During the month of March, Sundays through Thursdays, many travelers and locals take advantage of “Dine Around Seattle.” Frugal foodies can choose from an appetizer, dinner and dessert at some of Seattle’s best restaurants – all for $30. Some restaurants also offer lunch, and the price drops to a sweet ‘n’ cheap $15.
I’d (foolishly) assumed that many of these refined restaurants wouldn’t welcome families.
So I called the participating restaurants and asked whether they could put out high chairs and children’s menus. All offered the former — although Chez Shea needs to borrow the high chair — and many also provided the latter.
This is a good sign. When restaurants offer baby seats or say things like “we’re happy to accommodate,” they probably won’t give you the royal stinkeye when you enter their establishment. Of course, you don’t have to order from the child’s menu. Many kids are happy to share with parents, eat an appetizer or select another dish.
It’s always possible that I’ve made a mistake – when you call to make reservations, tell the restaurant you’re bringing kids, especially so if you need a high chair (there may be a limited number of high chairs). Ask about the price points for the children’s menu, along what they define as “child” (Under 10? Under 12?).
When heading to these restaurants, I would observe the typical dining-with-kids etiquette. Go early or at lunchtime, bring quiet toys, expect good manners from your children (take them outside, if they’re crying or being loud), model gratitude, don’t leave your eating area a mess.
And of course, leave a well-deserved tip.
Then come back and tell us what you thought of your dining experience! I didn’t ask about items on the children’s menu; I’d love to hear if you discovered any unique picks.
Check the main Dine Around Seattle site for lunch and dinner times, restrictions and the address.
|35th Street Bistro||No children’s menu but can make kid-friendly food. When do kids eat here? “Not so much for dinner, more for lunch.”|
|ART Restaurant and Lounge||Children’s menu|
|Artisanal Brasserie||Children’s menu|
|Barking Frog||Children’s menu|
|Barolo Ristorante||No children’s menu, but can accommodate with small plates, simple meals and less salt.|
|Bastille Café & Bar||Children’s menu for dinner.|
|Campagne||No children’s menu. Items can be adapted to be more kid-friendly.|
|Chez Shea & Shea’s Lounge||No high chairs, but can borrow one from restaurant next door. Says that chidren “sometimes” eat there. No children’s menu, but kids can order from the ala carte menu.|
|Dahlia Lounge||No children’s menu, but kid-friendly foods include buttered noodles, potstickers and sides. Pointed out that Etta’s has a children’s menu.|
|Earth & Ocean||Children’s menu.|
|Eva Restaurant||No children’s menu. Said children “occasionally” eat there. Can make something.|
|Hunt Club||No children’s menu, but can “easily” make something.|
|Mama Melina||No children’s menu, but can make something.|
|Monsoon||No children’s menu but “we’re very family-friendly.” Waiter can offer suggestions for kids.|
|Monsoon East||No children’s menu. Says most share with the parents. Asks that diners tell them how many children are coming.|
|Nell’s Restaurant||No children’s menu but “happy to accommodate any way we can,” including pasta with parmesan or a simple steak.|
|Nishino||No children’s menu, but kids like several items, including rice and teriyaki chicken skewers.|
|Palisade Waterfront Restaurant||Children’s menu is “$12 for under 12.” Pasta with alfredo sauce, salmon and other items.|
|Ponti Seafood Grill||Children’s menu.|
|Ray’s Boathouse||Children’s menu.|
|Restaurant Zoë||Children’s menu.|
|Salish Lodge & Spa The Dining Room||Children’s menu.|
|Serafina Osteria and Enoteca||No children’s menu, but can make simple pastas, cheese ravioli.|
|Steelhead Diner||Children’s menu.|
|Twisted Cork||Children’s menu AND children (under 10) eat free on Mondays.|