Visiting NY with 9 year old daughter
In NY mid April with 9 year old daughter who is a picky eater. She sticks to chicken (baked or fried), hamburgers, steak, and burritos. I will eat anything. Would like to go to a nice restaurant (no more than $50 for entree) but kind of intimidated ... a mother and daughter taking up a table. Not sure if we'll be ignored or experience passive service. Looking for suggestions for pre-theatre dinner with a broad menu. I love seafood and would like to try a French restaurant. (Will see two shows). Restaurants do not have to be in theatre district. Staying downtown at Millenium Hilton. Also looking for any other suggestions for breakfast and lunch. I'm looking at Peter Luger's, Henry's, Alice's Tea Cup, Ellen's Stardust Diner, Big Daddy's, Clinton St. Baking Company, Blue Ribbon Bakery, Comfort Diner, and Bubby's. Thanks.
Comfort Diner, the one downtown (I haven't tried the one on 86th), is really fun. If you love seafood and are going to be in the theater district, I recommend Blue Fin. They do a nice brunch on weekends and my daughter, who is 11 and an enragingly picky eater, loves it. I don't know how far uptown you'd go but Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem is a very fun, kid friendly place with great food. I especially recommend the wings. Cafe D'Alsace on the Upper East Side, is also very good. Hope this helps. I'll keep thinking.
New York is very kid friendly, and half the 9 year olds I've met lately were miniature adults. Nobody will look twice. Just pick out places you want to eat, that happen to also have good chicken, steak or burgers. Skip the burritos.
That said, everything on your list is super kid friendly too, with a lot of similar choices. Comfort Diner, and Big Daddy's are kind of the same thing. Bubby's is good for pie, but you're better off with Clinton St. Baking. Alice's Tea Cup would be a perfect place for a mother/daughter high tea, though I'm not sure if you have to be with a larger group for that. Their baked goods are excellent.
So here are some other suggestion: Strip House, Blue Smoke, Amy Ruth's, Stanton Social small plates brunch, Pastis or Balthazar (she can order burger, or steak frite), The Smith, Molly's (it's a real deal pub, but they serve food, and I remember thinking it was fun to get to eat in pubs as a kid), Fairway upstairs cafe, and maybe Savoy or Back Porch for chicken.
Still, these are pretty safe kid suggestions, when you probably just need names of French places with a good steak frite, or roasted chicken....and you can search previous threads looking for good chicken/steak.
In case you might want to be in the theatre district, DB Bistro Moderne is also an option. Service standards are set high so you shouldnt be treated any different from the next table.
By the way, Jean Georges two plates $28 lunch deal has a chicken and a beef on the menu.
I know nothing of the history of the chefs or anything else about the restaurant. This past time I had the scallops. The time before that I had the breast of duck. I enjoyed both dishes. I forget what I had the time before that. Ironically, it was our friends from Chicago who took us to this restaurant in the first place.
You mentioned, Theater District, French, and 9 year old: The Venn diagram comes up with Un Deux Trois. Crayons, paper "table cloths", and decent, fairly priced, food.
-- for your French meal, consider Le Gigot...i believe there is a hamburger on the dinner menu...the crabcake, endive salad, and escargot are also very good...it's a tiny place though, so it gets fully booked on weekends...the atmisphere is cute and cozy...
-- Balthazar could work too...i'm not a huge fan of the cooked food (i prefer it oysters and salads) but people seem to enjoy the hamburger and frites a lot, and it's a big bustling place that your daughter might enjoy...
-- Keens is the perfect place for you to get steak...you can sit in the main dining room which has thousands of antique old smoking pipes on the ceiling, or in the pub room, which has some smaller-sized entree options and features a fireplace...atmospheric and classic old-NYC (in operation since 1885) and a place your daughter will surely remember for a long time...it's also close to the theatre district...
And, as other posters said, please don't feel at all self-conscious about dining w/ a 9 yr-old...NYC has thousands of very precocious young chowhounds and it's very common to see kids dining at all kinds of places...