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a kid-friendly restaurant that's good for foodies too

h
houseofjenny Dec 31, 2010 09:33 AM

I'm entertaining Spaniards and their 2-year-old child, but don't know of a good restaurant in Brooklyn where kids and adults can both be happy. I'd like something chic and chill, anywhere from Brooklyn Heights to Wburg to Prospect Park (and even Park Slope). Seriously good food only - there are four adults and only one child, so the big kids need to win.

thanks!

  1. c
    cazique Jan 4, 2011 04:58 PM

    A refrain I've sung many times before in this space - Bocca Lupo (Warren and Henry Sts in Cobble Hill) is our favorite for quality food for adults and also kid-friendly in every way, particularly if you go early in the dinner hour. Good variety of small plates, salads, bruschetta, a pasta or two, wide variety of alcohol, and a kids menu that includes a main course, juice box, and chocolate pudding. My kids have been eating their mac and cheese seemingly since birth. (I defy any of you adults to try either the mac/cheese or the pudding and not go back for a second bite.) I don't know that I'd call it a "foodie" destination, but it's high quality food, a place I'd go (and have gone) for an adults only meal.

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    Bocca Lupo
    391 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

    1. m
      mary shaposhnik Jan 4, 2011 12:54 PM

      I've taken my toddler to The General Greene outside of peak hours, and they are very used to little kids and I've always had excellent food food there. Otherwise, I could not take her to most of the places on this list--she just cannot last that long--and certainly would only try a restaurant at an odd hour, like 4:30 pm.

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      The General Greene
      229 DeKalb Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205

      1 Reply
      1. re: mary shaposhnik
        jen kalb Jan 4, 2011 01:28 PM

        that would be a good recommendation - quick service and food delivery, casual atmosphere, a range of places to sit (some quite isolated) and most important very tasty food.

      2. boredough Jan 3, 2011 11:47 AM

        I'd recommend Henry's End in Brooklyn Heights - great food that would be a nice change for your Spanish guests (in terms of choices). As for the 2 yr old, it's a neighborhood place that is used to kids, so everyone should be happy there (although I'm not sure you could call it 'chic').

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        Henry's End
        44 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

        1 Reply
        1. re: boredough
          sgordon Jan 7, 2011 11:51 AM

          I'll second Henry's End. A real "in the know" foodie destination (stick to the seasonal specials menu & wild game) but with things a kid might like too - simple pasta dishes, fantastic fried chicken. The noise floor is pretty high since it's a small space, but it's not shouting loud. Good call, boredough.

          As an alternate, if they're booked solid, right next door is Noodle Pudding - solid Italian, a good neighborhood joint if nothing to go out of the way for. I haven't been in awhile, but I often saw large groups dining there, so there's a bit of bustle to the place where a kid wouldn't be too out of place.

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          Henry's End
          44 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

        2. jen kalb Jan 3, 2011 11:45 AM

          Convivium Osteria could work - it features dishes from the Iberian peninsula as well as the broader mediterranean area.

          To me "chic and chill" would not describe a restaurant with 2 year olds in evidence. A place like Amorina or Franny's where you would not have to stick around for a long meal would be best.

          If you have a car your guests might be more interested in ethnic brooklyn, from Mexican in Sunset Park to excellent Sichuan or Middle Eastern food in bay Ridge.

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          Convivium Osteria
          68 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

          Franny's
          295 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

          Amorina
          624 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

          4 Replies
          1. re: jen kalb
            m
            MRich Jan 4, 2011 08:21 AM

            I love Convivium Osteria but would never dream of bringing my 2 year old there. It's cute and cozy and quiet and has no room to wander. Unless you dine by yourself in their downstairs area it's exactly where you don't want a loud child.

            To the OP: consider that if the 2 year old is not in a suitable place the big kids will not win. Neither will the other patrons. I think you want a loud, bustling place with some distraction for the child and a noise floor that will allow the child to make some noise while not disturbing yourselves or other diners. Space for the parents to take the child away from the table to walk around between courses is essential.

