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Restaurants for a family with a well-behaved 6 yr old

Restaurants for a family with a well-behaved 6 yr old

Jun 9th, 2006, 04:06 PM
  #1  
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Restaurants for a family with a well-behaved 6 yr old

I'm taking my wife and 6-year old daughter to New York later this month. Besides pizza (which we'll do one night), what places do you Fodorites recommend for dinner that would be appropriate for a young 'un? She has relatively sophisticated tastes, but she is, after all, still just out of kindergarten. We'd prefer non-chain restaurants. We're staying in Midtown at the New York Palace. Thanks for any advice you can offer.
ThePhan is offline  
Jun 9th, 2006, 04:53 PM
  #2  
GoTravel
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I have a girlfriend raising three young kids in Manhattan and she and her husband take their kids to all the restaurants they eat at, with the exception of the obvious Per Se, Daniel etc, except they eat early.

I would think 21 Club would be a fun experience. Also China Grill is close to the Palace.
 
Jun 9th, 2006, 05:26 PM
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Reasonably with a 6 year old I would eat very early - like 6pm - while the places are still fairly empty and don;t count on full dinners (I can;t imagine she'll be willing to sit still for 2 hours). Maybe take a walk and then have dessert someplace else.

Also - try some places that might not have the best food but will help keep her occupied: Ellen's Stardust Diner with singing waitstaff and Cafe Un Deaux, Trois with paper table cloths and crayons for drawing.
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 9th, 2006, 05:30 PM
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I agree that, wherever you decide, eat early (with the exception of known child-friendly or touristy spots, of course).

New Yorkers and NY restaurants are not known for tolerating children, I'm afraid. In fact, a friend of mine with a well-behaved 5 year old was recently told that the child's presence wasn't appropriate at a mid-priced uptown Sunday brunch!

Gekko is offline  
Jun 9th, 2006, 06:48 PM
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Serendipity!
lynnejoel1015 is offline  
Jun 9th, 2006, 07:15 PM
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You must take your child to American Girl Place, where the food in the restaurant is actually good and she will think she is in heaven. It is actually very hard to get a reservation. A couple of other places we have enjoyed with our daughters over the years (in no particular order) are Ruby Foo's in Times Square (food much better than expected), Tabla, Tamarind (we like Indian, Cowgirl Hall of Fame in the Village, Otto by Mario Batali in the Village. As a mom of well behaved daughters, you can honestly take her just about anywhere, even in NYC. I do agree that you are better off going early to truly fine restaurants, if you feel compelled to eat at that level. But there are so many fun restaurants, you may eat well without making her suffer through a meal in a stuffy place.
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Jun 9th, 2006, 07:37 PM
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mp
 
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As usual, I don't agree with Gekko's experience (and I'm pretty sure he's not a parent) but as a NY parent I can tell you I have never had one bad moment from any restauranteur or patron in 12 years of taking our son out to dinner at least once a week. We've dined with him everywhere from Le Bernardin to Chanterelle to DB Bistro Modern to Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe and gekko's beloved Cafe D'Alsace (on Weds.) NEVER had a problem, in fact, we have had people come up to him and compliment him on his manners and behavior. New York is a VERY child friendly city. It has to be - millions of 'em live and visit here.

Of course, we also have followed the good advice of NY traveler and Go Travel - with most aged 10 and younger eat before 7:00; skip either appetizers or desserts, bring a book or crayons and paper, don't be afraid to ask for sauce on the side or other simple accomodations.

That said - in midtown I would feel comfortable with most 6 year olds at Orso; Beacon; Maria Pia; Norma's; Thalia; Sarabeths;Trattoria Dell'Arte; Mars 2112 (not for the food, for the kid) F&B (great upscale hot dogs and fries) Grand Sichuan; Serafina; Pain Quotidian, Mainland - I could go on . . .
You can find the menus at menupages.com - have fun, your child will love NYC. Your daughter is the perfect age for the small seasonal amusement park inside Central Park called Victorian Gardens - go to www.victoriangardensnyc.com to check it out.
mp is offline  
Jun 9th, 2006, 08:53 PM
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As I (and others) said, eat early (like, perhaps, before 7pm). Which part of that was tough to understand? I realize how defensive parents of little angels can get, but good god, relax.

