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Where to take an 8-year-old budding foodie?

In a few weeks, my wife and older daughter are going to be away at music camp, and I want to take my 8-year old daughter into NYC for a weekend adventure.

Last year, I took my 10-year old to Jean-Georges and had dinner at the bar: we had a great time, talking with the bartenders and the patrons around us, and she enjoyed the food.

Does anyone have any suggestions of other places to take a well-behaved 8-year old to have a memorable dinner? Ideally somewhere that has unusual or dramatic or classy decor, non-snooty service that might welcome a child, and interesting food.

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  1. I had two great meals at Bar American (as in Bobby Flay's) last week, and observed several children of that age amongst the other patrons, having a grand old time. The staff is certainly warm and accommodating, and the food isn't <too> far out for an ambitious 8-year old (personal note: the Monday fried chicken special is really, really good).

    Also, just because I never get tired of talking about it, the liege waffles from Wafels and Dinges waffle truck (different locations every day, posted online and Twitter) are about the best darn things I've ever shoved in my pie hole. I would have wanted to run away and join them, like the circus, when I was 8 or 9!

    1. I took a 7 year old to Eleven Madison Park earlier this year, and it was wonderful. He had a great time, the staff could not have been lovelier....he was very interested in the food, the service, he chatted with everyone and asked questions. It was perfect.

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      Eleven Madison Park
      11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

      1 Reply
      1. re: gutsofsteel

        based on the level of service that I've experienced at EMP, i would say that this is a fine suggestion.

      2. Perry st at sundown watch the sun recede over the hudson
        food is delish and reasonable

        1. I think the Bar Room at the Modern is a great place to take a child. The food is very interesting, service is excellent, and the setting is great.

          1. I second the EMP recommendation. I love that restaurant and I really believe your daughter will also. The service has always been outstanding.