My wife and I were convinced that when our first child was born, we wouldn’t be able to have a nice dinner for about a dozen years. We weren’t completely wrong, but we were certainly pleasantly surprised when we discovered that there were casual fine dining options that offered something for the whole family. With kids, the two biggest concerns are making sure there are choices they will like and not wanting to spend a lot of money.
Both of those are not a worry when we go to a conventional family restaurant, but they come with a different sort of price: limited options for the adults. We certainly have no problem going to a fun loud place that offers a variety of the same menu available at most places from time to time, but we also want to encourage our children to have a broader view of restaurants. Plus, we’d like to be able to enjoy a nice glass of wine or a decent cocktail while having dinner.
Granted, we weren’t foolish enough to try this when the kids were still super young, and we made it clear that there were acceptable and unacceptable ways to behave while out at dinner when we did first start bringing them out, but so far we have been very happy with the results. The kids seem willing to try more than just the conventional items that you find on a “kids menu” and I enjoy being able to spend time together as a family that doesn’t break the bank.