Hey, here's an idea -- take your well-mannered child to Le Bernardin at 9pm and then get back to us, okay? That'll be a hoot.
Gekko is offline  
Jun 10th, 2006, 03:21 AM
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Gekko, no one argued that it is wise to eat early with kids, but your statement of "New Yorkers and NY restaurants are not known for tolerating children" was a bit off. NYC is full of children, some actually LIVE there and their families take them out to eat in the better restaurants.

I don't have kids, but when dining with friends & their children in nice restaurants we were ALL made to feel welcome. Perhaps the children you were dining with followed your lead and displayed bad manners?
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Jun 10th, 2006, 06:13 AM
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Your daughter will LOVE the American Girl restaurant. I have recently eaten there 5 times with various children and each child was delighted. BUT the food is horrible! Yes, kids may like it because it is sweet, cute, several desserts each and they can have pink lemonade. Adults can have alcohol which may be necessary. You will see many birthday parties there, including my grandaughter next Saturday. If you can get tickets to the show there your daughter will want to move to NYC and be an actress.
Elainee is offline  
Jun 10th, 2006, 06:38 AM
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Sorry my experience doesn't "fit." I've seen several restaurants be incredibly rude to parents, and my friend's experience with Sunday brunch? Remarkable.

When I take my nieces & nephews to nice places for dinner, I go early, like 6pm.

That's my experience & advice. Follow it, or not.

Gekko is offline  
Jun 10th, 2006, 07:26 AM
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mp
 
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As usual, whenever anyone respectfully disagrees with gekko, he calls them defensive and becomes slightly insulting . .
And as usual, he does not offer much helpful information or answer the op's question. If you don't have much direct personal experience, why do you even bother?
And by the way, my well-behaved son ate at Le Bernardin at 7:30 on a Saturday evening. And was treated with as much respect as any other diner. But what do you care - you think Le Bernardin is boring and for old people.
mp is offline  
Jun 10th, 2006, 07:30 AM
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It's amazing that everyone on Fodors has such well-behaved children who never make a peep during a 4-hour meal at Le Bernadin: unfortunately, I must not ever be eating with people from Fodors <g>

MikeT is offline  
Jun 10th, 2006, 07:57 AM
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I know plenty of NYC parents blinded by their rose-colored glasses. That denial is okay when fellow diners don't suffer.

My advice, like GoTravel's and nytraveler's before me, was to eat early. Who disagrees?

And congrats on all hte little fodors angels! What a fascinating statistical occurrence!
Gekko is offline  
Jun 10th, 2006, 08:37 AM
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I can honestly say mine is not an angel!!! She is hell on wheels!!! I would certainly be kicked out fo the finer places!!!! That is why I used to pay a fortune for babysitters!!
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Jun 10th, 2006, 08:53 AM
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gekko & mike, you realize of course that the reason you only notice the poorly behaved children is precisely because they are poorly behaved - you don't notice the all well-behaved children because they blend in with all the other diners. . .
mp is offline  
Jun 10th, 2006, 11:12 AM
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No, not really. I always notice children who are in places where you don't usually see them and don't expect to see them. I'm sure that everyone on Fodors have the most perfectly well-behaved children ever, who can all coverse in French with the waiters and help pick out wine.

Just like in Lake Wobegone.
MikeT is offline  
Jun 10th, 2006, 11:43 AM
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Yes, I agree with all of the comments about dining early with young children. But what I find more obnoxious than a misbehaving child, are the self-absorbed adults who get so bent out of shape if a child even enters a restaurant. I can't count the number of times my family has received the evil eye by a couple of so-called adults when we arrive for dinner. We always ignore the glares and have a great time. At the end of our meal, my kids are usually congratulated on their good behavior by the adults that exhibited the worst manners toward us when we arrived.

wtm003 is offline  
Jun 10th, 2006, 12:02 PM
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Do you at least understand the frustration of diners who are paying a lot of money for a nice evening in an adult space and who fear their evening will be ruined by having to listen to parents cajole their children to eat or having the parents completely ignore their childrens' antics?

Parents are so enamored with the antics of their loved ones that I think they don't apprecaite that sometimes adults want to be in adult spaces without having to share them with 7 year olds.

The same thing occurs with dog owners who think they have the best behaved hound in the world and can't understand why a little barking is such a problem.
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Jun 12th, 2006, 09:56 AM
  #20  
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Thanks to everyone who posted some very helpful suggestions. I really appreciate it, and I'm looking forward to bothmy trip and dining (early, of course) with my daughter at some terrific restaurants.
ThePhan is offline  

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