A Parent Getaway in London

A guide to a food-filled weekend away

We love nothing more than traveling and dining with our pipsqueaks, but there’s also something to be said for doing a parent’s only weekend…and sleeping in!

Nibble+squeak Austin Host Kelsey recently left the kids behind for an adult trip to London and loved being immersed in such an incredible city. She of course saw the sights, walked a ton and caught a football game, but she also ate all the things and was seriously impressed by the caliber and breadth of the food there.

Kelsey Hopping rounds up some of her favorite restaurants and bars from the trip, including a few that would have loved having her pipsqueaks-in-tow:

Clove Club

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This was our blow-out dinner for the trip and for good reason. It’s #33 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurant list and boasts a Michelin star. It’s housed in the renovated 1865 Shoreditch Town Hall and while stately also has a laid-back East London feel. Our Tasting Menu highlights were the Hot Smoked Wiltshire Trout, Slow Roast Lincolnshire Chicken and their famous and crazy delicious Apple Tarte Tatin. Make reservations far in advance. They also offer a 4-course lunch option or a shorter 6-course dinner Monday-Thursday.

Gymkhana

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London is known for incredible Indian food and Michelin-starred Gymkhana is no exception. We enjoyed a 3-course lunch with some highlights being the Pindi Bhatti, Murgh Tikka, Kid Goat Keema and Punjabi Chole. The lunch menu is a good deal and would be relaxed enough to bring the pipsqueaks along to enjoy as well.



Marksman Public House

Turns out a Sunday Roast in London is a big thing. We headed to Shoreditch for a proper roast experience at Marksman Public House, and it was probably our favorite meal of the trip. The feel of the former Victorian pub was cozy, lively and bright. The food from the Curried Lamb Bun with Salted Lime Yogurt, to the Devilled Mussels on Toast, to the Turnip Tops & Spenwood Pie was phenomenal. The Brown Butter Tart to finish was perfection. All that with some lovely wine made for a long, lazy Sunday lunch that I would repeat again and again with or without kids.

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Honey&co

This charming spot in Fitzrovia makes an incredible Israeli breakfast spread. Started by two Ottolenghi alums, the menu is a dream and the lovely space is filled with locals. We did the Big Breakfast, which included an assortment of mezzes (think hummus, feta and zaatar, fig loaf, etc.) followed by the Shakshuka and

Boureka (spinach and feta in puff pastry). We didn’t have room for pastries afterwards but their pastry shelf looked magical as well. The space is small, but if you go at off-peak times, the kids would love it also.


Kitty Fisher’s

Kitty Fisher’s is quaint, warm and an ideal date spot in the elegant Mayfair neighborhood of London. The space and feel is uniquely cool, and their modern British fare is rich and incredibly flavorful. We’ve been a few times, but our favorites this round were the Welsh Rarebit, Beetroot with Dorstone Goat’s Cheese & Walnut Ketchup and the Iberco Presa, Leek and Apple.

https://www.kittyfishers.com

Dishoom

Modeled after Irani cafes in Bombay, Dishoom has several very popular locations in London. Make sure to order the Khichia & Chundo (crispy snack with incredible chutneys), House Black Daal, and the Chicken Ruby. Be prepared to wait a while at any of the locations but it was well worth it for us. They also have a kid’s menu and if you go early, it would be a lovely place to dine with the pipsqueaks.

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Bar Termini

This is the bar to end all bars for negroni-lovers. It’s impossibly small with a lively atmosphere and you likely have to wait outside for a seat (or a standing spot). Once you’re inside though, they make 4 different types of negronis and serve them in tiny, beautiful glasses without ice so they stay cold, and so you can try more than one. It’s on the World’s 50 Best Bar list for a reason. This is for sure a stop to make without the kids but perfect for a parent’s weekend away.

http://bar-termini-soho.com

Bar at Claridge’s

Claridge’s is one of the nicest hotels in London and worth a stop to see their

spectacular lobby and dining area. We stopped there for a drink at their bar which

was cozy and impeccably decorated. The cocktails were expertly made and the bar

snacks were lovely. They also offer a traditional Afternoon Tea if you book ahead.

https://www.claridges.co.uk

The Best Places to Eat at Disney

DISNEY CULINARY ADVENTURE

Don those Mickey ears! We are taking you on an All-Things-Disney culinary trip!

Disneyland can be overwhelming. Between the rides, the shops, the lines and the crowds, a trip to the happiest place on earth can sometimes feel… well… not so delightful. But don’t worry! With Nibble and Squeak, at least you won’t go hungry. We’ve got the reviews on the best Disney restaurants as well as highlighted the not-to-be-missed eats while at the park!

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DISNEYLAND RESTAURANT REVIEWS

STORYTELLERS CAFE

Familiar American fare, plus breakfast & dinner buffets, at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.

Source: Disneyland Parks

Source: Disneyland Parks

The whimsically themed Storytellers Cafe offers breakfast, brunch and dinner buffet, as well as a la carte items, along with Disney character visits (note: only during breakfast and brunch service). There are fun kid-friendly dishes throughout the day such as made-to-order omelets, Mickey-shaped waffles, chicken nuggets, and cheesy macaroni. As well as some healthier options like sea bass with bok choy, eggplant, and ponzu sauce, citrus shrimp with orzo, salmon fillet with rice, and lobster cobb salad.

