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Mar 23, 2009 11:18 AM

30th birthday dinner, with 3 & 6 year old, DC restaurant

My 30th birthday is coming up, and I am trying to pick a restaurant in downtown DC that is a little upscale, but also kid friendly, as my niece and nephew will be part of the group. They are 3 and 6, and have been eating out regularly, so are usually well behaved in restaurants. And if they aren't, we get them out of the dining room at the first signs of trouble to walk around outside and calm down. It would be a Sunday night reservation, and we would try to eat early, due to the kids. I was going to pick Central, but have heard not great things about its service and food lately. I think that Italian or American would be the best options for the entire group, as the 3 & 6 year old aren't really adventurous. I also want a great dessert menu, with chocolate options. Am I asking too much? Are there kid-friendly(ish, it is early on a Sunday night) nice restaurants in town that could fit the bill? A friend mentioned Chef Geoff's Downtown, but I don't know about their dessert options. Thanks!

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  1. with a 3 and 6 year old I think I would either go with a Magianno's or a BucaDeBeppa which are very kid friendly Italian type family style chain restaurants which happen to have decent food.

    2 Replies
    1. re: dining with doc

      How about Matchbox in Chinatown? I know people always say there are huge waits- and I am sure there can be-but in my experiences I have always beens seated almost immediately- and this was at prime dinner times- also, Founding Farmers may be another good option-great dessert options there, too- esp. the carrot cake! I have recommended it 2x on CH for families with little kids, and both times they wrote back that they loved it...Have fun... wherever you decide to go.

      1. re: chicken kabob

        Matchbox is a terrible idea of bringing young kids there to wait. It's chaos and I get overwhelmed there myself in the bar/waiting area. Plus, the food can take a while sometimes. Ella's would be a better option or Anna Maria (old school Italian) in Dupont. Old Ebbitt has pretty good American food, can make reservations, yummy desserts and kid-friendly. It also has a good raw bar to celebrate a birthday.

    2. Why not go to Central? The food is very kid friendly. I don't know where you have heard bad reviews, if you check the reviews on this board they are quite good. I have been recently and the food quality and service were as good as ever.

      Cashion's Eat Place might be a nice option.
      2 Amy's is very kid friendly.
      I think well behaved children would do well at Blue Duck, there are some kid friendly options, and they might like seeing the apple pies and other desserts made.

      I agree Matchbox is a good choice if you want pizza or burgers.

      1. I actually think Central is a great idea. I've had delicious meals there and if there is a problem with service (there wasn't when I've been) I'm sure if you tell them it's your birthday they will pay special attention to you.

        Another great idea, especially if you like Belgian beers, is Brassiere Beck. Great food and service and their fries are delicious (perfect for the kids).

        I've also seen well-behaved kids at PS7s - which is my personal favorite restaurant in this price range.

        1. Thanks for all the tips! While I love Matchbox, I agree it might be too much to handle with two kids in tow (strangely enough!). A bunch of people I know have recently been to Central, after not having been for awhile, and have uniformly said they were a little let down by the place. I don't know if that means that I would be let down, as I've never been so have no previous visit to compare to!

          I think that PS7 and Founding Farmers are great ideas,and also may think about Posto as an option (the adults won't get pizza, and the kids couldn't care less whether their pizza is good by our standards, as long as it has cheese, sauce, and a crust they're happy!).