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East Village kid friendly places - visiting from Toronto

I'm coming with my wife and 2 kids (ages 2 and 5) to stay in East Village (just east of Tomkins park on 9th). Looking for places for both lunch and dinner that I can bring the kids to. We're quite adventurous and will try anything. Prefer to stay away from Chinese and other asian cuisines as we get an abundance of it here in Toronto.

On my short list thus far are Pommes Frites, DBGB, Paprika, Otto, Mayahuel, Barbone, Mermaid Inn, Frank.

What about the higher end places, like Degustation, Heart.. Death & Co, Yerba Buena, Black Forty... does anyone bring small kids there?

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  1. I've never seen kids of any age at Mayahuel. It's more of a cocktail bar that serves food than a restaurant, and doesn't open until evening (5 or 6 pm). Same for Death & Co -- it's dark, can get very loud, the banquette is rather cramped. Never seen any kids there either.

    For Degustation, it's very small, an open kitchen format, and a little on the cramped/cozy side (scoot your chair all the way in or you might get bumped). You sit along a counter and it's hard to get groups of four adults there let along the kids (there's a L shaped corner with 3 seats on one side, otherwise everybody has to sit in a row). I imagine it might be tough since there's only 20 seats in total.

    For Yerba Buena, it's brunch service on weekends and dinner only. Each time I've gone, it's been a bit of a party atmosphere. Loud, crowded, lots of drinking going on. I think they have brunch drink specials as well, which contributes.

    Of your list I think Hearth and Back Forty might be best. Maybe Back Forty for brunch.

    -----
    Back Forty
    190 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

    Yerba Buena
    23 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

    Mayahuel
    304 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003

    4 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      The cocktail places, like Mayahuel and Death & Company do not allow anyone under (drinking) age inside.

      -----
      Mayahuel
      304 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003

      1. re: Nancy S.

        I wasn't sure because I'd never seen any one actually try! (There's no regulations against minors in bars officially, although those under 16 must be with an adult.)

        1. re: kathryn

          Actually, I called, because we were having drinks with my 21 year old son, and we wanted to bring our 13 year old daughter as well, and all of the Mayahuel-type places told me that she could not come inside. We ended up at Yerba Buena, but, again, because she was underage, not at the bar stools.

          -----
          Yerba Buena
          23 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

          1. re: Nancy S.

            In theory, if they serve food they should allow the minors in, but the places named are under the same ownership, and same strict watch from the neighborhood that's given them trouble in the past.

            There are high end cocktail lounges where bringing minor and buying them a shirley temple would work nicely, but I wouldn't have suggested these places.

    2. Second all of Kathryn's comments. Hearth is also better on the early side. I used to love Barbone, but not as much since they expanded. It has been a couple of years at least since I went, however. Otto is great with kids but gets loud at night.

      I'll add:

      The Smith - kids love the mac and cheese and fried green beans, decent adult food and drinks as well.
      Pulino's - upscale pizza and more
      Katz's - pastrami, hot dogs, etc.
      Motorino (or any of the good pizza shops)
      Kambi (or any of the good ramen shops - Minca is a bit small, perhaps)
      Any of the Momofuku shops (except Ko), for lunch or early dinner
      La Palapa for Mexican

      -----
      Barbone
      186 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

      Minca
      536 E 5th St, New York, NY 10009

      La Palapa
      77 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

      Kambi
      351 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003

      Motorino
      349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

      Pulino's
      282 Bowery, New York, NY 10012

      1. DBGB will be fine for kids. You could also do La Esquina (the cafe or the taqueria), Balthazar, Momofuku Noodle Bar (even though it's Asian), etc. Cafe Habana is another good option, if you like Cuban.

        Like others have said, Death & Co. and anywhere remotely cocktail-ish are out–Death does ID at the door. And geez, I would probably never return if I had to deal with another patron's kiddos while I was there. Please, please, please, for the sake of other diners, don't attempt to take your kids to any of the higher-end places.

