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Jan 31, 2013 10:28 AM

1st time in Manhattan with 12 yr old

My wife and I are bringing our 12 yr old son to Manhattan for three nights in early March (Fri Sat Sun 8-10th). He's a cool kid, socially precocious, loves big cities, classic rock and is a fairly adventurous eater. Primary focus of the trip is to see the Allman Brothers at the Beacon on Fri and Sat nights. So we need two early dinners/happy hours on Fri and Sat that are not hours long and then a dinner on Sunday that can be at any time at a more leisurely pace. The concerts are on the Upper West Side, but I don't want to be tied to that neighborhood for dinner as long as its not too crazy far away to make the 8 PM shows.

None of us have been to NYC before, so we want to do some of the classic NY stuff (Jewish deli, NYC pizza) for lunches and already have a good list of recs for that kind of thing. We would also love to get some outstanding Indian, Turkish, Afghani or similiar food if you have any recs.

My wife and I love classic cocktails and our son enjoys hanging out with grown ups. Can we take him to Death and Co (opens too late for Fri or Sat nights, so that would be on Sunday) or places like that since they serve food or do they still have a 21 and up only law for those spots? We'd like to find either bars like that that we can bring him to or restaurants that have solid cocktail programs. Probably looking for modern American, French, or seafood cuisine. Happy hours work because we are light eaters and often share several apps for a meal.

We are staying at the Eventi on 6th Ave and 30th St and wonder if its too far to get to breakfast spots like Clinton Street Baking?

I hope that's not a too scattered bunch of requests, thanks for any ideas you might suggest!

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  1. The first time in NY query has been covered a lot here so you'll get some links on that sooner or later if you don't dig them up yourself.

    On taking your 12-year-old to a cocktail bar, I think D&C on a Sunday would be fine if you sat at one of the tables. The bartenders would probably be willing to mix him up a non-alcoholic concoction.... Also, while not in the same league as some of the other cocktail destinations, the Campbell Apartment might be an interesting spot as well for NY first timers. Although, they do have a dress code so they may have a kid code as well...Raines Law Room might be cool too...I would just make sure he's not dressed like an Allman Bros roadie or something and they'd probably be fine letting him into these places, but you might want to have a back up plan jic.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Silverjay

      For classic drinks there is also Lanterns Keep. They will conjure up a magnificent non-alcoholic drink. Give them a call first to make sure it's ok for a minor to sit at a table.

    2. There is really nothing that is too far from 6th and 30th. NYC has fabulous subways and your son will love the subway ride.
      Clinton St Baking can get busy on weekends so be prepared to wait. It's in a cool area.
      Katz's Delicatessan is close by and not to be missed for a true NYC deli experience. I love the hot pastrami sammich on rye (ask for fatty). The sammich is big enough for two adults to share. Share a knish and an egg cream.
      For middle eastern it's a short walk to Byblos on Madison and 28th. They may even have a belly dancer and music one night.
      Pizza!! Check the site for the many "best" recs.
      Walk down to Madison Sq Park (Shakeshack) and venture into Eataly.
      My advice to visitors is always: "Get out and walk!" weather permitting. Take in the sights, sounds and characters of Manhattan.

      1. I don't think any of these cocktail bars will be appropriate for a 12 year old. Better to go to a restaurant with a great cocktail program, such as The NoMad (mind the capital M), Empellon Cocina, Momofuku Ssam Bar.

        The Eventi is very close to the F train at Herald Square. The issue will be the wait once you arrive. You'd probably need to leave the hotel at 8am to get there by 8:30am, they start serving hot food by 9am.

        8 Replies
        1. re: kathryn

          i'm not so sure any bars like that would allow a 12 year old in

          1. re: MRS

            I am not sure what the actual rule is. I'm pretty sure a child can not actually sit at the bar but may be able to sit at a table in the area.
            Anyone know for sure??

            1. re: Motosport

              Neither New York state nor city law explicitly forbids minors in bars, although state regulations say children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

              1. re: Motosport

                You can't serve them alcohol. That's the law. Other than that, I think it is up to the establishment. But sitting at the bar would probably be awkward....If the kid is cool and socially precocious and first time for all in NYC, I say why not at least try. I'm assuming it would be on the early, tamer side of the evening anyone...It's a different scene than these places, but I've seen kids at Maison Premiere younger than 12 and I have friends who bring their kids to beer pubs on the early side of things.