Location: Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel
Cost: $20 to $35 per adult
Attire: Theme park casual
Food: American


TORTILLA JO’S

Colorful cantina in the Downtown Disney District serving Mexican plates & a long list of tequilas.

Savor authentic south-of-the-border specialties in a vibrant setting in the heart of the Downtown Disney District. At Tortilla Jo’s, you’ll find fine Mexican fare, including handmade tortillas, mountainous nachos, fresh made guacamole, as well as delicious margaritas and a wide variety of tequilas. Pipsqueak tip: For an (even) more casual meal, consider the outdoor, quick-service Taqueria located next door.

Location: Downtown Disney
Cost: $20 to $35 per adult
Attire: Theme park casual
Food: Mexican


NAPLES RISTORANTE E PIZZERIA

Wood-fired pies, pastas, salads & other traditional Italian eats at a casual, family-friendly spot.

Celebrate the charm, cuisine and spirit of southern Italy at this classic Neapolitan eatery. At this family-friendly Italian spot, you can find your standard causal fare (panini, pizzas, pastas) but also some more foodie dishes like Branzino, Seafood Stew, and Brasato di Manzo (short ribs over polenta). Pipsqueak tip: The upstairs dining room can offer a more quiet atmosphere – perfect for little ones that need some down time – while the adjacent Napolini is great for a quick and cheaper bite.

Location: Downtown Disney
Cost: $20 to $35 per adult
Attire: Theme park casual
Food: Italian


Source: Catal Restaurant

Source: Catal Restaurant

CATAL RESTAURANT

Upscale yet casual establishment offers an array of Mediterranean eats plus an extensive wine list.

Celebrate Old World romance at this relaxed yet elegant eatery where gourmet cuisine meets homespun hospitality. The eclectic decor matches the ambitious menu at this upscale yet casual Disney restaurant. Specialties include mouth-watering items like SUCKLING PIG with sweet potato purée, roasted fennel, pepita cilantro pesto, tomatillo jam; and GRILLED RACK OF LAMB with mediterranean cous cous, cucumbers, tzatziki harissa vinaigrette, medjool dates. Delicious!  Pipsqueak tip: There is a kids menu but not sure you’ll need it when one of the side dishes is BACON MAC N’ CHEESE!


Location: Downtown Disney
Cost: $20 to $35 per adult
Attire: Theme park casual
Food: Mediterranean


TRADER SAM’S

Disneyland Hotel spot for a variety of tropical drinks in a tiki-themed hut with special effects.

You grotto check out this tropical tiki bar that captures the romance of the South Seas through unique food and drinks. Trader Sam’s has been a big hit since it first opened in 2011. Fun fact: The “Enchanted Tiki Bar” takes its cue from the Jungle Cruise ride, where Trader Sam is identified as the Amazon’s (literal) head salesman. More a lounge than a restaurant, this hotspot does offer some delicious – mostly Asian – dishes to accompany the cocktails, such as fish tacos, chicken-lettuce wraps and panko-crusted Chinese long beans. (Note that Trader Sam’s doesn’t take reservations.)

Location: Disneyland Hotel
Cost: Under $15 per adult, not including drinks
Attire: Casual
Food: Island-inspired American

CAFÉ ORLEANS

Veteran Disneyland restaurant serving Cajun & Creole specialties in casual surrounds with a patio.

Savor soups, sandwiches and salads with a French Quarter flair at this historic New Orleans Square eatery. The limited menu includes classic New Orleans-inspired dishes such as fried green tomato sandwich, Creole ratatouille, and a chicken muffuletta. We definitely recommend trying the famous Monte Cristo sandwich… And the garlic-heavy pommes frites are to die for!

Location: New Orleans Square at Disneyland
Attire: Anything goes at the theme park restaurant
Cost: $20 to $35 per adult
Food: American with an emphasis on Cajun-Creole

RALPH BRENNAN’S JAZZ KITCHEN

Outfit in the Downtown Disney District with Creole fare & live jazz that’s suitable for families.

From Louisiana to you: delicious fresh seafood, flavorful ingredients and a proud family tradition of southern hospitality. Another Disney spot serving up Creole and Cajun specialties, Ralph Brennan’s is a two story replica of traditional French Quarter architecture including a ground floor courtyard flanked by a quick service dining facility (Jazz Kitchen Express) and a New Orleans-style jazz club (Flambeaux’s). Upstairs you’ll find traditional New Orleans dining rooms and an outdoor ‘Jazz balcony’ with seating that overlooks the revelry of Downtown Disney. We suggest trying the po-boy sandwich for lunch and Jambalaya and/or Gumbo Ya-Ya for dinner. And be sure to save room for dessert! Their Bananas Foster is legit.

Location: Downtown Disney
Cost: $20 to $35 per adult
Attire: Casual
Food: Cajun-Creole

CARNATION CAFE

Main Street courtyard restaurant featuring American comfort-food dishes inspired by Walt Disney.