        -----
        Cafe Habana
        229 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012

        La Esquina
        106 Kenmare St, New York, NY 10012

        Momofuku Noodle Bar
        171 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

        DBGB
        299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

        3 Replies
        1. re: loratliff

          while i agree that kids are out of place at a cocktail place like Death an co, i see no reason not to have kids in high end restaurants. as long as they behave. but i feel that way about adults too.

          1. re: loratliff

            loratliff, I 100% disagree with you saying not to take a child in to high end places. I have a 6 almost 7 year old son and I have been taking him to higher end places since he was an infant, if he got fussy I simply went outside as not to disturb others. What this has created is an extremely well behaved child who can accompany me absolutely anywhere because he has always been exposed to that environment.

            1. re: loratliff

              I disagree. It depends on the kid. I have taken a 7 year old to Eleven Madison Park and it was delightful. However taking a kid to a cocktail lounge or bar, like Death & Co., does seem inappropriate to me. But high end restaurants, if a child is prepared and well behaved, is fine.

              How on earth do they learn if you don't take them?

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

            2. Forgot to add Hecho En Dumbo–another good (relatively) kid-friendly option.

              1. Degustation is a modern tapas place, so very wine-oriented, in addition to the other comments people have made about it. I would not bring a young child to it, though it could possibly work for a very sophisticated older kid, such as perhaps a teenager with quite a long attention span (the 10-course tasting menu, which I'd recommend, takes a long time).

                I don't know your kids, but I would hesitate to bring young kids anyplace where the meal is going to take a really long time (I'd be concerned that would be boring for kids, but maybe your kids have a way longer attention span than I did at their ages), and high-end meals, even when they are not tasting menus with lots of little plates, usually take a long time, at least in my experience. Mid-priced upscale-style meals, not necessarily so much, which is why people are mentioning Hearth. Another place in more or less the same category that might be fine to bring kids to (though again, I have no experience of this) is Apiary, which again has a relatively high volume level. There are any number of Italian restaurants in the East Village with fairly high volume levels. I've never been to Cacio e Vino with kids, but I believe they would be well received by the Italian staff. I have been to Supper with a kid who enjoyed the experience (he was 10, though). Frank also tends to have a high volume level, but I very often see many people waiting on the sidewalk for tables, and I wouldn't want kids to be spending a long time waiting like that. (I could be wrong, and in that case someone will correct me, but I don't believe Frank takes reservations, though Cacio e Vino and some other similarly-priced Italian restaurants in the neighborhood do.)

                I imagine many of the things you'll be considering are similar to what you do in Toronto. For example, you could ask whether a restaurant has high chairs, and draw conclusions accordingly.

                But mostly, I just hope you all have a great time, and I think it's great that you're introducing your children to a variety of good food. Just know that you're spoiling them for institutional food for all time. (Spoken from experience.) :-)

                -----
                Cacio e Vino
                80 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003

                1 Reply
                1. re: Pan

                  Degustation will not allow small children under a certain age. Jewel Bako next door had a set of rules at the window at one point and the restaurants under the same ownership fall under those same rules.

                  -----
                  Jewel Bako
                  239 E 5th St, New York, NY 10003

                2. Both Cacio et Vino and Cacio et Pepe will work for you, but you are better off on the earlier side, like 7 ish. Same for Back Forty. Decent food and nice people at Jules on St Marks, but again, with small kids, go early.

                  -----
                  Back Forty
                  190 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

                  1. You also may want to put a place like Veselka on your list. It is stroller city quite often.

                    -----
                    Veselka
                    144 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                    35 Replies
                    1. re: carfreeinla

                      I was thinking the same. Plus it's a good menu any age group.

