Portland- Special dinner with kids
Trying to put this the best way possible, We'll be staying in Portland for a few days and we have two daughters (4 & 7) They are well behaved and have been exposed to places above the standard "kid friendly" . We're doing most of places discussed recently
Fishermen's Grill,5 island,Gelato,Standard Baking Co.,Duckfat,Two Fat Cats,etc.
It's a "0" birthday for my wife and I'm looking for something special while we are there that would be reasonable to bring them. 555, Fore, eventide, Hugo, I'm not sure these places would be a great idea.
Please don't suggest a babysitter - I'm pretty sure in a "strange" city my wife would not go for that.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!
BTW Our schedule seems to be scary similar to others with kids....
Lighthouse tours, children's museum, lobster boat, theater of the Awesome, farmer's market, etc.
I am of the opinion that any place is "child friendly" provided you take the usual precautions. ie: dinner on the early side, make sure the kids are well rested, have quiet activities to keep them occupied, etc. I would not recommend trying to have a "better" dinner at the end of long day filled with the children's museum, lighthouse tours, etc without some down time for kids. Our 12 year old was exhausted at the end of each day so imagine your 4 year old, LOL
All that said your list looks great. I ate at Duckfat not too long ago (5-6 months) and it was wonderful, amazing fries though there have been a few "down hill" posts recently. Maybe someone who ate there this past month or so might have a better idea if they are truly going down hill?
We had an exceptional meal at Hugos too but we ate at the bar which wouldn't be good for the kiddos.
Grace is another option, really great space and wonderful food. I have not tried their sister place Outliers. Maybe do a search as I am sure I saw a write up recently.
We tried to get into 555 when we were there but timing didn't work out. Menu looked great.
We brought our 10 y.o to Fore St. on New Year's Eve last year (early, 7 p.m.). He was the only kid there, but it was fine, no hairy eyeballs. Also took him to Local 188, which is one of my favorite places due to the casual atmosphere and great food.
I agree with foodieX2 (especially about going early) though I would probably shy away from a few places - Hugo's, Emilitsa, Back Bay Grill, 555, Bar Lola, Walter's. I feel these places might be a bit too subdued to be comfortable with younger children, even if well behaved. In fact, I have to make sure I'M on my best behavior in these places.
OTOH, upscale places where I'd take well behaved kids (early) would include Fore Street, Cinque Terra, Local 188, maybe Street and Company - even Grace especially if they want to go to what will seem like an incredible fancy place.
You know your kids best. Good kids and early should be no problem in most Portland places.
What about Caiola's? Particularly in the summer, you and the family can eat outdoors in their "arbor," and I'm sure you'd find the staff very welcoming of children. While not quite in the 555 / Fore St range, the food is always excellent and interesting. And the kids will adore the polenta fries!
I went to Paciarino with my kids on my birthday last year, and it was great. Local 188 is a fine option too, and if they like Japanese food, either Yosaku or Pai Men Miyake are perfectly family-friendly (Yosaku is a little less of a special-occasion place, but it's the one my kids always pick on their birthdays.)