Source: Disneyland Parks

Source: Disneyland Parks

Dine on classic American comfort food at this Main Street, U.S.A. institution. Carnation Cafe is known for serving up some of Walt’s favorite foods — including fried pickles! Each order comes with just a few of these delicious parmesan and bread crumb-coated spears, the perfect throwback food! Cafe specialties include Hot Chicken and Waffles, Chef’s Vegan Burger, Sourdough Bacon-Cheese Melt, and TV Dinner Pot Roast. Pipsqueak tip: There is a kids menu but most everything is accessible for even the youngest of palettes. Be sure to save room for dessert, where you can try an assortment of sundaes, floats, and milk shakes.

Location: Downtown Disney
Cost: $20 to $30 per adult
Attire: Casual
Food: American



STEAKHOUSE 55

Classy steakhouse inside the Disneyland Hotel with black & white photos of old Hollywood celebs.

Indulge in premium prime steaks, chops and seafood in an elegant Old Hollywood atmosphere rich in Disney history. The dishes here might rival any high-end steakhouse chain with the added decor bonus of vintage photos of Walt Disney hobnobbing with movie stars. Pipsqueak tip: If you are looking for a relatively quiet way to start your day, consider visiting Steakhouse 55 for breakfast. The old-school menu hits the spot (hello chicken and waffles!), and the relatively hushed atmosphere is a welcome contrast to the frenzied mob scene next door at Goofy’s Kitchen.

Location: The Disneyland Hotel
Cost: $35 to $60 per adult
Attire: Casual
Food: American, featuring steaks


Source: Disneyland Parks

Source: Disneyland Parks

NAPA ROSE

Upscale Californian cuisine, vast wine list & Craftsman decor in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel.

Savor upscale California fare and an extensive wine list in an elegant setting at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. The Napa Rose truly excels in every category — including inspired dishes, lovely atmosphere and impeccable service. The menu changes with the seasons and features local ingredients. Current specials include Sesame-Lemon Roasted Cabbage Roulade stuffed with Forager Mushrooms, Minted Green Garbanzo and Red Fresno Piperade; and Sustainable Fish of the Day with Hazelnut Roasted, with Duck Confit, Salsify and Orange-Thyme Butter. The kids menu is pretty amazing as well! With options like chopped salad, Grilled Chicken Breast Scaloppini and Petit Filet of Angus Beef, your pipsqueaks will be just as happy as the grown-ups with this meal. And for your little ones who love Disney Princesses, the Napa Rose Disney Princess breakfast is a one of a kind adventure!

Location: Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel
Cost: $35 to $60 per adult
Attire: Casual, but it is a fine dining establishment
Food: California fusion



CARTHAY CIRCLE RESTAURANT

Upscale, modern global cuisine served in a replica of an iconic theater from Hollywood’s golden age.

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Introducing a Golden-Era movie palace where food is the star—savor premiere cuisine in a romantic backdrop. Tucked into the elegant Carthay Circle Theater, the restaurant, decked out as a retro supper club, has a welcoming, old-school vibe. The menu, however, embraces contemporary cuisine and features fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Might we suggest starting with the Sweet Corn Griddle Cake and Carthay Signature Fried Biscuits, then moving on to Roasted Pumpkin and Sage Gnocchi, followed by Heirloom Apple Croustade for dessert. FYI: By ordering an entree together with an appetizer or a dessert, you will be entitled to reserve viewing for World of Color. Pipsqueak tip: If you are not able to get reservations at your preferred time, consider dining at the Carthay Circle Lounge on the first floor of the building. While it is small, there are often seats available, and the food, cocktails, and ambiance are quite wonderful (and the cost is much less than the upstairs restaurant).

Location: Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure
Attire: Theme park casual is fine, but attire befitting the fine dining atmosphere would be welcome as well
Cost: $35 to $60 per adult
Food: Creative American with some Asian influences

Mickey-Shaped Pretzels

Mickey-Shaped Pretzels

Plus, don’t miss out on these other Best Items to Eat at Disneyland Park! 

  • Turkey Legs at Edelweiss Snacks

  • Fried Chicken Dinner at Plaza Inn

  • Churros at Various Locations in Disneyland Park

  • Mickey-Shaped Pretzels at Various Locations

  • Dole Whip at Tiki Juice Bar

  • Jolly Holiday Combo at Jolly Holiday Bakery Café (Grilled cheese and a cup of tomato basil soup)

  • Skewers at Bengal Barbecue

  • Mickey Beignets at Mint Julep Bar

  • Pomme Frites at Cafe Orleans

  • Fried Pickles at Carnation Cafe

  • Monte Cristo at Blue Bayou Restaurant

  • Panko-Crusted Long Beans at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar

  • Hand-Dipped Bar at Clarabelle’s Hand Scooped Ice Cream

  • Fried Biscuits at Carthay Circle Restaurant

  • Corn Dogs at Corn Dog Castle

  • Chili Cone Queso at Cozy Cone Motel

  • Sourdough Bread Bowl Soup at Pacific Wharf Café

  • Lobster Nachos at Lamplight Lounge

























Mardi Gras in NOLA: New Orleans with the Kids

Jenni is celebrating her 20th Mardi Gras in New Orleans this year. She met her husband Mike when they were freshmen at Tulane, and while life has changed a bit for them since then (a wedding, a move to the northeast, a now eight year old daughter, and twin three year olds), they haven't missed a Mardi Gras yet. Ahead of travels with her family of five, Jenni took the time to give Nibble+squeak her tips for navigating NOLA with pipsqueaks-in-tow:

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I always thought that NOLA was not exactly kid-friendly.  Maybe that's because NOLA and I met while I was in college, or maybe that's because I gave in to common stereotypes about the city.  But, whatever the reason I thought that, I was wrong.  After having our first child in 2010, we have taken our (now three) kids to New Orleans every year.  We always visit at Mardi Gras, but sometimes during other seasons too. 

