Posts Tagged ‘ dining out with babies ’

My Toddler, The Food Critic

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Lobster Ravioli (right) and homemade Cinnamon-Spiced Applesauce at the Argonaut in Washington, DC

Now that Mason’s 1, I suppose he’s no longer a baby (sob). He’s a toddler and although I’m a little sad that the baby days are behind us, I’m thrilled that he’s at the point where he can and will eat just about anything. In fact, his eclectic tastes and agreeable nature came in especially handy this week. I was away on a business trip until Wednesday night so Bug went to Washington, DC, with Chris for the week. I was skeptical of Chris’ plan to care for Mason and get all of his work done without any help at all, but Chris managed beautifully by turning our son into a mini food critic. Since Monday, the boys have been eating their way through DC, sampling a variety of foods from the mom-approved chicken and okra to the only-daddy-would-dare vanilla milkshake.

Mason’s culinary tour of the District began at Flying Fish Coffee in Mt. Pleasant, where he split a yummy homemade red plum pop tart with Chris. For lunch they swung by the Diner in Adams Morgan for grilled cheese, burger, and vanilla milkshake. I cringed when Chris sent me a gleeful text about their greasy meal. At least breakfast involved fruit, but a vanilla milkshake? Seriously?! What about the huge cooler of healthy, homemade food that I sent on the trip with them? My boy was missing out on essential vitamins! I shared my angst with a few coworkers and then I got a grip and I let it go. After all, Mason was having a blast and a little splurging now and then is healthy, according to my fellow Parents.com blogger Dr. Richard Rende. That night Bug dined on Roasted Chicken with Oven-Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Okra and Basil Mashed Potatoes at Shaw’s Tavern. Father and son gave each dish a thumb’s up, but Mason was especially fond of the crisp pizza-oven-baked bread.

MeatatShaws-2Mason, waiting for his food at Shaw’s Tavern, in northwest Washington, DC

Chris and Mason laid low on Tuesday after the earthquake hit (thank goodness they were OK), and sustained themselves on leftovers (and perhaps some of that food I sent?) while Chris researched hurricane damage at local restaurants. On Wednesday, they spent the day in the newsroom and then they ventured out for dinner at the Argonaut, located on an up-and-coming section of historic H St. Mason ate Lobster Ravioli, his first introduction to shellfish. Chris sent me a text before Bug’s first bite and I held my breath. What if he had an outbreak of hives (or worse!) and I wasn’t there to comfort him? Luckily all went well. Mason dug the ravioli but wasn’t much of a fan of the sugary cinnamon-spiced applesauce that came with it (the all-natural applesauce I make for him, on the other hand, is one of his faves).

They’re winding up their time in the District and driving back up to New York this afternoon. I can’t wait to hug and kiss my boys — four days is an unbearably long time to be away from them. I’ll spend the rest of the week filling Mason up with as much healthy, organic food as he’ll eat. No more vanilla milkshakes for him but okra and roast chicken just might become new staples in our house. Does your toddler or babe enjoy dining at restaurants? What’s his or her fave restaurant dish?

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Philly Food Memory

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011


As I mentioned yesterday, I’m on a work trip until Wednesday night so I won’t be cooking for my babe until Thursday. (Our next dish will be Minty Peas — more to come!). While I can’t cook for him right this moment, I can reminisce  about one of my favorite memories of Mason and food.

We want our babe to love food as much as we do, so my hubby and I have been taking him to restaurants since he was just a few weeks old. We live in New York but love Philly so we took a day trip there last November during my maternity leave. At that point, Mason was close to three months old and we decided to visit Jones restaurant, recommended by Joy Manning, a friendly acquaintance, Philly resident, and author of Almost Meatless.

Mason loved the place. It’s cool and retro. There are lots of artful light fixtures everywhere. The waiters are bouncy and engaged. The patrons are friendly and adoring of smiling babies. And the food is delish. We went early, around 4:30, to avoid the dinner rush — we’re sympathetic that restaurant patrons don’t want to deal with a screaming baby. Mason doesn’t scream a lot but when he does he screams. Luckily he was a gem the entire time.

But all of this is all background, an FYI. The point of this post is my favorite memory, and it goes like this.

Mason was sitting on my lap when the waiter dropped off our dishes. My dish was succulent roast chicken and mashed potatoes cooked in pan juices. Chris and I had been coaxing Mason to smile for the camera just before our food arrived, and my hubby finally captured a smiley Mason (above) just as the waiter set my dish in front of me. Seconds later, a delighted Mason dipped his hand in my mashed potatoes, smeared them across the table, and laughed hysterically. We like to say that the adorable smile in the photo is Mason plotting his move. I smile every time I see his delight in that photo, and I can’t wait to return to Jones. Will we be able to recreate the same kind of moment? I hope so. It was magic. Once just wasn’t enough for me.

What’s your fave food moment with your baby?

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