                      1. re: sugartoof

                        But is it good? Our adventurous and upscale-loving friends may dislike a Ukrainian diner-type place that's appreciated mainly because it's open 24 hours - useful for when people are drunk at 4 AM - cheap, and a bit grungy (though not as much as it used to be). I know some of you also like the food there, but I'm keeping in mind that there is a large Ukrainian minority in Canada, and I would imagine that there are quite a few Ukrainian establishments in Toronto that are actually good, not kind of sucky but cheap (not to mention that there are better Polish and Ukrainian places in the neighborhood).

                        1. re: Pan

                          I dunno, I think Veselka's pretty good, but perhaps I have a plebeian palate.

                          -----
                          Veselka
                          144 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                          1. re: loratliff

                            What other Ukrainian or Polish places in the neighborhood are you comparing it to? Granted, Teresa's was the best and has been gone for a few years, but still.

                          2. re: Pan

                            Veselka's makes really enjoyable food, and it's far from grungy.

                            We've discussed this before, and you're just not a fan, which is okay. It's not just drunk food though. Their borscht is top notch. The burger wouldn't be my go to burger, but it's rated decently by a fair number. The pirogies are some of the best around NY. Would I order their Turkey Meatloaf or Shepherds pie? Probably not.

                            Ukrainian East Village is 2 doors over and sometimes a little better. It's also good for kids, and on some nights there's tango events in the adjoining ballroom. Tell me who serves a Borscht that good, with an eccentric experience like that in Canada?

                            -----
                            Veselka
                            144 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                            Ukrainian East Village Restaurant
                            140 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                            1. re: sugartoof

                              I haven't frequented Ukrainian restaurants in Canada, but I do know that Ukrainians are something like 2% of the Canadian population. I disagree about Veselka's borsht, strongly disagree about their pierogies, and have no comment on burgers because that's something I don't order anywhere. I miss Teresa's and the old Leshko's but consider Little Poland and Stage Restaurant (though both Polish, not Ukrainian) and Ukrainian East Village (though I don't go there anymore, either) better than Veselka. There are probably other places on 1st Av. that I don't frequent that serve better food than Veselka, too.

                              -----
                              Veselka
                              144 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                              Ukrainian East Village Restaurant
                              140 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                              1. re: Pan

                                Okay, so we can agree on Ukranian (Home) East Village. It's pretty close to Veselka though.

                                When was the last time you tried Veselka's borscht? It's been a while, right?

                                -----
                                Veselka
                                144 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                1. re: sugartoof

                                  Yeah, and I intend for it to be quite a while longer. It's probably been at least a year and a half. Why, has it gotten better?

                                  [Edit:] Just to make clear, I'm not actually recommending Ukrainian East Village, only saying I presume it's still better than Veselka.

                                  1. re: Pan

                                    In the last year and a half, it's probably stayed the same. Oh well.

                                    Grungy still isn't an adjective I'd use. It's cleaner than any of the places you mentioned, and your average diner...but it is a diner.

                                    I don't know of a better borscht in Manhattan than Veselka or Ukranian National. Pirogies are more subjective.

                                    -----
                                    Veselka
                                    144 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                    1. re: sugartoof

                                      sugartoof, have you tried the borscht at Odessa or B & H?

                                      I've got both Odessa and B & H on my list for other borschts to try in the EV, but I was wondering how their borschts compare to Veselka or Ukrainian National.
                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4353...

                                      1. re: phoenikia

                                        Odessa is worse, unless they suddenly drastically improved after a long period of sad decline. I gave up on them when I had soup that tasted like almost nothing except for a large amount of salt and water. There was a time in the 1980s and early to mid 90s when Odessa was a very good place for soups, pierogies, etc., but unfortunately, that was a long time ago.

                                        B&H, on the other hand, did have excellent borsht, as I remember from my trip there a few months ago.

                                        1. re: Pan

                                          thanks Pan, hope give the B&H borscht a try on my next visit.

