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Help--which of these are NOT kid friendly??

w
wmdenton Feb 28, 2012 02:15 PM

We are traveling up to NYC for a long weekend. We have two girls, 6 and 2.5 and we LOVE to go out to eat. Generally, they are very well behaved, we can usually find something to eat for them off the menu, no kids menu required. However, one of them is 2.5 and that can sometimes be unpredictable. We will take them out if they are not using their manners--but its better to go somewhere where it is a bit noisier and less formal--we've had great luck at Balthazar and Craft Bar. We typically eat very early--5:30 or 6:00 to avoid the main dinner hour and so the girls aren't over tired or over hungry.

We've compiled a wishlist--but before I start tracking down reservations, I'd like to know if there are any we should absolutely avoid or any that are strongly recommended.

The Dutch
Prune
Gramercy Tavern
Colicchio & Sons
Peasant
The Spotted Pig
Milk Bar
Maialino
Public
Saxon &Parole
The Breslin
Raos
Frankies Spuntino
Tocqueville

Thanks for any advice--

Two hungry parents

  1. sadie Mar 1, 2012 11:45 AM

    Friends of mine just visited and had an early (5:30-6ish) dinner at Maialino with their 1.5 YO. They said the experience was WONDERFUL, that the staff went out of their way to make the experience pleasurable, even bringing out some cut-up fruit when there wasn't anything baby-friendly on the menu. They told me to recommend it to anyone with kids!

    -----
    Maialino
    2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

    5 Replies
    1. re: sadie
      c
      cactuschowdah Mar 2, 2012 09:10 AM

      I'm going to have about the same question here, so I guess I'll just stick it here. My kids are 8 and 6, no issues with fits at table, etc., just looking for a place that won't be pissed there's kids. I've been to Spotted Pig before and loved it. Breslin looks awesome too, but the one thing with kids (at least in my experience) is that the reservation is key- waiting an hour for a table and my kids don't mix.

      So, if I can ask- are there any Breslin/Spotted Pig-like places that take reservations? (even if you're not sure if they do or not, throw me a few suggestions and I can do the leg work on their reservation policy) Thanks in advance!

      1. re: cactuschowdah
        e
        edwardspk Mar 3, 2012 08:12 PM

        It's not Breslin/Spotted Pig-like, but Otto takes resvations and is very kid friendly.

        -----
        Otto
        1 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003

        1. re: cactuschowdah
          m
          Mike C. Miller Mar 4, 2012 06:42 PM

          I think with kids a bit older, the calculus changes a bit. Especially if they are adventurous eaters. Better restaurants that emphasize good service -- e.g. Gramcery Tavern -- would probably move up a notch. I always tried to encourage my kids to order something off the menu rather than asking for pasta with just butter. Better for the kid and the restaurant actually makes a sale. I think that helps, too.

          1. re: Mike C. Miller
            s
            sugartoof Mar 4, 2012 07:07 PM

            I agree. I'm a big fan of kids rising to the situation. I'm of the opinion that Chowhound parental types should strive to raise mini-Chowhounds.

            1. re: sugartoof
              Phil Ogelos Mar 5, 2012 08:16 AM

              ... which would make what they eat "Puppy Chow".

      2. w
        wmdenton Feb 29, 2012 06:28 PM

        Thanks everyone! I've narrowed it down and I think we are going to try Pastis, Frankies and Artisinal for early dinners and we'll hit The Dutch, Gramercy Tavern and The Spotted Pig for lunch. That way, we can save the Milk Bar for desert :)

        If anyone has any last minute suggestions--or advice please let me know! Thanks again for all of the responses. Here's to hoping the girls are on their best behavior...if not, I foresee some room service in our future.

        1. s
          sugartoof Feb 28, 2012 10:10 PM

          I'd pick Spotted Pig over Breslin with kids unless it's lunch. No need to do both places. Make sure you bring a backup option plan with you to either of these.

          Prune is real cramped, and pork heavy.

          Public is a bit dark and loungey in a trying too hard kind of way. The menu might be challenging for kids. Not missing much if you decide to skip this one, although keep it in mind if you need a brunch option.

          I think Maialino, and Gramercy Tavern are fine. Both tend to be calmer early in the evening though, so if you prefer a lively atmosphere to mask anything your kids might do, these might not be it.

          1. brancron Feb 28, 2012 05:58 PM

            I can't imagine taking kids to any of those, except stopping by Milk Bar for dessert is a great idea.

            1. t
              thegforceny Feb 28, 2012 04:18 PM

              Hmmm, a 2 1/2 yr old dining out. Invokes terror. I know, I know, yours will be quietly doing the NYT crossword. In Mandarin. ;)

              (Just kidding ... Posts re: kids and dining can get out of hand on here.)

