Tanking Up Those Tykes: We’ll tell you where to take even your food-phobic kid.
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Foodie to Finicky,
Sticky-table kiddie joints are sooooo 1992. Here’s where to take everyone in your family, from that gastro-snob brother-in-law to your “energetic” four-year-old who only eats beige food.
Dobbs Ferry, (914) 305-2336
Ex-Zuppa chef Dave DiBari has taken his sublime palate north to Dobbs, to his own casual spot at which brisk waiters wear mechanic’s shirts and the tables remain resolutely unclothed. While young diners can opt for delicious pizzette and pastas, gourmands can go for DiBari’s creative odes to classic Northern Italian fare. Best of all, this Italian-style gastropub offers reasonable prices and zero pretense: no one will blink when your little one spills her milk. (For a full review, see page 116.)
Tarrytown (914) 631-0000
“Locavorian” and “sustainbly harvested” are the on-trend foodie keywords here, yet this jeans-casual joint opened by the folks behind Dobbs Ferry’s Tomatillo offers cozy home-ground Stone Barns pork hot dogs and Creekstone beef burgers. While snobs can savor pillowy gnocchi and sprightly minted pea soup, others can tuck into French fries and ketchup: family friendly and foodie-approved, Sweetgrass works for everyone. And, of course, hot glazed donuts never hurt.
The Barn at Bedford Post
Bedford, (914) 234-7800
Unlike its newer, more elegant sibling, The Farmhouse, this café-cum-bakery snuggled in Bedford horse country has a casual, family friendly atmosphere. Look for locally raised ingredients spun into elegant breakfasts and lunches, all with an attitude- (and tablecloth-) free vibe. In fine weather, the Barn’s outdoor seating is lovely—and you might even spot co-owner Richard Gere hitching up for a bite.
Hastings-on-Hudson (914) 478-0666
This genuine, sit-down restaurant by John Halko (the mind behind Hastings’s former 14-seat, no-restroom, mostly takeout Comfort) offers healthy, mainly organic fare in a no-fuss atmosphere. While Comfort’s new location sports a bar (and even a bathroom), Comfort’s veggie-friendly, healthier take on American comfort food is the same. Look for crowd favorites like burgers, tacos, and roasted Amish chicken, and nutritious sides of organic grains and greens.
Croton-on-Hudson (914) 271-5555
From the moment those warm potato chips hit the table, everyone is happy at Ümami. With a well-executed, world-spanning menu that touches Europe, Asia, and the New World, it’s hard to pine for any single genre—plus, a kooky décor and a children’s menu presented in a View-Master are sure to keep the little guys happy.
Dobbs Ferry (914) 478-2300
Known for Stone Barns produce and approachable Tex-Mex fare, this funky, no-frills family favorite in Dobbs Ferry offers a healthier take on fajitas, tacos, and burritos. Veggie-friendly, Tomatillo also slings locally brewed Boylan’s sodas to kiddies, while exhausted parents relax with bargain margaritas and microbrews.
Sweetgrass Grill’s donuts delight kids and gourmand grownups.
A kid’s-eye view of Q Restaurant and Bar.
|Q Restaurant and Bar|
Mount Kisco, (914) 241-7427
Port Chester, (914) 933-7427
With child-sized hand-washing stations and a wide-appeal barbecue menu, these twin ’cue joints offer the perfect family night option. Yet sweetly rich pulled-pork sandwiches (with crisp, house-made cole slaw) will satisfy even foodies—while Kneaded Bread desserts offer pastel icing on the cake.
Teen and Tween
At this aspirational age, kiddie menus only yield eye-rolls. Treat your little sophisticate to exotic flavors, colorful surroundings, and the irresistible allure of Adult Swim. The restaurants below offer a little glamour—along with democratic menus that won’t have your little scenester craving a PB&J later.
Mamaroneck (914) 835-8350
This Moroccan dream—conceived by Marrakech native Alain Bennouna—brings colorful tents, plush sofas, and belly dancers to the Boston Post Road. Zitoune’s menu ranges from the familiar (like grilled chicken, hamburgers, and French fries) to the exotic (like heaven–spiced tagines), and can accommodate every palate between. Best of all: on weekends, belly dancers sway through the tables, encouraging intrepid diners to boogie.
Dobbs Ferry, (914) 591-0054
No hushed temple to raw fish, this bustling, child-friendly joint has a silly seaside décor and a crowd-pleasing sushi menu—some of which is fully cooked. Sit at the bar to watch the chefs roll, or snag a table in the middle of the throng—though be prepared: savvy parents avoid prime-time, as table waits can get long.