The term "kids' menu" likely evokes images of pirate hat-shaped menus, plastic cups filled with grape juice, and greasy chicken fingers and fries. But this is changing. Not only are many kids encouraged to order off the adults menu now, but certain restaurants and dining clubs are also actually focused on treating tiny gourmands to the amuse-bouches and mignardises they can't even yet pronounce.
1. Trummer's on Main in Clifton, VA.
This haute restaurant offers fried arancini, horseradish-crusted salmon, and grapes with prosciutto and cheese. And that's just on the children's tasting menu. Mommy and daddy can enjoy the lauded food while the kids figure out that fried risotto is absolutely delicious. Plus, they get a sundae for dessert.
2. Nibble + Squeak in several cities nationwide and London
This pipsqueak-focused dining club holds lunches and dinners where tots can try the delicious food their parents crave at new and critically acclaimed restaurants. For a set menu and price, there is often a private space reserved for parents and kids to sample haute fair without worrying if there is the occasional meltdown. Plus, it's a way to meet likeminded parents who are also foodie obsessed. What better way to find a playdate that ends in a cheese plate?
3. Au Fudge in Los Angeles, CA.
Jessica Biel may just be the patron saint of parents enjoying brunch. After all, her shi-shi LA eatery Au Fudge features a plethora of delicious-sounding egg dishes, a crave-worthy cocktail menu, and a space where you can drop your kids in case they aren't in the mood for the kids' menu (which does, truth be told, include chicken nuggets.) For a fee of $15 for 2 hours, your kids can go wild in a toy-filled wonderland complete with karaoke, toys, a treehouse, and childcare. It might be a little over the top, but it also sounds incredible.
Have you been to any of these restaurants or something like them? Let us know in the comments.