about fine dining with babies/toddlers. What ever happened to the good old days of babysitters for a special night out?!

                    1. re: pollystyrene
                      p
                      Parsnipity Dec 26, 2008 10:17 AM

                      I was one of those babysitters in the good old days of the 90's-- I made about $4 per hour from my parent's friends and neighborhood folks. Now, people pay $10-15 per hour which is well more than 10 years of inflation. I think what happened to those good old days is that babysitters simply became unaffordable and parents are less willing to leave babies with a high school kid than they used to be. Anyways, I think an infant is totally acceptable -- much less intrusive than a toddler for fellow diners. Many good recommendations already- just wanted to add my 2 cents (which buys you about 45 seconds of babysitter time these days...)

                      1. re: Parsnipity
                        d
                        dulce de leche Dec 26, 2008 11:28 AM

                        Word. More like $15-20. I was shocked--when I quit babysitting, it was still $2 an hour; 20 years later I have a kid and don't know when the sea change happened, but I wish I had such employment options when I was in high school!

                        1. re: dulce de leche
                          p
                          Parsnipity Dec 27, 2008 02:21 PM

                          I was always so annoyed because my brother made like $8 per hour mowing lawns and I maintained and still do that babysitting is harder work. I mean, how bad can you screw up a lawn in one mow? It grows back. Anyways, now babysitting is probably the better option. I'm trying to think of it as a step in the right direction for equal pay.

                  2. re: MrsCheese
                    s
                    sallyt Dec 25, 2008 04:08 PM

                    I recommend Blue Room - we ate there for my husband's birthday when my daughter was 4 mths old - the trick was to have a very early reservation (5 pm) -- she slept through the whole meal in her car seat, and we didn't worry about bothering anyone since we were the only ones in the restaurant!

                    In a similar vein - we ate at Oleana when our daughter was 2 mths old, and she slept through everything - I agree with a previous poster, the key is to know your baby's temperament and be prepared to make a quick exit if anything goes wrong.

                    Enjoy eating out now when your baby is an infant - ours is now 2 1/2 and it's MUCh harder!

                2. j
                  JCPope Dec 23, 2008 06:44 AM

                  We used to dine out with our infant and I personally think you can dine out practically anywhere as long as you go early enough, and respect the fact that even though you have the baby with you-you are still in a fine dining establishment. If I remember correctly, a four month old might spend a good portion of the dinner snoozing..so enjoy yourselves!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: JCPope
                    a
                    AHan Dec 23, 2008 07:15 AM

                    I think you have it backwards; respect the fact that even though you are in a fine dining establishment, you still have an infant with you.
                    I can't imagine anything more out of place at a high end restaurant than a crying baby. Just be prepared to take the offender outside with a short leash.

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