              The Dutch - at 5.30 will be empty so OK
              Prune - NO, too small
              Gramercy Tavern - NO
              Colicchio & Sons - - at 5.30 should be OK; food not so great IMO
              Peasant - - at 5.30 will be empty so OK - but acoustics could make a 2 yr old screamer painfully loud
              The Spotted Pig - NO, a you'll prob have a long wait no matter what time
              Milk Bar - YES
              Maialino - - at 5.30 will be OK
              Public - - at 5.30 will be OK - but place has a young, clubby feel so I'd be bummed seeing a kid there.
              Saxon &Parole - - Leaning towards NO, but at 5.30 will be empty so OK.
              The Breslin - hmmm. I'd say NO/Maybe. Is pretty loud though.
              Raos - HAHAHAHAHAHA That's a joke right? You aint gettin in.
              Frankies Spuntino - - at 5.30 will be OK
              Tocqueville - NO

              -----
              Gramercy Tavern
              42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

              Frankies 17 Spuntino
              17 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

              Spotted Pig
              314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

              Tocqueville
              1 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

              Rao's
              455 E 114th St, New York, NY 10029

              Peasant
              194 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012

              Public
              210 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012

              Prune
              54 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003

              Momofuku Milk Bar
              251 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003

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

              Maialino
              2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

              Colicchio & Sons
              85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

              The Dutch
              131 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

              Frankies 570 Spuntino
              570 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

              Saxon + Parole
              316 Bowery, New York, NY 10012

              3 Replies
              1. re: thegforceny
                g
                gutsofsteel Feb 28, 2012 06:19 PM

                Agree with this completely - except if you do the Tavern Room at Gramercy Tavern you'll be fine at 5:30 with the kids - just not in the formal dining room. You don't need a reservation for the Tavern Room.

                1. re: gutsofsteel
                  t
                  thegforceny Feb 28, 2012 06:56 PM

                  Thank you GoS - I'll agree with your Tavern Room assessment as well.

                  1. re: gutsofsteel
                    m
                    Mike C. Miller Mar 4, 2012 06:40 PM

                    I think you'll be fine at Gramercy in the front, especially early. In the more formal back section would be a bit iffy. . . .

                2. e
                  edwardspk Feb 28, 2012 03:17 PM

                  I'd probably take Grammercy Tavern and Colicchio and Sons off the list as well. It's not exactly that they are quiet and hushed - but they don't strike me as being exactly "friendly" towards a 2.5 yo.

                  -----
                  Gramercy Tavern
                  42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

                  Colicchio & Sons
                  85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: edwardspk
                    p
                    peter j Feb 28, 2012 03:19 PM

                    I agree, though the Tap Room at Colicchio and Sons might work if the OP plans to dine early.

                    To the OP: Milk Bar does not take reservations. The Dutch is typically half empty at 5:30 or 6:00 so I think it would be fine to bring your kids there.

                    1. re: peter j
                      k
                      kathryn Feb 28, 2012 04:44 PM

                      Also Milk Bar is primarily takeout, so keep that in mind. No seating, really at the East Village or Midtown locations. Not sure about the UWS one.

                      Note also that Gramercy Tavern has the formal dining room AND the more casual Tavern Room (that doesn't take reservations). I can see kids aged 6 and 2.5 having an early 5pm dinner in the Tavern Room. Not really the dining room.

                      -----
                      Momofuku Milk Bar
                      251 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003

                      Momofuku Milk Bar
                      15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                      Momofuku Milk Bar
                      561 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024

                      1. re: kathryn
                        rose water Feb 28, 2012 06:48 PM

                        The UWS milk bar has little block stools that would probably be more comfortable for the little ones than the adults.

                        I don't know what the Breslin will be like at 5:30 but I found the staff there incredibly uncommunicative re wait times (which was no fun when we were waiting with our then- two year old amidst the very noisy brunch crowd, but may not be an issue for early dinner).

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

                        Momofuku Milk Bar
                        561 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024

                  2. b
                    bronwen Feb 28, 2012 03:10 PM

                    Rao's and Tocqueville would not be appropriate

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bronwen
                      f
                      fondaddict Feb 28, 2012 08:04 PM

                      Last time I went to Gramercy Tavern , there were people at a table with young kids. I have gone to Gotham with young kids. But a place like Pastis, Balthazar, Buddakan, Odeon, Pulino, would be better than your list. So you don't have to worryt hat the kids get out of hand.
                      Rao's you don't have to think about. You're not getting in. If you were invited and could get in, they won't mind the kids.

                      -----
                      Gramercy Tavern
                      42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

                      Buddakan
                      75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                      Rao's
                      455 E 114th St, New York, NY 10029

                      Pastis
                      9 9th Ave, New York, NY 10014

                      Balthazar
                      80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

                      Gotham Bar and Grill
                      12 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10003

                      Odeon
                      145 W. Broadway, New York, NY 10013

                      Pulino's
                      282 Bowery, New York, NY 10012

                    2. s
                      sam1 Feb 28, 2012 02:31 PM

                      i think prune is so small that it would definitely uncomfortable with kids.

                      tocqueville...very quiet and somber place...may also be awkward.

                      ive had dinner at the dutch with my girlfriend next to some kids...really ruined our meal but the place is loud enough for it to work.

                      -----
                      Tocqueville
                      1 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

                      Prune
                      54 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003

                      The Dutch
                      131 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

                      1. s
                        small h Feb 28, 2012 02:28 PM

                        I haven't been to every restaurant on your list (6/14), but the only one that jumps out at me as child inappropriate is Tocqueville. I haven't been in a while, but I remember the dining room being quite hushed and formal. And Rao's has a reputation for being an impossible reservation if you don't have a connection - not just difficult, but actually impossible. Otherwise, I think if you stick to your early-dining plan, you should be fine with the kids.

                        -----
                        Tocqueville
                        1 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

                        Rao's
                        455 E 114th St, New York, NY 10029

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