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Four Great Restaurants, With Kids and Without

Posted by Kara Baskin  February 28, 2013 10:00 AM

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Today, a soothing departure from Marissa Mayer and thorny world of telecommuting. Thanks, everyone (OK, most of you!), for your comments. I just found out that I can indeed comment on your comments, which I'm trying to do whenever possible. Unless you're telling me that I'm out of shape, of course, because I have a yoga instructor and an inner monologue for those purposes. Anyway, I've been compiling another list of promising date-night and family-friendly restaurants. In my other life, I write about food, and I've tried some fantastic places lately. Here are a few of my new favorites.

The Sinclair, Cambridge: I'll be honest: I didn't have high hopes for this place, mainly because it's also a music venue, and my experience has been that music venues-slash-restaurants usually focus more on the entertainment, and the food is secondary. That's not the case here. I'd come for the food alone (and since my musical preferences hover somewhere around 1977, I probably will). Anyway: The pastrami pork'd belly sliders are fantastic (kind of like a sophisticated Big Mac). The trio of deviled eggs (one is topped with smoked salmon, my favorite) are excellent. And the atmosphere is mellow. The dining room is set apart from the concert area, so your meal won't come with an unwanted soundtrack. (When I ate there, Television was actually playing, so they got immediate points from this music nerd.) And the location is great: Church Street, just off Harvard Square.

Posto, Somerville: We had amazing service here recently, even with Andrew in tow. (Normally I'd rather sup at an upscale pizzeria sans tot, both for my sake and the sake of those around me, but life intervened.) Anyway, we snagged the one table/chair setup in the lounge area, which was comfy but put Andy right in the middle of harried bartenders and waiters. However, the staff couldn't have been nicer or more patient, particularly on a busy Friday night. Of course, we did our best to corral Andy and keep him from running into the bar area to experiment with tequila shots, and he was on his best behavior. But, even when he was a bit in the way (the lounge table is basically next to the busy bar, so not his fault), everyone treated him like an appreciated little customer. Also, the lemon arancini? Mealy, soft, crispy, gooey ... basically my favorite in town.

Szechuan's Dumpling, Arlington: Everyone is talking about this new place, and luckily, it's right down the street from our abode. We went last week, on opening night, for takeout. Amazing. This is not the gloopy suburban Chinese parlor of your nightmares. No, this little storefront (used to be Jade Garden) has more than 300 menu items, many of them authentic Szechuan specialties. I got beef tendon and shank in chili sauce, and even Andy had a bite. There are also about ten varities of dumplings (hence the name), and the mini pork dumplings are explosive, excellent little juiceballs. Service is really nice, too. They deliver; just give 'em some time to work out the kinks, since they just opened.

Mixtura, Somerville (near the Cambridge line): We went here the other night after a really unfortunate experience at Boston Burger Company. (Essentially, they quoted us a 20-minute wait, it ended up being an hour, then they falsely told us we had a table ready only to yank it and ask us to wait even longer in their non-existent holding area). Hungrily and a bit crankily, we made haste toward Inman Square and Mixtura, and I'm really glad we did. Three words: All-day Mexican breakfast. This is a Latin Fusion restaurant, so you'll choose from a smattering of Peruvian, Salvadorian, and Mexican plates. The empanadas are huge (we made two meals out of one). I loved my Mexican omelet (sliced of chorizo, onions, tomatoes, green and red pepper and slices of jalapnos topped with avocado and served red sauce). And Andy inhaled the Triple Berry Smoothie (he thought it was a milkshake). There's no alcohol, but your kids will be so well-tended by the kindly waitstaff that you might not need it. Plus, they have an assortment of healthy, fresh-squeezed juice blends. Virtuous!

Have you dined anywhere amazing lately? Let me know.

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About the author

Kara Baskin (@kcbaskin) is a Boston-based writer, editor, and mom to Andy. She thinks Sriracha and garlic make everything tastier. She loves Steely Dan and "Murder, She Wrote." Her More »

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