                                          -----
                                          B&H
                                          127 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                          1. re: phoenikia

                                            From what I remember, the borsht there was sweeter than across the street at Stage, or at other Polish or Ukrainian places, and of course lacked any beef stock. I seem to remember, also, that it had white beans in it. B&H is a hit and miss place, and my girlfriend was very unhappy with the pierogies she got, but my blintzes were excellent and in fact the best I've had in a long time.

                                            1. re: Pan

                                              I seem to recall your preference for boiled pirogies, so if the same holds true for your gf...B&H pirogies are really best when fried. This is true of most East Village places, but really the case with B&H. It's been a while, but I recall good spicing (uh..pepper) and a thicker wrapper there.

                                              -----
                                              B&H
                                              127 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                              1. re: sugartoof

                                                Yeah, I always order pierogies boiled. I take your point. The thick wrapper was a big part of the problem, though, as I recall. My girlfriend is of Polish ancestry on her mother's side, by the way, and grew up eating pierogies made according to family traditions. I also have Polish and Ukrainian (though in my case, Jewish) ancestry, mostly on my father's side, but my girlfriend definitely has had more experience with home-cooked pierogies.

                                                1. re: Pan

                                                  Stating the obvious here, but the Greenpoint area is probably superior for a boiled pirogie. You would be hard pressed to find a fried version out there.

                                                  Have you tried the Polish (maybe it's Ukranian?) Church basement that's been written up for their pirogies? I forget the scoop, but I think it's a sunday thing.

                                                  1. re: sugartoof

                                                    Yeah, I know their food. Their pierogies are pretty good. Yes, they're Ukrainian Catholic church ladies, associated with St. George's Church on 7th St. between 2nd Av. and Taras Shevchenko Place (with 3rd Av. right there, too). The basement, though, is near the corner of 7th and 2nd, and it's across the street from the church.

                                              2. re: Pan

                                                Good to know your blintzes were excellent. Perogies are a staple in my house, so I rarely eat them when I'm out, specially when I'm in NYC, but good blintzes (served in restaurants) are becoming harder and harder to find where I live.

                                                1. re: phoenikia

                                                  I was on a blintz search for a while. The ones at B&H really came closest to what I really liked when I was a kid.

                                                  1. re: Pan

                                                    If you ever happen to go on a potato pancake search, Ukranian Home wins big time, in my book. Like blintzes, they're a pretty taste specific item.

                                                    1. re: sugartoof

                                                      Yeah, theirs were pretty good the times I tried them.

                                          2. re: phoenikia

                                            B&H was at one time known for their house made soups...but they're dairy only (kosher style), and I've honestly never tried their borscht.

                                            The borscht I prefer at both Veselka and Ukranian National Home are meat, so it's a little hard to compare. They both offer a vegetarian version, I just haven't had it.

                                            I walked past Odessa last week and it was entirely empty during dinner hours. I'm not sure what to make of that, but they have two dining rooms, and it's a trade off on any given day which will be better. The dark room used to be better until it became more of a drinking lounge, and then the bright modern diner improved. It's actually a funny story, where they tried to move a couple doors down, and their patrons revolted and wouldn't eat there. So they opened the old location back up with it's red cottage cheese ceiling and at the time superior kitchen, with slightly higher prices, to get their business back. I would guess if you're going to try it now, the bright diner location would be the one to try. Odessa was at one time, one of the best in the city and complete bargain.

                                            Back to B&H... they bake their own challah which is nice. Ukranian National also has a similar thick sliced egg challah they serve. Padding the soup with a nice rich challah is a plus in my book.

                                            -----
                                            B&H
                                            127 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                            1. re: sugartoof

                                              Thanks for your comments re: Odessa, Ukrainian Home and B& H, sugartoof.

                                              Definitely a plus to pad borshct with rich challah, although I'm content with some quality rye!

                                  2. re: sugartoof

                                    Veselka makes decent diner-level food, with some Eastern European diner-level food in the mix. It is what it is. And it is somewhat grungy.