In New Orleans, "fancy" doesn't always feel fancy and casual doesn't always feel casual.  I've categorized as best I can, but know that you can kind of just "go with the flow" when in NOLA.  Be sure to check the restaurant's website for a dress code, but most won't have one. This is a list of restaurants that I've taken my kids to and that I love, in no particular order:

Higher-end

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Strawberry shortcake perfection

Strawberry shortcake perfection

Commander's Palace  This is classic and quintessential New Orleans.  The turtle soup is not to be missed and the three-course offering is always great.  The absolute highlight of the meal though for me and my daughter is the Strawberry Shortcake.  A perfect shortcake (just enough salt, not too sweet) with fresh Ponchatoula strawberries.  You can't find this anywhere else.   

Brennan's  Another New Orleans classic, this one had me at dessert also.  Brennan's is the birthplace of Bananas Foster and it is magical as the chef prepares it table-side. 

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Court of Two Sisters Jazz Brunch is available every day here and is a wonderful option with kids because there's a little something for everyone.  Don't be turned off by the fact that this is a buffet; the food is fresh and inspired.  Plus courtyard seating and live music to keep their attention.  A great French Quarter brunch option.

Dante's Kitchen  Located uptown, this is a hidden gem.  Don't miss out on the Vietnamese Style Pork Belly appetizer and the fingerling potatoes which are roasted with herbs and brown butter and topped with a bacon gremolata.

Cochon  Donald Link doesn't disappoint.  The duck and andouille gumbo is great as is the macaroni and cheese casserole.  The creamy grits are always cooked to perfection and the braised short rib is melt-in-your-mouth delicious.  The last time I ate here I was pregnant with the twins so, yes, I sampled a LOT.  

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Jacques-Imo's Another uptown fave.  Be warned that they don't take reservations and you *will* have to wait to be seated.  That said, it's NOLA.  So order a cocktail from the bar in a go-cup (yes, that's a thing.  a glorious thing.) and take it outside to let the kids play and be noisy.  The shrimp and alligator sausage cheesecake is the must-have app and I go for the blackened redfish every single time and it has never disappointed.  

So-Bou  Short for "South of Bourbon," this newcomer has impressed us in recent years!  The menu is varied and oh-so-interesting.  This one's for the families with more adventurous kiddos but I can attest that my daughter was last there at 4 years old and she had no problem finding delicious "kid-friendly" things to eat (the drumettes of fried chicken confit were a big hit).  For dessert, I highly recommend the "Pecan Pie, Not Pie" which includes a chocolate covered cracklin' (yes, you read that correctly) as well as peanut butter whipped cream.  To.die.for.  (Did I mention I was also pregnant with twins for this meal?)

So-Bou

So-Bou

Fried green tomatoes at Dick & Jenny's

Fried green tomatoes at Dick & Jenny's

Dick & Jenny's  This is another New Orleans classic, with some of the best Creole food to be found.  The fried green tomatoes and the fried gulf oysters are both fabulous, as are the BBQ gulf shrimp.  Boudin balls are great!  My kids like to get a table by the window and watch the cars pass by on Tchoupitoulas Street.    

Fun and Casual-ish

Juan's Flying Burrito  They do New Orleans Mexican food right.  The Bacon Azul Quesadilla is my go-to filled with blue cheese and bacon.  The Hawaii 5-0-4 (a play on NOLA's area code) nachos are also delicious, featuring bacon, pulled pork, mango salsa, pineapple salsa, chipotle sour cream, avocado, cilantro and jalapeños. They're famous for their burritos which are a big hit with my husband.  If you go to their Magazine Street location, you can sit inside or outside and don't forget to grab one of their excellent margaritas to-go.  The perfect drink to savor while shopping the stores on Magazine.

Camellia Grill Note to parents of littles, this is a counter-seat only diner.  So if your little one isn't yet able to sit solo on a backless stool, skip this one until they can.  Classic diner fare served by some of the best waiters you'll ever meet.  Always met with a smile.  Chocolate cherry freeze is my daughter's dream beverage.

Superior Grill  More good Mexican in NOLA, this time with a few creole-inspired options.  The crawfish quesadilla is a must-eat.  And, again, don't forget your go-cup of margarita!  They'll even salt the lid for you so you can enjoy the full fun of a margarita as you walk around uptown or wait for a parade.

