Portland with children
We are traveling to Portland in 3 weeks with two small children. Thanks to all of your advice, our mouths are watering with reports of all of the great food to be had. We are working our way through the restaurants that many of you have mentioned, but as we do this, our question is this: which of these are foodie family-friendly? Our kids are 2 and 3, well-behaved, and we are not shy about taking them out, but we don't want to get kicked out of a fine dining establishment either (at least not until we've had our meals!).
We're obviously not worried about several of the places mentioned in the brewpub category. Many, though, sound a bit more upscale. Any thoughts on these with kids, yea or nay?
Street & Co
Great list of restaurants though I'm sorry to say not the most kid friendly list. 555 and Hugo's would get definite nays from me. The others are a bit more lively. Street and Co. I would only try if it were nice out and you could sit outside - that would be pretty safe. I also think you would be fairly safe at miyake or vignola cinque terre (it's now one combined restaurant) for lunch. I'm pretty sure you can get anything at miyake for lunch that you can get at dinner. Fore St is pretty lively so maybe you can get away with an early diner. For me, with two little ones, I would try the lunch route and hit up one or two of the more kid friendly places for dinner- Otto, Flatbread, Portland Lobster Company, Duckfat, Nosh, etc. good luck!
I completely agree. My kids are older now but they used to be little, so I sympathize, but definitely no on Hugo's and 555, and probably no on Fore Street. Street and Co is loud and lively, so that's a better bet than most of the others, but the menu is limited to seafood and maybe one pasta-and-veg dish. Vignola has pizza (do they still?), but frankly you can get better pizza many other places.
If you want sushi, Yosaku is really very good, if not Miyake-level, and extremely family-friendly; it's where my kids always want to go on their birthdays. They have highchairs and kids' bento boxes and a swarm of people with towels who appear if anyone spills anything.
Also, I'd try Pai Men Miyake, their noodle place on Longfellow Square. They have unbelievable pork rolls and sushi appetizers and big bowls of noodles.
We're taking our twins (turning 8 in a few weeks) to Street & Co in a couple of weeks before we make the drive up to the Waterville area. My son is happy with good bread and pasta with butter, while my daughter is much more adventurous with seafood, so I think we'll be ok. The menu looks great!
re: Bob W
Well behaved 8 y.o. should be no problem. When my kids were in that 2 to 3 y.o. range, even though they were very good most of the time, it could still be a crap shoot which always kept me on edge making it difficult to enjoy myself.
As sciencediet says, Yosaku is very kid friendly and very good. It's my go to sushi place in town (I save Miyake for special occasions). And yes, Pai Men Miyake is another favorite - I agree that the pork buns are the best and the yakitori (may only be available after 5:00PM) is also great. It's also a pretty casual place.