            I have an almost 2-year old who is relatively well behaved and we rarely take him restaurants because it's just not fun for us no matter how good the food. Two is a tough age for fine dining. But I'd take my four year old anywhere. My suggestion would be to ask your local friends with kids for a babysitter recommendation and really enjoy your night out.

            PS If your friends are around for brunch big Dim Sum places are great for kids. The food comes fast and it's so loud nobody will notice the kid.

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            Convivium Osteria
            68 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

            1. re: MRich
              driggs Jan 4, 2011 09:33 AM

              Go somewhere loud, and go early, otherwise many of the other "big kids" in the restaurant will be really annoyed with you. Chic and chill does not work with a two year old.

              Our rule with kids use to be, go early and go quick, and only go to places that are set up for children. Although it seems more and more Brooklyn parents seem to want to take the kids wherever they go.

              Noodle Pudding, and its patrons, seem to weather children pretty well. Same with Fort Defiance in Red Hook. Both tend to be loud, but Noodle pudding is a larger space that can handle a bit more chaos.

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              Noodle Pudding
              38 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

              Fort Defiance
              365 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

              1. re: driggs
                m
                MRich Jan 4, 2011 09:47 AM

                Oh great tip. Forgot that. Go early. There will be more room. Not spending a lot of time deciding what to order helps too.

                1. re: MRich
                  jen kalb Jan 4, 2011 12:47 PM

                  totally agree with MRich and Driggs. I think the downstairs of Convivium and an early res would work but I (three grown kids) would never have taken a two year old to a fine sitdown restaurant in New York. We went to Chinatown and for Pizza a lot - had enough experience with kid difficulties, bathroon trips, being ready to leave way ahead of the end of the meal etc, especially when travelling in the US and Europe that we had no appetite for it when at home in NY. It was a relief to have a babysitter and go out for a relaxing meal..

          2. a
            adamandeve Jan 3, 2011 11:38 AM

            Naturally, it depends on the child, and what meal you'll be having out. We take our moderately well behaved 3 year old to Al di La for lunch, but wouldnt do it for dinner- too busy. In general, my rule of thumb is the bigger and louder the restaurant, the better. You can always bring food for the child if the menu is totally child un-friendly, and people never complaint. With those guidelines, places that come to mind are:

            - Buttermilk Channel- they have a kid's menu. All I need to say.
            - Boca di Lupo - also has a kid menu
            - Prime Meats, probably for lunch
            - Stone Barns, also for lunch
            - Blue Ribbon, they are SO nice there!
            - Applewood- the owner's children are often there, but its a more 'serious' place
            - Pizzerias in general fit that description, so Franny's, Amorina etc
            - We like to do brunch at Superfine. They have loud live music, which usually distracts people from any misbehaving.

            Naturally, more family-run, modest restaurants (Mexican, Peruvian. Chinese) are always good options, and while food might not be super stellar, you can get good chow.

            Good luck, and report of any incredible finds on this department, please!

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            Applewood
            501 11th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

            Amorina
            624 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

            Buttermilk Channel
            524 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

            Prime Meats
            465 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

            1 Reply
            1. re: adamandeve
              EricMM Jan 8, 2011 05:44 PM

              Just got back from Buttermilk Channel...there were many families there with kids, some very young. Definitely a good place for them. Busy enough that we barely noticed the 1 kid who was crying...that was only when he left. All kids seemed well behaved. Oh....the food was excellent!

            2. prdct Jan 3, 2011 09:03 AM

              Frannys is perfect for this.

              1 Reply
              1. re: prdct
                k
                kathryn Jan 3, 2011 03:07 PM

                I've dined with a toddler there a few times and the staff are incredibly accommodating and kind.

              2. EricMM Dec 31, 2010 10:54 AM

                Dressler has great food and treats kids well...its a pretty classy place. Diner has great food, and I frequently see parents with little kids. Chic and chill, well...no..it was an actual diner..but the food is great.

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