            2. re: kathryn

              Thanks for the comments and suggestions so far. Truly not intending to be contrary, but curious as to what you mean by not appropriate, kathryn. I know its unusual to consider taking a 12 year old to a bar, but he is an unusually precocious kid who loves to hang out with adults and we are unusual parents who walk to our own beat when it comes to teaching our kids about responsible drinking. If its legal and the bar allows it, I don't see anything inappropriate about giving a kid who can socially handle it a good time doing stuff he thinks is fun and eating and drinking in a dark speakeasy bar with formality is something that he would love. For example, we've taken him to La Trappe, the basement Belgian beer hall in San Francisco and he was totally thrilled. That place is mostly about beer, but they also serve food, so it worked perfectly for us.

              Sure we could just go to a restaurant, but the involved mixology part of the experience is one of the things that is attractive. I'll probably have to call the bars and find out. I will also check out those restaurants you recommended, if they are dark and cozy, they could fit the bill, although coming from the Southwest, we won't be doing any Mexican or Latin in NYC and Asian food is not what we are seeking out, either. NoMad looks pretty good in lots of ways, thanks for the suggestion! I really appreciate your highly informative posts all over Chowhound, kathryn, so again, I thank you.

              1. re: mwest9

                Death & Co is not as busy on Sunday nights usually but the seating is rather close together. You're elbow to elbow at the bar. And the banquette, which is usually populated by couples, is pretty tight as well. It's very dark, very cozy. If you can't sit at the bar, you'll miss out on the bar "show" anyway. Never seen any kids there either -- they may not allow them.

                See also:

                FYI: the D&C menu also has a few quotations glorifying drinking (“I feel sorry for people who don't drink, when they wake up in the morning that's as good as they're going to feel all day” - Frank Sinatra) with some double entendres thrown in, IIRC. I can't recall if it's on the current menu, but I'm fairly certain they had the famous Dorothy Parker "four martinis and I'm under the host" quotation on there at some point.

                1. re: kathryn

                  kathryn, I would agree with you that D&C is not appropriate, dare I say, unwelcoming to a minor of that age. There are "pubs" and "restaurants with bar seating" that might be ok with a 12 year old, but I don't envision places along the lines of a D& C being cool with that. Just saying. And truthfully, I'd not like to be sitting on a bar stool next to a 12 year old...precocious and awesome though he may be.
                  NY has a unlimited variety of cool places that a young man like this would be soooo happy and sooo welcomed.

                2. re: mwest9

                  It's been my experience with my son (who is now 14) that places that serve food have no problem with a kid that age at the bar. The only places I had problems bringing him was if the place did not serve food. And some places when it is crowded. For the most part, they are better with a kid that age who is not going to try to drink, than an older teenager. My son and I have had many meals at bars around the city. That said, I always try to keep other patrons in mind and don't bring him places where I feel that other's might be uncomfortable by his presence.

              2. Cafe Talluleh just opened near the Beacon on Columbus and 71. Have not been yet but it looks and sounds great.

                1. Firstly: it is legal in NYC for a child to sit at the bar.
                  Some restaurant/bars won't let anyone in without ID showing they are of drinking age i.e. Spitzers.
                  Personally, i've taken my kids to bar type restaurants, but to sit at table,,,i didn't want my kids surrounded by drunks.
                  You didn't say where you were coming from .
                  Do you have dim sum cart type restaurants where you are from ? if not Golden Unicorn is a good place to go.
                  Megu has a fantastic ice Buddha and good cocktails, great looking place.
                  Ippudo is a fun spot to go to with a kid
                  Otto would be a fun pizza/italian food place
                  I don't think NYC is "famous" for Afghan or Turkish food.
                  Katz's is a must.
                  Pig and Khao is a small, lively Asian food place that might work.
                  Sushi of Gari will be a creative style of sushi , you all might like.
                  Buddakan is a huge place, good bar, interesting "Chinese" food.
                  Nish Nush has good falafel sandwiches.
                  St Marks place has some interesting spots, worth a walk down that street, then good places on E 7th street and of course the Japanese places on E 9th Street.
                  Maybe Veniero's for italian pastries and cappuccino's
                  or Chickalicious for desserts