                                    -----
                                    Veselka
                                    9 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003

                                    1. re: gutsofsteel

                                      I think a few of their specialty items, such as the borscht rise above diner level by a couple notches, but yes, it's a diner. The room is designed as a throwback diner. Out of towners might find it grungy, but it's sparkling compared to a Katz's.

                                      1. re: gutsofsteel

                                        it's been recently revamped

                                    2. re: Pan

                                      Although there are lots of Ukrainian Canadians living in the Greater Toronto Area, there are relatively few Ukrainian establishments in TO (Etobicoke's Golden Lion- and possibly Amber on Bloor W- not sure if it's Polish or Ukrainian), even in what is/was traditionally the Ukrainian part of town (Bloor West Village- which seems to have more midrange Italian and sportsbars than Central Euro restos lately). While we have some decent Polish restaurants, I don't know of any good Ukrainian restaurants in TO. And we definitely don't have any 24 h Ukrainian options ;-)

                                      I realize the reviews of Veselka are mixed, and mostly negative lately, but I have fond memories of late night borscht, goulash and perogies at Veselka circa 1997-1998 ;-)

                                      But having a general idea of what Royal Jelly likes in TO based on his frequent posts on the TO Board, I have a feeling Veselka probably won't be to his taste ;-) Royal Jelly, I think you'd like Hearth. You might also want to try Pylos if you're in the mood for Greek.

                                      I also like Mercadito on Avenue B, if you're in the mood for some casual Mexican. I like their fish tacos.

                                      I haven't had a chance to visit it yet, but maybe Kafana is another option for Royal Jelly and his family. We don't have many strong Serbian restaurant options in TO.

                                      -----
                                      Veselka
                                      144 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                      1. re: Pan

                                        I also love the pierogies from Pierogi deli on First Avenue, and often have them at home. I haven't been to the church basement yet, I always get there too late, but I have had their pierogies at the Ukranian street fair and I think they are pretty good, but not wonderful.

                                        1. re: hungrycomposer

                                          I agree with your appraisal of the church ladies' pierogies. In the olden days, about 20 years ago, the best places for pierogies in the neighborhood were Leshkos and Odessa. Odessa is still there, but those really good pierogies are gone at both places (Leshkos being long gone). Teresa's pierogies were pretty good, and I had some at their still-existing Brooklyn Heights location recently.

                                          1. re: Pan

                                            Have you gotten pierogies at pierogi deli? I remember all of the places you mention, and have seen rents force up prices and force out the cheaper options... Nothing is as good as my grandmother's kreplach, but she's not around to make them anymore so I settle with pierogies.

                                            1. re: hungrycomposer

                                              No, I haven't checked them out but will try to remember to do so.

                                              1. re: hungrycomposer

                                                Pierogie Deli is the counter selling uncooked frozen ones, right? If so it's a really cool place, and I hope it survives, but the prices were a bit high when you consider what a plate costs at the diners. I tried them years ago, and didn't love the spinach version (too bitter). Sometimes they also look too flat filled, and resemble Mrs. T's frozen. I'm inspired to give them another shot now though.

                                                1. re: sugartoof

                                                  Yes. Buy a variety that isn't frozen and they will taste better. Prices have gone up a lot in the diners. I like the potato and onion, and mixtures of those two with sauerkraut and mushrooms - there are many variants. The meat are also very good, but normally frozen. I'd stay away from a spinach pierogi anyhow.

                                                  1. re: sugartoof

                                                    I stand on my original idea- especially if it is 3am and the 5 year old gets hungry- Veselka.

                                                    -----
                                                    Veselka
                                                    144 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                                    1. re: carfreeinla

                                                      What's a 5-year-old doing awake at 3 AM?

                                      2. Grand Sichuan on Saint Marks is beyond kid friendly - whenever we have meals with my 4 year old niece the waitresses play with her and ply her with fortune cookies.
                                        For Ukranian, my vote would be for Ukranian Natl. Home. But I've seen picky kids be delighted at Veselka - not my choice, theirs! Stage is fun because it's so old fashioned, but it can be hard to seat a group.

