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Upscale, Child Friendly NYC Restaurant?

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Dec 4th, 2017, 12:01 PM
  #1
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Upscale, Child Friendly NYC Restaurant?

Hi everyone,

I have a quick request for dining recommendations in NYC. I am planning a weekend there to celebrate my wife's 40th birthday. Part of this weekend will be going out to eat at a nice, more upscale restaurant for a family dinner, Our daughter will be 4.5 years old and loves putting on her fanciest dress and eating at fancy places... but we have learned which places around us are more child friendly.

We plan to stay around Times Square, if not right in Times Square. We will likely be eating earlier in the evening, around 5pm or so. My wife and I typically enjoy most cuisines, often opting for seafood, Asian, or Italian but open to most.

By child friendly, I really just mean a place that is welcoming to a young child dining there and has a decent children's menu, or options for younger children. She is typically very well behaved and excited to eat in restaurants (especially if she is busy with crayons, etc that we can bring) so I am not too concerned about.

Thanks so much for your ideas!
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Dec 5th, 2017, 09:48 AM
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I don't know of any expensive upscale place around Times Square, which is where I usually stay as I mainly go for theater. I don't think upscale restaurants have kids' menus and have children playing at tables with crayons or toys, but maybe you just mean a little more expensive than you usually spend? I do know a couple places around there with kids' menus, but they are definitely not upscale (like Cafe Un Deux Trois which is kid-friendly for sure). YOu wouldn't be wearing fancy dresses to any of the restaurants I can think of, even when more expensive.

The only place I can think of is CHarlie Palmer at the Knick around Times Square. I think they do have a kids menu and that's at Times Square.

Otherwise, I'd suggest you do the Palm Court at the Plaza near Central Park. With the Eloise backstory, they do have a kids' menu and that is a pretty impressive place. That's not so far away, given the special occasion, I'd go for that.
http://www.theplazany.com/dining/the-palm-court/
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Dec 5th, 2017, 11:35 AM
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I think the Plaza is a perfect suggestion for a young girl who likes to dress up!
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Dec 5th, 2017, 05:40 PM
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Tavern on the Green will be memorable for all of you, perhaps if you wish you can add a carriage ride. While some Fodorites may argue that it's a tourist trap, it's been around too long to not be good. Since it's reopened, the cuisine has been quite good (even though super-chef Jerimiah Tower has left).
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Dec 5th, 2017, 07:25 PM
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Would those suggested restaurants be open for dinner at 5:00pm?
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Dec 6th, 2017, 07:51 AM
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Hmm ... the fact that Tavern on the Green has been around for so long supports the tourist-trip idea, not the "good" idea. It's expensive though. But it is an experience, and I can't deny that. I ate there shortly after it reopened, and the food was good, if way too expensive for what you get.

I'd actually recommend Maialino. It's not in Times Square, but we do have cabs in NYC, and I'd recommend you take one to the Gramercy Park Hotel if you can get an early reservation here. It's upscale but casual, with great food and service, and they offer small portions of pasta that are suitable for kids (and great pasta at that).
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Dec 6th, 2017, 07:52 AM
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Ah ... and I didn't finish my thought. Tavern was good when it reopened and then went downhill fast. Jeremiah Tower was called in to try to salvage it and improved it. It's still way too expensive for what you get, but I hear the food isn't bad though for me once was enough.
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Dec 7th, 2017, 05:12 PM
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skip the zagat link... my bad.
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Dec 8th, 2017, 04:20 PM
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I suggested T on the G because their child would find it mesmerizing and the view outside is unsurpassed, and it's a special occasion! OP didnt ask for best, bargain meals or cuisine a child wouldnt typically eat.
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Dec 8th, 2017, 08:45 PM
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Tavern is vile and might give someone so young nightmares who might never forgive her father.
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Dec 9th, 2017, 09:55 AM
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But it’s pretty
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Dec 9th, 2017, 10:12 AM
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IMDonehere, Ill bet you an island creek oyster you are basing your justified opinion of a long long visit ago and haven't returned in many years. Although I agree it wouldn't be my first choice.
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Dec 9th, 2017, 10:52 AM
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I wish one could tour TotG without having to eat there. IME it was not at all "vile", but the food was forgettable and it was packed and noisy. But the interiors and views really are cool.

Having lunch instead of dinner is one way to split the difference, but it looks cooler at night...
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Dec 9th, 2017, 12:22 PM
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Inak

You are correct. But review after review says things have not gotten much better and with all the other choices, why bother.

We passed Rolf's last night and there was a line around the block. I agree with Zagat's about Rolf's, it is probably in the lowest five rated restaurants in their book.
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Dec 9th, 2017, 01:15 PM
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We were in Chicago this summer and there was a block-long line at the Nutella Cafe. There is no accounting for taste (or logic)??
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Dec 9th, 2017, 04:03 PM
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We were just in DC for a week and we were talking to the concierge at the hotel about this and that and said she was going to Tavern, in a few weeks. We offered her a number of alternatives which she took after looking at reviews besides our recommendations. She really wanted a steak place but did not want to go to Brooklyn to Luger's.
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Dec 11th, 2017, 08:47 AM
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How about the Mandarin Oriental over Central Park South. I have only been there for lunch (they have a $35 prix fixe), but the food was good, the view terrific, and there were small children there and very kind servers? We also like JoJo's on the Upper East Side which is very festively decorated for the holidays.

I would call in advance, explain occasion and that you would like to bring your adorable well-behaved well-dressed 5 year old daughter. Will she will be welcome and could they arrange a seat near the Christmas tree?
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Dec 11th, 2017, 11:02 AM
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Sorry, I did not think of this sooner, but the prix fixe lunch at Nougatine is a true value.
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Dec 11th, 2017, 08:57 PM
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Just read one of the above posts...I Love the idea of the Plaza, and yes, they must be child friendly. After all, Eloise lived there for years! Perhaps she'll join you..or at least you could read your daughter the book and sing her the song.

Will try out Nougatine the next time we are in NYC.
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