The next time you’re looking for kid friendly Westchester restaurants, why not take the opportunity to get your kids to step out of the chicken finger box? Forgo the kid’s menus and explore other choices, it’s a perfect opportunity to expose children to new foods that are not familiar to them. Interestingly enough, kids that scream “YUCK!” at the dinner you prepared for them will happily eat food cooked by someone else. Why? It’s one of life’s mysteries. If you find out, please let me know!
Here are some of our favorite local restaurants and the reasons why we love them. And for those nights when you’re the chef, try our kid-friendly desert, Rice Crispy Crepes, inspired by one of favorite places.
1) Polpettina (Larchmont) – This Italian restaurant is fairly new to our town but was a hit from the start. Their specialties are meatballs and brick oven pizza, which are both kid favorites. On our first visit we ordered a pizza with Brussel Sprouts and all three of my kids ate it without blinking an eye. I love this restaurant for the locally sourced ingredients and my kids love the homemade lemonade served in large mason jars. It’s a win-win. No mac & cheese or chicken fingers here.
2) Bartaco (Port Chester) – In warmer months, we enjoy heading to this restaurant and sitting out on the deck. The patio has picnic style tables that are perfectly suited for kids and the kids menu is unique and imaginative. From the mini tacos to the fruit kebabs, the food hits all the right notes. Make sure to order extra chips to for the guacamole. The portions seem small but by the end of the meal we’re always full.
3) Emma’s Ale House (White Plains) – While an Ale House may not seem like a good choice to take your children, for great comfort food this is the place to go. For starters, instead of bread, they serve pretzel sticks with mustard. I think my kids would be happy to order a plate of these as their dinner if we let them. But they opt for the mac and cheese, which is homemade, with bacon, their favorite word. I’m not surprised this restaurant has won Best of Westchester five years in a row.
4) Auray Gourmet (Larchmont)– We head to this Parisian style bistro for the crepes and waffles. Don’t expect to find imitation syrup for the waffles, it’s the real deal and so is the whipped cream. The food is fresh and made to order so the wait time is sometimes long but well worth it. Pick out some artisanal cheese and a freshly baked baguette (if there are any left) on your way out.
5) Fuji Mountain (Larchmont) – If you want to take your kids out to dinner and a show, head for some hibachi at Fuji Mountain. My kids are so busy watching food and knives flying around they don’t even notice they’re eating broccoli. They just eat whatever happens to land on their plate. I would not rate this restaurant as a bargain (kid’s entrees start at 13.00) but when we have something to celebrate this is our spot.
What are some of your favorite kid-friendly places in Westchester?
- 1 1/2 cup milk (whole or 2%)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup flour
- 2 Tbsp melted butter
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- ½ Tbsp cocoa powder (optional)
- Nutella spread, ½ cup to ¾ cup
- Crispy puffed rice cereal, approx. 1 cup
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)
- Fresh strawberries for garnish (optional)
- Combine milk, eggs, flour, sugar, vanilla extract and salt in a mixing bowl, and whisk until smooth. Let batter rest in refrigerator for about 30 minutes or so.
- Heat a crepe pan or a non-stick skillet over medium high heat (cast iron works well too because it is non-stick). Wipe pan with butter when hot. Pour about 1/3 cup into center of pan and swirl to coat bottom of pan. Batter should spread all the way to the edges. Cook for about a minute and then gently lift the edge and flip. Cook for another 30 seconds.
- Remove crepe from pan and stack on rack to let cool. Spread the Nutella in a thin layer onto the crepe and then top with rice cereal.
- Simply roll them up and cut in half. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and garnish with fresh strawberries.
- For chocolate crepes, use about half of the batter and then add the cocoa powder to the remainder. Let rest again and then follow the same steps above. This step is optional and obviously can be skipped if you don’t want to add to your baking time.
- If you are assembling these with your kids, make the crepes ahead and just wrap them in plastic and place in a sealed plastic bag. Keep refrigerated for up to 3 days. Hand them some Nutella and rice crispies and have them roll their own!
And the VERDICT is:
Matthew (age 7): “I love it, that’s the truth”
Liam (age 5): “These are a little dangerous – too crunchy”
Dylan (age 5): “OMG – I love that”