                                        -----
                                        Veselka
                                        144 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: hungrycomposer

                                          Good point on seating at Stage. It's a lunch counter with bar stools only.

                                        2. I wouldn't bring my young kid to those places - Supper is awesome. Otto would work, Mermaid Inn too. Other thoughts are Alice's Tea Cup, Apizz, 'Inoteca, Stanton Social, Peasant

                                          -----
                                          Apizz
                                          217 Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002

                                          Stanton Social
                                          99 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002

                                          Mermaid Inn
                                          96 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003

                                          Alice's Tea Cup
                                          102 W 73rd St, New York, NY 10023

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: peterlugerfan

                                            Good list.

                                            Stanton Social would have to be in daytime or very early in the night before it fills up. The noise levels are barely suitable for adults let alone kids. Get the fries and corn dogs.

                                            Clinton Street Baking Co. would be another option.

                                            I don't know why there aren't more kids in 'Inoteca. The menu and upstairs room would lend itself to that.

                                            -----
                                            Stanton Social
                                            99 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002

                                            Clinton Street Baking Co.
                                            4 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

                                          2. Thanks for all the reviews guys. In the end I decided to try fellow Torontonian Phoenikia's suggestion of Hearth and my wife and I loved it (didn't bring the kids). Sweatbreads were perfectly seared. My wife had a clams main that was served as an appetizer instead. Very rustic and fresh. For mains I had the beef and broccoli... all cooked perfectly and loved the broth. Wife had the duck (first duck night of 3 in a row!) and again was perfectly pink on the inside a crispy skin. The gnocchi side was nice too, but a little too mushy for my liking (I still prefer Babbo's version). We also did the wine taste (3 oz) pairing which worked well for us light drinkers who can't handle much booze. Our waitress picked the perfect wines for us. For dessert we had the donuts, which were nice and warm but a tad boring (like a denser version of Krispy Kreme). Wife had a Clafouti which is now her current favorite (taking over her creme brulee fetish).

                                            I had booked thru opentable and mentioned that we are Canadians visiting, and the chef (apparently also Canadian) gave us complimentary dessert wines, which was a very nice touch to end the night. Overall a fantastic meal and for the price, a great deal too IMHO.

                                            We also managed to try Frank with the kids (went early monday night), the Tortellini was heavenly. The skirt steak was perfectly done as well, but the fish was terribly mushy. Kale ceasar was "interesting".

                                            My wife and I also tried Momofuku Ssam bar (duck dish day #2), which wasn't as good as our tasting menu last year. Also took the kids to Grand Sichuan, which was pretty decent for Chinese (authentic mainland chinese speakers there). The smoked tea duck was pretty good too. Egg and crab soup was too salty though. Deep fried vinegar fish was decent.

                                            Today we'll head over to Eataly (we love Mario's stuff), and tomorrow finish off at Balthazars.

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: Royaljelly

                                              Which Grand Sichuan did you go to? Egg and Crab Soup doesn't sound Sichuan or Hunan to me, so I wouldn't order it at any Grand Sichuan.

                                              Can you describe the Kale Caesar at Frank a little more? Enjoy Balthazar! By the way, when I went there, I got a confit of duck pot pie, as I remember, and liked it, so you could have duck again if you like. :-)

                                              1. re: Pan

                                                It's the Grand Sichuan on St. Marks. My wife did the ordering as she's from mainland China, and we do eat a lot of Sichuan back in Toronto (but we didn't order anything spicy as we had the kids with us that night). It's a egg-drop soup with bits of crab (not fresh), sliced aspargus (more of a comforting soup for us). Their menu also had wonton soup, so not everything on the menu is sichuan/hunan. Their xiao long bao (soup filled dumplings) was decent as well. The other odd thing I noticed tonight when we reheated some leftovers was that the smoked tea duck seamed to have pieces of pork ribs cut about 1/2 inch. Not sure if they did that to make it appear more 'meatier' portion wise.

