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Jun 30, 2010 05:04 PM

fri night baby friendly?


I'm looking to grab dinner somewhere casual this friday night with friends (and our four month old...)

We typically end up at American Craft (big, loud and baby friendly), but tend to like a lil variety.

I wouldn't dare take our baby to any type of fine dining establishment but wondered about places like Green Street Grill, Sol Azteca, etc. etc. - somewhere not so upscale.

I'd love other people's suggestions as to where they've taken a baby successfully, especially on a weekend night.


Sol Azteca
914A Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02215

Green Street
280 Green St, Cambridge, MA 02139

American Craft
1700 Beacon St, Brookline, MA 02445

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  1. It's not too popular around here, but we took our twins to Legal's more than once when they were pretty little.

    1 Reply
    1. re: scratchie

      Count me among the people who typically don't really like Legal's, BUT Legal's has some great kids options. We go on occasion b/c my son loves it. He gets a plate that has a very nicely cooked and appropriately sized piece of fish (typically an unchallenging fish, like salmon), vegetables, a small piece of corn on the cob, and grapes. (There might be something else on that plate - but can't seem to remember what it is right now.) He loves it. Oh, and a cool plastic, covered, cup of milk that has crazy fish on it that he gets to keep. I know other places do a good job for kids as well, but Legals deserves credit for getting that kids plate just right.
      In a year, when baby is on solids, OP should consider it again!

    2. I'm pretty sure that Green Street is baby friendly - esp. if you go on the early side...

      1. Aura in the Seaport Hotel has family Friday's once a month. Not exactly casual, more fine dining. However, they are family friendly and has a childs menu that has options for all age children. You shouldn't have to give up fine dining.

        7 Replies
        1. re: dlibes

          I don't think it's appropriate to bring a baby to a fine dining restaurant but think casual dining doesn't cross a line. If I want to do fine dining, I'll grab a babysitter - I just can't do this all the time as doing so is cost prohibitive.

          It's such a tough call - I don't want to put a restaurant own, don't want to endure sneers from fellow diners but also want to have a life as well... I called GSG yesterday and was told, come at 5pm. That's lovely.

          1. re: Mr Bigglesworth

            That's too bad about GSG - but with a 4 month old, you're in pretty good shape to go most places, I think - we brought our now 4-year-old to Oleana when she was 2 mths old, and Blue Room (albeit at 5 pm) at 3 mths old... After 6-8 mths, it gets much trickier.

            How about Hungry Mother? I've definitely seen kids there... And later than 5 pm!

            Hungry Mother
            Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

            134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

            The Blue Room
            Hampshire and Portland streets, Cambridge, MA 02139

            1. re: sallyt

              Sally makes a good point. There are a lot of nice places where you can bring a four-month-old, a lot more easily (potentially) than, say, an 18-month-old. I wouldn't try *fine* dining, but any place moderately nice with enough floor space that people won't be tripping over the high chair and enough noise that the entire place isn't going to hear every sound out of the baby's mouth (i.e., doesn't have to be Redbones-noisy).

          2. re: dlibes

            I LOVE Aura's family nights. So great to be at a place with real wine glasses and a tablecloth and not have to get a babysitter!

            1. re: Pia

              Too bad the food sucks.

              Sorry, couldn't resist. I really wanted to like this place. LOVE the concept; love how family friendly Rachel Klein (the chef) is; even loved the menu. But we went for a hanukkah dinner last winter and it was really pretty mediocre. Absolutely no ambience, a tired hotel dining room; pretty inattentive and distracted service. Had a few glasses of wine and the bill was $80+. No problem spending that, but not when the food is so-so. I can think of so many other places where we'd spend that $ and be so much happier. Almost worth it to me to spend the additional $$ on a babysitter and/or have a meal that's good.

              1. re: twentyoystahs

                We were at the exact same Hanukkah dinner! We liked the food, had no problem with the service, and were thrilled that our toddler was happy running around playing while we enjoyed our dinner. I can't think of any other place where we can have such a relaxed dinner with good food. Different strokes.

                Could it be that we had such different reactions because my kid is 3 and is just learning restaurant manners, and has trouble sitting still for too long? If your kids are older, it could be that you have more, and preferable, dining options.

                Full Moon in Cambridge is the only place I can think of that has a similar setup where you can have a nice sit-down meal and there's a kids' play area in the actual restaurant. But Full Moon is a total zoo, and if your kid is little you can't just let them run off and play in that crowded area where you can't see them. At Aura our table was right next to the play area and it wasn't very crowded, so we could easily keep an eye on him while we sat and ate and talked. (Talked to each other! Something we usually only get to do after the kid is asleep.)

                Full Moon
                344 Huron Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

                1. re: Pia

                  Nope, my kid isn't fact just a little younger than yours (she'll be 3 in Nov.)
                  Don't get me wrong --I liked the concept...and yes, she was off playing for most of the time and we could sit and chat while we kept our eye on her and that was great.
                  I can't exactly remember what I got (some sort of chicken, maybe?) but I do remember it was not as described on the menu, and was really just ok.
                  I was excited about the dinner, but I think glasses of wine were something like $12, (and again, really nothing special) and so when the bill was $80+ for just a so-so meal it was a bit of a let-down. Love the concept, just think next time I'd rather spend the $80 on a great meal and either a) have her sit at the table with us and/or b) pay a babysitter. I guess if the meal isn't all that great, the fact that she is off entertaining myself loses a bit of its appeal....;)

          3. Washington Square Tavern is very baby friendly if you go early. They open at 5.

            Washington Square Tavern
            714 Washington St, Brookline, MA 02446

            1. Highland Kitchen seems very baby-friendly to me, as does Posto in Davis Square. I've taken my 1.5 month old to both and gotten very pleasant and accommodating reactions, although only on weeknights, never a weekend. Although I have yet to go with my baby, I think you'd do fine at Russell House Tavern in Harvard Square (although it can get crowded on a Friday night they do take reservations).

              Highland Kitchen
              150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

              Russell House Tavern
              14 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138