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Sep 30, 2010 12:36 PM

Lunch with a toddler

Hi, I know there are many posts regarding dining with a child but I'm still trying my luck. We're coming between Christmas and NYE with our 1 year old. He's a really fun kid who doesn't mind sitting in a high chair for more than an hour if entertained.

Rather than having nice dinners in fancy places, we're thinking of going for nice lunches instead. First question would Momofuku be too small to accomodate a couple with a child?

We like italian, new american, french isn't necessary (we're from Montreal) or anything that has really good food for a decent price (think mains in the $20 neighborhood), good wine list is a plus.

Places we like: Lupa, Babbo, Nougatine, Alta and such. No fish and seafood (GF is allergic).

Taking all that in consideration, what would be interesting options for us with a child bearing in mind that we don't want to be like ET's in a restaurant that wouldn't usually cater to people with kids. Methinks the restaurants have less of a business clientele during the Hollidays, am I right?

We were thinking of trying M. Wells Diner in Queens as it's owned by a friend of a friend. Aside of that, anything goes. We're staying in Midtown near Grand Central (if that helps) but we're willing to sub our way to good food in a blink.

Also, if anyone has an idea for a good dinner, not too fancy but still good and affordable, that would be nice. It could be mac 'n' cheese, BBQ, pizza or anything that out of the ordinary.

Thanks in advance for your kind help.

170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

1 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023

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  1. BTW, keep in mind a lot of NYC restaurants do not have high chairs. I have seen them at Chinese restaurants, though.

    Momofuku - which one? I have seen families at Noodle Bar and Ssam Bar and they were fine. If the kids are loud, the music usually drowns them out.

    If you like Lupa or Babbo, try Otto, it's pretty family friendy. So would be Smac (an all mac and cheese place), Blue Smoke (BBQ), Arturo's (pizza), as well as Landmarc, Bubby's, EJ's Luncheonette, Shake Shack, City Bakery.

    Restaurants might have less of a business clientele between Christmas and New Year's but there's increased tourist/visitor traffic.

    I'd also consider taking the kids to Chinatown.

    See also:

    170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

    110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

    City Bakery
    3 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011

    179 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

    EJ's Luncheonette
    1271 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10021

    Blue Smoke
    116 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016

    1 Reply
    1. re: kathryn

      Thanks a bunch. We've been to Otto a couple times. I'll try to steer clear of Batali this time around. As for Momofuku, I was thinking either Ssam or Noodle Bar. I suppose we're better to go on the early side.

    2. Setting-wise, you are fine at any of the Momofuku places other than Ko. That said, I am not sure if they have high chairs, so you could have to improvise. Saam would be better for seats if they don't have them, as there are a few with backs. Going early would help get one of those.

      Kathryn has a number of great kid suggestions, but some might be slightly more down-scale than I read your ideal (e.g., Smac, Bubby's or EJs - those are great everyday kids choices but perhaps less of a vacation spot).

      I'd add the Smith and Motorino to that list.

      Most of the McNally places are very kid-friendly. Bathazar, Pulino's, Pastis, at least. They are a bit of a zoo, so perhaps lunch is best, although you could pull off an early dinner at Bathazar.

      The Bar Room at the Modern is very good and very kid-friendly. You could definately do dinner there.

      I know you said French wasn't a focus, but you should consider DBGB (good sausages) and Artisinal (cheese focused). Both would be fine for lunch or an early dinner.

      There are many more. I actually think almost all NYC places are OK with a well-distracted child, except the true culinary temples or places where logistics make it impossible (think Ko or Degustation).

      299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

      349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

      282 Bowery, New York, NY 10012

      2 Replies
      1. re: tazerowe

        Thanks. Actually, we've been to Artisanal a couple of times and it's one of our favorite places for the ambiance and the food is good too. We've meant to try DBGB the last few times we were in town as we always hang in LES so this time could be it. I'll give The Bar Room a look, it seems interesting.

        299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

        1. re: tazerowe

          I'd also add some of the restaurants associated with hotels: Maialino (especially the front area), Locanda Verde (for lunch/brunch), maybe the Breslin, Nougatine (front room of Jean George).

          Jean Georges
          1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

          Locanda Verde
          377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

          1 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023

          The Breslin
          20 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001

          2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010