                                                My wife was talking about good duck confit while we were eating at Hearth... I can just see her ordering it at Balthazar's tomorrow.

                                                At Frank we had the black Tuscan kale caesar. I found it a bit bitter/tough (never was a kale lover), but they added quite a lot of cheese to it (almost ricotta like effect), served w/ the usual croutons. My wife enjoyed it more than I did.

                                                1. re: Royaljelly

                                                  I am one of Grand Sichuan St Marks' best customers, and I know their menu very well. Yes, there are plenty of non-Sichuan/Hunan items on the menu. However, I do not recommend ordering them. I have never tried their xiaolong bao, and instead get the Sichuan Dumplings in Hot Oil, which are excellent and not as spicy as the name sounds. The only thing I get on the "American-Chinese" portion of the menu is Kung Bao Chicken, and I always ask them to make it spicy and crispy, whereupon it has plenty of Sichuan pepper and tests really Sichuan-style to me (not having been to Sichuan but knowing how it's different from American-Chinese takeout style). Not all of their Sichuan-style dishes are very spicy.

                                              2. re: Royaljelly

                                                Hi Royaljelly, so happy you enjoyed Hearth! Hope you enjoy Eataly & Balthazar!

                                                Hearth's general manager and sommelier Paul Greco is from Toronto, http://restauranthearth.com/Paul.html , but Hearth's chef Marco Canora is an Italian American originally from the Hudson Valley in upstate New York. Nice to hear they comped some dessert wines!

                                                -----
                                                Eataly
                                                200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                1. re: phoenikia

                                                  Ah, I knew there was Canadian connection there somewhere.

                                                  So we ended up at Balthazar and guess what my wife orders... yes, the duck! Not the confit, but the duck shepard's pie. She said it was "for the kids", but I doubted that. Of the 4 different nights of duck we had on this trip, this one was probably the most disappointing (a bit dry and lacking in flavour). We always love their steak tartare. My son also enjoyed his first experience w/ the french onion soup and escargot - dipping the bread into the herb butter countless times.

                                                  Can't wait to come back to NYC again... without the kids!

                                              3. DBGB is a great choice: Burgers, franks, matzoh ball soup! Why not venture to Katz's, too?
                                                www.shrinkinthekitchen.com

                                                -----
                                                DBGB
                                                299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

                                                1. Can the 2 year old sit quietly for two hours in a seat (I'm assuming the 5 year old can)? If not, then the answer is no. If yes, then yes. But Death & Co. is a bar - not right for kids at all.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: gutsofsteel

                                                    I agree but then the other day at Mayahuel we saw someone had brought their infant!

                                                    I don't think the staff knew what to really do; it seemed terribly inappropriate to all of us.

                                                    BTW, this thread is ~6 mo. old. Hopefully they had a good trip. :)

                                                    -----
                                                    Mayahuel
                                                    304 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003

                                                    1. re: gutsofsteel

                                                      Death & Co. has fresh baked cookies and other small eats. If they got a booth, and had kids that were okay eating in a very dark setting, I don't think it should be an issue if it's early enough in the night.

                                                      It apparently will throw some New Yorkers into a tizzy, which might be reason enough to avoid it. Since some people find it controversial, and even what some view as a moral dilemma, it would be better to pick a place known for it's food that also happens to have a cocktail program.

                                                      1. re: sugartoof

                                                        Death & Co. cards everyone. Kids won't get in, period.

                                                        Even it was a possibility, it's just a bizzare choice.

                                                        1. re: hcbk0702

                                                          I believe if a place serves food, they can let minors in, they just can't serve them obviously. Many bars opt not to chance it and card at the door, with a 21 and over policy, by choice.

                                                          As an aside, buying a kid a shirley temple, or bringing them to a pub setting that has a good menu for kids is perfectly fine. D & C. just wouldn't be my first pick in that situation.