Fancy food doesn’t have to be just for date night. Now you don’t have to worry about getting a sitter. Head to these kid-friendly fine-dining restaurants for an upscale experience the whole family can enjoy.
Kellari Seafood Taverna (19 West 44th Street)
“Fresh” is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about this midtown favorite. The fish is delivered early each morning at this Mediterranean hotspot and is laid out on display for all to see. The atmosphere is casual, but the service is impeccable. My kids loved eating clams on the half-shell and the perfectly grilled and seasoned lamb chops. I suggest you start with the charcoaled octopus before moving onto the signature greek salad with chunks of savory feta cheese. The grilled salmon is an easy favorite that’s always cooked to perfection. My son absolutely loved the Greek fries served with grated cheese and oregano. If your little one likes to play it safe, have no fear. They make a delicious burger too. This restaurant is conveniently located in the Theater District and has a pre- and post-theater menu.
21 Club (21 West 52nd)
The rich history alone is reason enough you should bring your kids to the iconic New York City eatery which got its start as a speakeasy during prohibition. All patrons must follow the dress code of no jeans or sneakers and a jacket must be worn by young and older men alike. The restaurant has toy relics donated from past Presidents, movie stars and notable people scattered throughout the restaurant and hanging down from the ceiling in the main dining room. President JFK was a known regular and gifted a model of the ship he was a commander of when he served. Don’t worry about your kids being too loud, as the place has a constant chatter of people in the background. They do have a kids menu you can ask for, but older kids might enjoy the upscale twists on classics. Take the 21 Burger, for example, with its duck laden patty and salted fries. The Baked Alaska (a favorite of many Presidents), will delight kids who get to watch it be lit on fire before they dig in.
Molos (Weehawken, NJ)
Molo’s is one of my all-time favorite Mediterranean restaurants in New Jersey. I know, I know! This is a list of great upscale restaurants in New York City. But going to Molo’s from Manhattan is an adventure kids will love and it’s worth the trip. It’s a quick ferry ride from Manhattan across the Hudson River right over to the front door at this seaside restaurant.The floor to ceiling windows frame a spectacular Manhattan skyline. The typical children’s options of chicken tenders and fries are available, but kids will get a kick out of watching their server light a platter of cheese (Saganaki) on fire. Adults will gobble up the delicious grilled lemon Lavraki and tasty selections of dips such as spicy feta, garlicky mousse and Tzatziki, all served with fresh pita.
Landmarc (The Shops at Columbus Circle, 57th Street)
The Landmarc is a fancy spot to go for date night and a great place to bring the children for a family meal. It has a yummy, but elevated children’s menu with options like lemon and herb roasted chicken breast, Grafton cheddar mac and cheese and peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches. Parents will love the Italian and French bistro’s filet mignon, braised lamb and grilled pizzas. Kids can even get cotton candy and caramels at the end of the meal!
Serafina in Tribeca (95 West Broadway)
Pasta and Pizza is always a sure thing for kids (especially if you have picky eaters) and at Serafina’s they know how to do it just right. The atmosphere is perfect for families and parents will love the creative cocktails and delicious pasta dishes of gnocchi and pesto, and homemade meatballs with fresh Italian ricotta on the side. The children’s menu has simpler versions of the adult pastas, including a tomato sauce and butter pasta.
Le Song (Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave)
Let your little ones enjoy an authentic Parisian experience without ever leaving the city. This inviting bistro is right in Chelsea Market, making it an ideal atmosphere for families. Plus it has live music playing on Mondays and Wednesdays. Delicious adult fares like Le Poulet Francais and La Ratatouille are offered and a more traditional menu for the kids of cheese burgers, rosemary french fries and chicken fingers are available.
By Carey Reilly