Kid-Friendly Fine Dining: 6 Big Ticket Restaurants for Little Ones in NYC + SF

Foodie parents, stop worrying. Just because now have tiny tots in tow when you go out to dinner doesn’t mean you can only eat at places that have cartoon mascots, a video game room, and an all-deep-fried kids menu. In fact, when you’re in New York City or San Francisco, you can dine at some of the finest restaurants around. Not only do they have four stars, but they’re able to accommodate four-year-olds, too. Here are six big-ticket kid-friendly fine dining restaurants for little ones in the Big Apple and the Golden City.

New York City

Le Perigord
One of the finest and fanciest French restaurants in Manhattan is more than happy to host petits convives (little diners). Owner Georges Briguet, who has four children and seven grandchildren, loves having kids around. “I don’t even mind if they cry in the restaurant,” he says. “It’s better than music.” There is no children’s menu, so servers simply ask what dishes might work best. Favorites include the vegetable tart or lobster bisque for appetizers, while a variety of pastas, turbot filet, and the burger are the most often-ordered mains. Sometimes Briguet will serve diminutive diners snails, sweetbreads, or frogs’ legs. “I don’t tell them what they’re eating until they’re done,” he says. “It’s important they are exposed to such flavors so early.” Meals finish with a visit from the “Temptation Wagon,” a cart laden with options such as chocolate mousse, tarte tatin, and raspberry tart. Make a reservation at Le Perigord now.

kid-friendly fine dining

The Back Room at One57
Now you can encourage your kid’s love of reading while you dine. The Feed Your Mind program pairs children’s books from Phaidon Publishing – which are “served” on a vintage library cart – with tyke-friendly fare from chef Chad Brauze. So while they dive into Doodle Cook or Harold’s Hungry Eyes, they can dig into a salmon bento box, a turkey dog dressed up with cheddar cheese, or the kale salad with honey vinaigrette. Not only are many options quite healthy, but the experience also means your child won’t be draining your iPhone battery during dinner while they watch Wild Kratts episodes. Make a reservation at the Back Room at One57 now. 

kid-friendly fine dining

Agern
This past spring, Agern kicked off its Kids Table initiative. The chic, Danish-inspired restaurant and other high-end eateries in New York City hosted shorties-only meals for diners aged 7 to 14 years old, which raised money for the Melting Pot Foundation. “The idea is that kids should be trusted to try adult food and to challenge their palates,” says general manager Katie Bell. For the course of the meal, no adults were allowed in the restaurant, except the staff. The kitchen prepared a very grown-up menu for 55 small guests, including braised lamb. “One of the girls came to me and said, ‘It’s delicious, though it might be a little overcooked.’” Says Bell. “Only in New York.” Make a reservation at Agern now.

kid-friendly fine dining

San Francisco

Farallon
The Instagram-worthy décor recalling 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea at this breezy sea-centric eatery in Union Square is enough to make it a hit with pint-sized eaters. Jellyfish- shaped fixtures emitting an otherworldly glow hang from the ceiling, columns mimic towers of kelp, and stools take the shape of octopuses. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s a “caviar staircase” covered in 50,000 iridescent indigo marbles leading up to the balcony overlooking the dining room. After your kid finishes ooh’ing and aah’ing, you can give them their first taste of caviar — or dare them to egg a sea urchin. Or you can simply order them a bowl of fettuccine – and forgo telling them it features smoked octopus (until after they finish devouring it). Make a reservation at Farallon now.

kid-friendly fine diningContinue Reading

The Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Top Summer Travel Destinations in America 2016

As families hit the road and take to the skies on summer travels, we are pleased to unveil the Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Top Summer Travel Destinations in America.

Featuring restaurants beloved by locals and visitors alike, the complete list highlights restaurants in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., including Little Goat in Chicago, M Street Kitchen in Santa Monica, and Le Diplomate in Washington, D.C. A to-dine list for families who love to explore the cities they visit through restaurants, this collection of eateries represents those that provide a welcoming atmosphere for children and their families in addition to food that pleases all palates. A multitude of cuisines are represented on the lists, including barbecue, Brazilian, dim sum, French, Japanese, seafood, and, naturally, perennial family favorite, Italian.

 

The Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Top Summer Travel Destinations in America 2016 list is generated from more than 1.4 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners between June 1, 2015, and May 31, 2016. All restaurants with a minimum “overall” score and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then sorted according to a score calculated from each restaurant’s average rating in the “kid friendly” category. Based on this methodology, the following restaurants, listed in alphabetical order, comprise the Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Top Summer Travel Destinations in America 2016, according to OpenTable diners. The complete list may also be viewed at http://www.opentable.com/m/best-kid-friendly-restaurants/.

CHICAGO
Chicago q
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse
Little Goat
Maggiano’s
Mon Ami Gabi
Quartino
RJ Grunt’s
Stella Barra Pizzeria
Weber Grill
Wildfire

LOS ANGELES
BenihanaEncino, Ontario, Puente Hills, Santa Anita, Torrance
Black Angus Steakhouse-Torrance
Buca di Beppo-Claremont
Duke’s Malibu
Enterprise Fish Co.-Santa Monica
Farmshop LA
Gus’s BBQ
M Street Kitchen
Maggiano’sFarmers Market + Woodland Hills
North Italia-El Segundo
Paradise Cove Beach Café
Queen Mary Champagne Sunday Brunch

NEW YORK
Blue Smoke
Carmine’s44th Street + 91st Street
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que-Harlem
Landmarc at the Time Warner Center
Max Brenner-Union Square
NINJA NEW YORK
The Palm Court at The Plaza Hotel
Rock Center Café
Sarabeth’s TriBeCa
Sugar Factory-Meatpacking District
Tony Di NapoliMidtown + UES
Virgil’s Real BBQContinue Reading

The Evolution of Restaurant Menus

The evolution of restaurant menus

As we shared the results of a survey around confusing menu jargon, we couldn’t help but wonder about the evolution of restaurant menus. Here, contributor Nevin Martell takes a look at how they’ve changed throughout history.