Crawfish Quesadilla at Superior Grill

Crawfish Quesadilla at Superior Grill

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Frankie & Johnny's This is the place that we go to FIRST every single trip.  Literally land at the airport, rent the minivan (yes, I know, whatever), and show up thirsty and hungry at F&J's.  This is classic NOLA fare including great po-boys.  My husband gets the french fry po-boy with debris (don't judge, it's once a year) and we always get the fried pepper and onion rings appetizer.  This is our go-to for boiled crawfish as well as boiled shrimp - they are pure perfection.  And, there's a kid's menu here that offers red beans and rice, chicken fingers, shrimp and fries or even a delicious (or so I'm told by my oldest) noodles with butter.  Pitchers of Abita on tap are best to wash it all down.

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Waiting on crawfish at Frankie & Johnny’s

Waiting on crawfish at Frankie & Johnny’s

Domilise's This place basically feels like you're having lunch in your grandma's kitchen.  BEST po-boys in the city, hands down.  Come at me.  Ha!  The menu is short and simple (and extra delicious).  Get an oyster po-boy, dressed.

Crescent City Brewhouse  Sit outside on the balcony with a view of the river and enjoy beers and excellent pub fare.  The specialty salads are awesome here (and because I'm recommending a SALAD while in NOLA, you know it has to be good).  A great option with kids if you're downtown in the French Quarter and don't have a reservation but want to have a decent sit-down lunch.

Cafe Du Monde  OK, fine.  It isn't really a full-service restaurant.  But beignets make everyone of all ages happy.  Full stop

Beignet bite

Beignet bite

Lagniappe

In New Orleans, Lagniappe means "a little something extra," so here are a few ideas for foodie-adjacent must-dos!

If you're looking for a quick sweet treat with the kids instead of a full meal, two of my fave dessert spots are Hansen's Sno-Bliz and Sucre.  Hansen's is old-school (since 1939!) and serves snoballs (shaved ice) to NOLA locals and tourists alike.  Keep an eye open for special flavors like Bananas Foster or Chai and definitely indulge with the condensed milk drizzle.  Be sure to check their website before you go, Hansen's is only open seasonally.  Sucre is new-school and serves sweet treats including chocolates, macarons, cakes, sundaes, gelato and, every mom's favorite, boozy milkshakes. 

Columns Hotel - My home away from home when in New Orleans.  Drink a mint julep and enjoy sitting on the large front porch overlooking St. Charles Avenue while you watch the streetcars roll by.

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Zapp’s  crawtators  (seasonal Mardi Gras packaging)

Zapp’s crawtators (seasonal Mardi Gras packaging)

Zapp's potato chips - Zapp's has many different flavors but the Crawtators are my favorite!  In fact, we included them in our wedding goodie bags.  Pick some up at a convenience store on your drive to another meal (hey, it's NOLA), crank up WWOZ on the radio (90.7 FM) and do a little dance.  Because life is good here.

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King cake - I won't even begin to embroil myself in the "who has the best king cake" discussion (although I definitely do have an opinion).  These can be found during carnival season and are the pastry of my dreams.  A recent wedding attended while in New Orleans even had a king cake wedding cake.  I had never been so thankful for being pregnant with twins as I was at that wedding; I felt zero shame going back for a second slice!

Hotel Monteleone - Want an interesting cocktail in the French Quarter?  Check out the carousel bar in the Hotel Monteleone.  OK, maybe this is one that isn't for the kiddos, but more for the kids at heart.  

Finally, beer

Abita is a fave that now distributes far and wide.  I still love finding a Purple Haze on tap at home on the East Coast, but I think they taste a bit better in NOLA.  You can find more Abita flavors locally too.  Although, our (and when I say our, I mean my husband's) most recent fave NOLA brewery is the NOLA Brewing Company.  Two thumbs up for their Hopitoulas IPA.

Freret Beer Room  Craft beers.  Great burgers.  Inspired dining.  Family-friendly.  What more can you ask for?

And New Orleans never disappoints with its kid-friendly offerings.  For activities, there are amazing Audubon offerings including Audubon Park, the Audubon Zoo, the Aquarium of the Americas and the Insectarium (yes, my little one ate bugs there for the first time!)  There is also City Park, including Storyland, as well as plenty of fun kid-friendly tours on swamp boats and riverboats.  And let's be honest, a streetcar ride is fun at any age!


Jenni (Stivrins) and Mike (Murin) met in New Orleans in 1999 during their freshman year of college at Tulane.  After moving away post-graduation in 2003, they decided to make New Orleans a permanent part of their lives and were in town paying their wedding deposits the week that Hurricane Katrina was approaching.  While they never ended up settling down in NOLA as planned, they have made it a point to return annually during Mardi Gras (and sometimes more often!)  That hasn't changed as they added kids to their lives.  Their three children, aged 8 (girl) and 3 (boy/girl twins), are experiencing their 9th and 4th Mardi Gras this year, respectively.  This year is Jenni and Mike's 20th Mardi Gras in NOLA.

