Tanking Up Those Tykes: We’ll tell you where to take even your food-phobic kid.
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Mount Kisco, (914) 666-6400
This Venice-themed nook is all about harlequins and gothic arches, using its Marco Polo décor to showcase a Top Ten approach to Italian food. Expect loads of trademarked small plates, plus tons of wide-appeal panini, pizzette, and pastas. And to bring the spin through the boot to an end, Via Vanti scoops a wide spectrum of gelati—often stacked into fanciful compositions.
Teppanyaki and Hibachi
These Japanese odes to Benihana, at which comic chatter and knife tricks disguise the nutritional benefit of veggies, are a hit with fussy eaters. Popular with families (though admittedly not with foodies), the flying foodstuff of teppanyaki grills makes the perfect fare for kids’ parties.
Edo Japanese Steak House
Pelham (914) 738-1414
Port Chester (914) 738-1413
East Japan Hibachi and Sushi Bar
Ardsley (914) 478 8588
Gasho of Japan
Hawthorne (914) 592-5900
Central Valley, NY (845) 928-2277
Larchmont, (914) 833-3838
Noda’s Japanese Steakhouse
White Plains (914) 949-0990
Okinawa Japanese Restaurant
Mount Kisco, (914) 666-8188
Playing with Your Food
Don’t make dining out torture. Since prolonged dinner chat usually is too much for kids, these fun “nutri-tainment” spots give even fidgety kids a break.
White Plains, (914) 993-6358
Darien, CT, (203) 656-4774
While the Melting Pot’s tabletop deep-fat frying can be skipped for the under-10 crowd, tasty warm cheese fondues offer long-fork fun for the whole family. Best of all, between cheese and bread cubes, you might sneak in some veggies—and, as a reward, there’s always chocolate-dipped fruit for dessert.
Yonkers, (914) 771-4066
This august Korean barbecue sports tabletop grills, at which friendly servers assist in grilling beef bulgogi right before your eyes. Your little ones can help—all from a safe distance—while you sit back and enjoy a night away from the stove.
Larchmont, (914) 241-1200
Mount Kisco, (914) 833-5800
It’s a tried-and-true concept (Chuck E. Cheese perfected the formula): tokens and game rooms are always a hit with kids. Parents are often less enthused, but even grumblers must appreciate that savoring the last drop of coffee (or that well-deserved glass of wine) can feel like a bargain at any price. Plus, Belizzi’s complete, well-priced children’s party packages are always a hit with kids.
Westchester Broadway Theatre
Elmsford (914) 592-2222
Literally a play with food, this dinner theater offers entertainment right after dinner. Check the theater’s website for upcoming events, but October family highlights include “Cirque Le Masque,” an acrobatic ode to Cirque de Soleil that’s appropriate for most ages (though the theater discourages children under five from attending performances).
Field to Feast
Getting Kids Involved in Food
Besides offering group fun, these classes teach important lessons about nutrition and culture, giving kids hands-on food-production experience that ranges from agriculture to icing cupcakes.
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
Pocantico Hills (914) 366-6200
Running everything from school trips to summer camps—and including single-day classes for all ages—the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture offers a wide curriculum designed to teach responsible agriculture. Students learn about tending animals and nurturing greenhouse produce, all at Stone Barns.
Bedford Hills (914) 234-2197
This active goat farm and cheese-production site offers agricultural programs targeted for kids as young as two, with wide-appeal lessons that range from field to kitchen. Children learn responsible agriculture and the nuts-and-bolts of food production, all outdoors (in fine weather) on an expansive Bedford Hills estate.
Kids ‘r’ Cookin’
Started by former restaurateur and caterer Bandy Acciavatti, these hands-on cooking classes are held in multiple locations (including Mamaroneck, Mount Kisco, and Greenwich, Connecticut). Programs include single lessons or themed, multi-day series, and fees include lunch, materials, ingredients, aprons, cookbooks, and take-home containers. Classes are targeted to kids ages two (and up), four (and up), and eight (and up), and can include full-day lessons.
Hartsdale, (914) 328-1376
Paramus, NJ, (201) 576-0100
This Hartsdale cookware shop offers teen summer camps in either baking or cooking disciplines, as well as many younger kids’ programs in a state-of-the-art pro kitchen. Reasonably priced, one-day “Cooking For Kids” classes accommodate ages three to five and six to 10, while parent/child cooking classes are targeted to all ages.