For centuries, when diners walked into an eatery, they simply ate what the chef was cooking that day. Slowly, as restaurants became more formalized, guests were given options for what they’d like to sup on. Paper menus codifying those choices first started appearing in the mid-18th century in Paris. What began as a phenomenon became an integral part of the dining experience around the world.

The evolution of restaurant menus

But don’t mistake menus as simply a list of what’s to eat. They have become barometers of the shifting tides of history. “They are a great reflection of pop culture, the eating habits of Americans, and a way to follow larger trends,” says Jim Heimann, editor of Menu Design in America, 1850-1985 and a collector with more than 6,000 menus in his archives. “For example, speakeasies in the 1920’s had coded language on their menus. It might say, ‘Ginger ale is available for your consumption.’ This meant you had a mixer for your booze. During World War II, there was an absence of a lot of items due to rationing. And in the 1960’s, you see artwork reflective of the counterculture.”

The evolution of restaurant menusContinue Reading

This Is the End: 9 Chefs on Their Last Suppers

What would you want to eat for your last meal? The sky’s the limit; anything you want. Don’t get bogged down in the finality of the situation. Instead, think about the dishes and drinks that have given you the most pleasure in your life. This might be the first time you’re considering this question, but many chefs think about it constantly. After all, their lives are focused on and consumed by food, so they have some pretty strong feelings on the subject. We asked nine of them what they would want to enjoy for their last suppers before joining James Beard and Escoffier in the great big kitchen in the sky.

Amy Brandwein, Centrolina, Washington, D.C.
“I imagine my last supper with my husband, family, and closest friends. I’d start with tuna nigiri with ginger and soy sauce. Followed by a bowl of buckwheat chitarra with anchovies and chickpeas, which I’d make myself. I’d move on to chestnut trofie with financière sauce featuring sweetbreads, veal, and chicken livers by Roberto Donna of Al Dente in Washington, D.C. From there, I’d want pad si-ew with duck and Chinese broccoli at Duangrat’s Thai in Fall’s Church, Virginia. Next up? Pat LaFrieda’s ribeye with turnip greens cooked with garlic, hot pepper, and anchovies, plus Robuchon potatoes from Rose’s Luxury in Washington, D.C. To finish, I’d have one of my favorite desserts: coffee gelato with whipped cream, salted peanuts, and Kahlua.” Make a reservation at Centrolina.

Last Suppers

Juan Manuel Barrientos, El Cielo, Miami, Florida
“I’d want traditional Colombian cuisine – fried rice, plantains, chorizo, chicharrón, avocados, arepas with hogao sauce (made with tomato and onion), and aguardiente (an anise flavored liqueur). Dessert would be sweet figs cooked tender in sweet water served with queso blanco, along with coffee and guarapo (cane sugar juice). Everything would be served family style and, of course, my family would be there. Family is the most important thing for me, and they bring balance to my life.” Make a reservation at El Cielo.

Last Suppers

Trae Basore, Pearl & Ash, New York, New York
“I would start off with a plate of fried pickles from Penguin Ed’s Bar-B-Q in Fayetteville, Arkansas, with a tall New Belgium Fat Tire. For dinner, I’d just have charcuterie – mortadella, chicken liver paté – and a cheese plate with three year-aged Parmesan, a stinky Époisses, and a really nice Gorgonzola. That would come with a big crusty French loaf, Dijon mustard, and pickles. A pint of strawberry Häagen-Dazs to finish. I’d like to enjoy it with my fiancée and all of my friends and some bluegrass music from Old Crow Medicine Show.” Make a reservation for Pearl & Ash.

Last Suppers

Ed Scarpone, DBGB Kitchen and Bar, Washington, D.C.
“I’d want to cook my own burger because no one really knows how you like your burger. I go for medium rare with a nice redness in the middle. It’s simple. Just nice ground meat, a thick slice of onion, mayo, and aged cheddar cheese on a Martin’s hamburger roll. I’d have it with really good fries – cut bigger, skin on, and double fried, so you get that nice crispy outside and that mashed potato inside. Mayo on the side for dipping, because I despise ketchup. PBR to drink. I love pecan pie, but I’ve been allergic to pecans since I was 14-years-old. But if I’m going to kick it, I’d go for it and have grandma-style pecan pie with graham cracker crust for dessert.” Make a reservation at DBGB Kitchen and Bar.

Last Suppers

Jennifer Carroll, Requin, Fairfax, Virginia
“My last supper would be an all-day affair on a beach on St. John with my fiancée, Billy, my family, and best friends. It would start with breakfast – a Taylor’s pork roll, egg, cheese, and scrapple on a buttered English muffin. This is what I grew up eating, and my dad still makes it for me when I go home. I know – super healthy. I’d be drinking rosé all day – morning, noon, and night. I’d move on to eating mango, pineapple, and papayas. For dinner, there would be simply grilled fish – red snapper or black bass – with lemon, oil, and herbs. And I’d need sides – my mom’s mac ‘n’ cheese with ham, roasted turnips, and pickled beets. For dessert, there would be angel food cake – because I love the simplicity of it – every ice cream in the world, Sour Patch Kids, peanut M&Ms, and chocolate-covered pretzels, along with Fernet and aged dark rum to drink.” Make a reservation at Requin.

Last SuppersContinue Reading