 

 

Minding Manners for Kids - Tips from Etiquette Experts

HERE WE TAKE A PAGE (somewhat literally) from our friends over at the award-winning Family Traveller Magazine:

When it comes to traveling with kids, good etiquette goes a long way, says Mia Ljungberg Nevado:

Pardon me. May I give you a few tips on travel etiquette? In 1948, socialite Millicent Fenwick wrote Vogue’s Book of Etiquette, and 70 years later, her book is more relevant than ever. Etiquette classes are popping up everywhere — for grown-ups and kids, too. The fact is, good manners empower you no matter your age, and a simple “hello” when you’re traveling goes a long way.

we should think of others and how our actions affect them
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I asked some leading experts in the etiquette space to share advice that can be helpful for your next trip. New York’s legendary Plaza Hotel launched a program in 2016 with Myka Meier, founder of Beaumont Etiquette, and it has attracted people of all ages from far and wide. “Travel manners are incredibly important, because they show respect to those around us,” says etiquette master Meier. “Anytime we are on an airplane or train, we should think of others and how our actions affect them.”

That means that as parents, we must help our children to respect others, and preparation is key. “It’s important that parents speak to their children about what will be expected of them during the travel period,” Meier says. “I always recommend rewarding good behavior to encourage more of it.”

Being able to say ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ in the local language where you are going can open many doors.

At the iconic members-only club Doubles in New York City, Marion Piro has been hosting her Manners Matter Most classes for over 20 years. “You have to see bad manners, hear them and feel them to appreciate how bad they can be,” Piro says. “When someone else behaves badly in the airport, restaurant or hotel, let the bad behavior become an etiquette lesson for your kids.” Another piece of Piro advice: “Teach your child to be an ambassador for your country.”

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Teach your child to be an ambassador for your country.

In East Hampton, a tony vacation town outside New York City, I sent my sons John John and BoBo to see what they could learn from Dale Ellen Leff , founder and president of the Leff Etiquette Edge. Leff’s classes often take place in her home, where kids are welcomed by a speaking parrot. “Teach the children a few foreign words to use on the trip,” Le suggests. “Being able to say ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ in the local language where you are going can open many doors.”

Children are natural mimics, so if you have good manners, you’ll inspire your kids too.
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Of course, manners classes are helpful, but in the end, it really comes down to us as parents — how we behave and how we interact with others we meet when on the go. Children are natural mimics, so if you have good manners on your travels, you’ll inspire your kids to have good manners, too.

Mia’s Travel Tips:

(see more online at Family Traveller)

  • Make sure your kids are well rested

Tired children will forget all manners.

  • Arrive at the airport early...

so you can relax and eat. Stressed, hungry kids don’t think about good behavior.

  • Limit sweets

A sugar-high child on a plane? No fun.

  • Wear nice but comfy clothes

Dressing up inspires children to behave better

  • Bring toys with little or no noise

Sticker books, Model Magic and Legos won’t disturb others. Bring headphones for games or music.

  • Be friendly

Teach your kids to look people in the eye and smile.



Mia Ljungberg Nevado is the Luxury Editor of Family Traveller, a global expert in family travel, a full-time resident of the Hamptons, and a Nibble+squeak ambassador. You can follow her adventures with her family at @littlevalet

Family Traveller magazine is bursting with all the inspiration, advice and tips you need to plan a successful family vacations that you and your kids will remember forever.

In the pages of Family Traveller, you’ll find ideas for vacation destinations and practical tips on how to get the most out of them with your family. From an experiential tour of Thailand to a five-star resort with amazing activities for kids, we cover it all. They have family guides to major cities, expert advice, celebrity columns and contests – plus details on the latest openings, travel trends, products and more. 

Giving Tuesday: Food-focused Causes we Love

This holiday season, consider donating to a cause that's meaningful to you.  Here are some worthy food-related options.

Feeding those in need: Here are some amazing organizations that address hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity, either nationally or globally -- (from left to right: Action Against Hunger, No Kid Hungry, Feeding America, The Hunger Project, Feed the Children, and the UN's World Food Program)

If you like to see exactly what your money buys for those in need, there are some much-needed items you can donate through these charities -- (from L to R: a goat from Heifer International, a cooking stove from Oxfam, a beehive from Send a Cow, a fishing kit from World Vision)

Support great causes when seasonal gift-giving -- with some edible gifts that give back too: (from L to R: delicious baked goods from Hot Bread Kitchen, FEED Projects bags, One Hope Wine, Jcoco Chocolates, The Bee Cause Project)

And lend your support -- or just check out! -- these food-related education and cultural institutions: Slow Food, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, James Beard Foundation, The Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD), Farm Aid, Heritage Radio

Nibble+squeak's Holiday Gift Guide 2018

THERE’S SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE, FROM THE TINIEST NEW ARRIVAL (A FUTURE FOODIE), TO THE PRETEND-PLAY OBSESSED TODDLER, TO THE BUDDING BAKER — EVEN SOME GROWN-UP TREATS FOR THE PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS TO ENJOY. HOPE THESE HELP TO BRING SOME CHEER TO YOUR FAMILY’S CELEBRATIONS THIS SEASON!

