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Jun 9, 2009 12:04 PM

What's really good in Carroll Gardens these days?

I recently posted about brunch recs in Carroll Gardens, now I'm looking for the same thing (good food, relatively child friendly) for dinner. We'll be going this Saturday relatively early (6pmish). I love eating out in Carroll Gardens, but it's been a while and everytime I walk down the street, I see more new places. What's good? I like Frankie's (though I'm not sure how child friendly it is...opinions?) but there are so many other interesting places, too. I've been intrigued by the write ups for Char No 4, but I'm not sure if it would be a good place to take a 5 yo and a 2 yo.

Where would you go to eat if you wanted good food and drinks, but had a couple of kids in tow?

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  1. Maybe someone else can comment on how kid-friendly Char is around 6, but when we went around 8 some months back it was hopping. We were glad we didn't bring our son. Perhaps they have seating out back now, and some of the buzz might have worn off making it less wall-to-wall people. We weren't very impressed with our meals and have not returned just yet (there are lots of other options), but we were thinking of going by for brunch with our son one of these days. I mentioned Union Smith and Paninoteca when the weather suits outdoor seating on your other post. Lucali has always worked out very well for us, too - call in advance or show up a bit early. We have been seated right when they open (6) when we go for early seating, or later when we go for later. If you get stuck with a wait you can always take the kids to Carroll Park to blow off steam and Lucali will call when your table is ready, or get dessert first at Eton for shave ice. We have also brought our son to Frankie's, where there have always been other tables with kids (including infants) when we have gone. I also read a recent post that Enoteca (near Marco Polo) is kid-friendly and has outdoor seating out back, but we have not personally been. Let us know what has worked out!

    1. We went to Enoteca a lot when it was Marco Polo to Go and it was very kid friendly--the waitress loved kids and was great, as was/is the pizza. Haven't tried it in it's new incarnation, but reports so far have been good.

      Frankie's is kid-friendly, but, like most other places in CG, it's always best if you go early with kids, before the hordes come. I can't think of a restaurant in CG that's outright kid unfriendly--in this neighborhood, no one can afford to be.

      Places (besides Frankie's) that def see a lot of kids: Fragole, Provence en Boite, Chance, Savoia, Lucali's. Of these, I think only Chance has cocktails--the rest just beer and wine. The food at Fragole is good, at Provence so-so, at Savoia not bad, and at Chance pretty good.
      I think Buttermilk Channel is also kid-friendly, based on reports.

      Place I've never seen kids: Jakewalk

      Don't know about Char #4. it is a bourbon bar, so can't imagine it's super kid-friendly, but i doubt they'd kick you out.

      5 Replies
      1. re: missmasala

        Ha! I've brought my daughter a couple of times to Jakewalk, although she was asleep both times...

        Further north, Boca Lupo on Henry is kid friendly (kid menu), good cocktails and decent food...

        1. re: bothrops_asper

          oh yeah, forgot about that place. it's a good kid-friendly one.

          1. re: bothrops_asper

            Ha! Also guilty of bringing my kid to JakeWalk. In our defense, it was only 5PM, our wedding anniversary, and he was only 2.5 weeks old so we were delirious with lack of sleep.

            Bocca Lupo is *extremely* kid friendly all day right up until around 7:30. Other kid-friendly places in CG with good chow are Enoteca on Court, Lucalli, and Olive Vine.

            I agree with missmasala that nearly every low to mid-priced place welcomes kids as long as you show up before 7PM. The one outlier seems to be Prime Meats, which I was disappointed to learn has a no stroller policy and no high chairs for kids.

            1. re: oolah

              To be fair to Prime Meats, it is so narrow that I can't imagine how a stroller or high chair would fit without seriously impeding the movement of servers and other patrons. They can't even fit stools at the bar!

              Another place I often see kids is Zaytoons on Sackett and Smith, though it's not really a drinking establishment per se (you can BYOB though) And there is a new wine and snack bar on 1st and Court, Calpurnia, that seems fine with kids as well.

              1. re: oolah

                newborns don't count--you can go anywhere with them.

                but for those of you still in the stroller set (my kids are bigger) i do notice a lot of people with strollers brunching outside abilene on nice days. i think they make the worst drinks ever and have never tried their food, but just thought i'd mention it.

          2. Another vote for Bocca Lupa. It's really excellent. The lamb chops in particular are delicious (and a steal too). And it's definitely a very kid-friendly spot. Fantastic cocktails too! I love it every time.

            2 Replies
            1. re: curly30

              Same here - our kids love it and so do we. They even have a special kids menu that includes a juice box and some (extremely good) pudding. Only problem is, after a couple of times, our kids know that the pudding is coming and sometimes neglect their dinner. (I challenge the parents to avoid taking a bite of their kids' food!)

              NB: the lamb chops are available only after a certain time, I believe. maybe 5 or 5:30 or 6 - all the food is good, but the chops are particularly notable.

              1. re: cazique

                Not to hijack this post, but Downtown Bar & Grill and Watty & Meg also seem to be pretty child friendly because of their outdoor eating arrangements in front. However they’re both in Cobble Hill and not far from CG. The former’s food is OK and has something like 700+ beers, the latter’s a month or so old and I have not tried a/o yet.