First, we updated our "Foodie Books for Kids" list, to include some new stunners as well as the genre classics:

And then we added some coloring and activity books:

We have all the gear you need for little chef’s helpers in the kitchen:

Then, we added a ton of foodie family game night fun — from their first board games to themed trivia:

Food Crafts

And a few books and squishy things for the littlest future foodies:

We’re betting on these durable, classic wooden playsets lasting for generations:

For the spiffiest little kitchenette in the city — some uber-stylish play kitchens (chic-er than our real ones!) and the appliances to match:

(and even MORE stylish play kitchens…)

Some “stocking stuffer” foodie fun for all:

Finally, for the parents — who definitely deserve a treat — some gift-worthy objets and edibles :

Baking Together

Holiday Baking with Kids

By Sarah Lambersky

While sorting totes in my parents’ basement with my daughter, I stumbled upon one full of old family photos.  My four year old was delighted to find ‘pictures of mommy when she was a girl’. Between family holidays, summer camp and school photos; there was enough material to keep us exploring for at least an hour. But, what stood out to me were the pictures of my family baking together. 

Holidays were upbeat and festive in my house.  There was a frenzied energy around menu planning, grocery shopping and meal preparation.  My mom would spend a few evenings in the kitchen cooking up a storm for family and friends who would later grace our table. The most fun though, was baking together on the holidays.  On Thanksgiving, I remember standing in the kitchen beside my mom baking apple pies. On other holidays, we baked cookies, bars and cakes. There was always music playing in the background as we measured, stirred and poured. Usually, we listened to jazz, Barbra Streisand or Broadway musicals.  

As the sous-chef, my job evolved from sprinkling cinnamon sugar on cookies and pressing buttons on the food processor to rolling out pie crusts and measuring ingredients. Menu selection was also an exhilarating task as little kid. I remember flipping through my mom’s cookbooks and her binder full of recipes clipped from newspapers and magazines. As I grew older it was printouts of favorite Internet recipes.

However, the best part of cooking with my mom was listening to the stories she shared — especially her memories of cooking with her grandmother.  When my mom and I made sugar cookies with extra scraps of pie dough, I knew it was because she did the same when she baked with my great grandmother.

Today as I look back on old photos, it is time to carry on the family baking tradition with my own kids.  On a day to day basis, my husband and I involve our older daughter in the kitchen as much as possible. However, baking for loved ones on the holidays adds something magical and memorable to the experience. 

Nibble+Squeak Thanksgiving Dining Guide

We’re thankful for Thanksgiving.  A day to gather around the dining table, teach our children gratitude, and feast on all of the traditional and nostalgic dishes from roasted turkey to cranberry sauce. Could it get any better? YES!  

There’s a major cherry on top: some of the best restaurants across the country will be serving up turkey to families with pipsqueaks of all ages.  White linens, fine china, kids welcome.

Somer McBride with help from Joanna Augenbergs

Here are some of our picks for the most drool-worthy and festive meals around the country:

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Atlanta

Dine out:

The Palm - This 3 course Thanksgiving meal offers decadent bisques and autumnal salads as a first course, turkey with stuffing and cranberry,  choice of a side (we have our eye on green beans with pancetta) and, of course, dessert.  

Savor this classic meal: $55 adults and $24 under 12

Southern Art

The buffet at Southern Art features a kids station, complete with mac and cheese, ants on a log, chicken tenders, tater tots, and kids crudité. But that’s just the tip of the cornucopia. Included are classic offerings like lemon pepper turkey, dressing, gravy, and all the sides, plus stations for sushi, full breakfast and more. But best of all, 13 desserts and a doughnut station with a glaze fountain.

Feast at Southern Art: $95 Adults; $45 Children 5-10; Children Under 5 Complimentary

Order In:

Star Provisions

Celebrate with Star Provisions’ Thanksgiving turkey and “fixins”. Turkeys can be ordered by the pound and pre-brined ready to pop in the oven. Sides include yukon gold potato puree, cranberry orange relish, apple and sage stuffing and many more. If you’re into the flakiest and most delicious pies in town (um, yes!) add an apple, pecan or pumpkin pie to top off your dinner. Order by November 18th.

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Washington DC

Dine Out

Unconventional Diner

There is some major talent and creativity in the kitchen at Unconventional Diner, and it shows in their Thanksgiving menu. Enjoy adventurous first courses like chicken noodle soup with matzo balls (sounds perfect for a pipsqueak) and sweet & sour cauliflower. Classic turkey is a main course option, with additional choices including miso salmon and Lebanese fried rice & falafel (one of our favorite dishes EVER). We also have our eye on the Fererro Rocher Tart and Pumpkin Mascarpone for dessert.

Indulge for $48 per person.

1789

In addition to their daily menu, 1789 is offering a prix-fixe, 3-course Thanksgiving meal featuring gorgeous flavor profiles that take the classics to a whole new level. Decadent pumpkin soup ( served with lobster and candied pepita seed brittle, yes please!), truffle mushroom bisque and various salad options start the feast, leading into a main course of orange-thyme roasted turkey breast and confit leg and classic sides. Our pipsqueaks would be very thankful to end this dinner with apple snickerdoodle cake or pumpkin pie cheesecake.

$60 per person.

Tabard Inn

Offering buffet at timed seatings for parties of 5 or more and a prix-fixe menu by reservation, the Tabard Inn is a special place to celebrate Thanksgiving. The rooms are intimate and warm, making it a perfect home-away-from-home, with classic menu/buffet items like maple herb roasted turkey breast, savory chicken sausage cherry stuffing, traditional gravy, sweet potato mash, green beans and, cranberry orange sauce. 

$85 adults and $35 children ages 4-10. Parties of 5 or more buffet seatings at 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm. Prix-fixe available from 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

Order In:

Blue Duck Tavern

We’re not sure what could be better than a Michelin starred Thanksgiving feast in the comfort of one’s own home, where stretch pants and energetic pipsqueaks are 100% welcome. The to-go meal features a 10-12 pound roasted turkey, accompanied by two freshly baked breads and four traditional sides to include pimento mac’n cheese; braised greens; potato purée and roasted sugar pumpkin.  For the sweet finale, apple and pumpkin pies are both included. This all-American feast is designed to feed six to eight and is priced at $425 (all-inclusive). Order by November 15th.

Boston

Bistro Du Midi

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One of Boston’s favorite dining destinations, Bistro Du Midi is offering a special 3-course menu for pipsqueaks on Thanksgiving, and it doesn’t disappoint. Starting with a salad or cauliflower soup, children can choose from a classic turkey main course, penne pasta, or a croque monsieur. The grand finale includes a choice between a pepita financier with pumpkin ice cream and dark chocolate panna cotta with black currant sorbet. Standouts on the adults menu are black truffle cauliflower soup and pumpkin brioche stuffing.

$75 per adult, $32 per child.

Post 390

Post 390 puts a contemporary twist on the traditional favorites, with seasonally inspired dishes using fresh ingredients and unforgettable flavors. Their three-course Thanksgiving feast highlights the best of Autumnal flavors, starting with roasted delicata squash salad or clam chowder, followed by amish-raised carved turkey, giblet & brandy gravy, mashed potatoes, herb & apple stuffing, roasted Brussels sprouts, cider-glazed organic carrots and Maine heirloom cranberry-orange relish. The sweet finale is a choice from the restaurant’s roaming dessert cart. A la carte menu items will also be available.

$60 with an optional wine pairing for $25.

The Bristol

Enjoy an exquisite Thanksgiving feast for the entire family at The Bristol’s Thanksgiving Day Brunch. Delight in hot and cold breakfast selections, an indulgent seafood raw bar, and an entrée and carving station featuring herb crusted prime rib and turkey roulade, with all the savory seasonal favorites including sweet potato gratin cornbread stuffing, and whipped potatoes.

$105 per person. Children under 5 are complimentary.

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The Hourly Oyster House

In addition to their daily menu, you won’t want to miss this New Englander’s dream of a Thanksgiving. Fall squash bisque laden with crab and cranberry oil, and goat cheese souffle round out the special starters, followed by the main event: The New England Turkey Dinner: cider-brined breast, braised thigh, oyster-cornbread stuffing, candied yams, and gravy.

Order In:

The Bristol is also offering to-go orders. Order before Monday, November 19th.

$85 per person, four person minimum.

Chicago

RPM Steak

Join RPM Steak for a special four-course Thanksgiving Feast featuring Slagel Family Farm Turkey (served both roasted and fried) as well as some of RPM’s signature dishes such as Aged Parmesan Risotto and Coal Roasted King Crab. Accompaniments for the table include Chestnut Stuffing, Sweet Potato Puree and an updated version of the classic Green Bean Casserole. The menu also highlights additions such as white truffles shaved tableside and the rare Japanese Olive Beef. Top off the meal with an assortment of desserts: Pumpkin Pie, Roasted Pear Tart and RPM’s famous 14K Chocolate Cake.

$90 for adults and $40 for children.

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Travelle

Executive Chef Damion Henry  is putting on a smorgasbord Thanksgiving buffet with more than ten culinary stations featuring brunch classics, custom-carved meats, fresh seafood and more. Our standout menu items include sous vide tomahawk rib eye steaks, herb butter-basted roasted turkey, cranberry apricot sauce, truffled yellow corn casserole, and stations for sushi, poke and ramen! There’s even a dedicated station for pipsqueaks to peruse that includes tiny vegetables with hummus, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, mac n cheese, crispy chicken fingers and cheeseburger sliders.

$155 per person, $50 for children age 5 – 12 years


San Francisco

The Beach Chalet

The menu options include Butternut Squash Soup or Autumn Mista Salad, Roasted Fresh Turkey, Herb Crusted New York Steak, Pan Seared Spinach Ricotta Gnocchi (and more), and your choice of dessert between White Chocolate Cheesecake, Pumpkin Pie or Pecan Pie. You can even add on starters to share! Come for a wonderful evening of delicious food, great company, and an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean. Your belly will be thanking you later. ($65pp)

(If you can’t snag a reservation at the Beach Chalet and/or are looking for something more casual, its sister restaurant the Park Chalet is also offering up a Thanksgiving special. This year the Park Chalet will be hosting a delicious buffet filled with Thanksgiving classics like roasted turkey and pumpkin pies. ($79pp)

Top of the Mark

If you are feeling fancy, Top of the Mark at the historic InterContinental Mark Hopkins hotel in Nob Hill will offer a brunch buffet (10:30 am to 1:30 pm) and a dinner buffet (3:30 pm to 8:00 pm). They are each priced at $145 for adults and $65 for children ages 4-12. We love this place for the killer city views year-round but during the holidays, the restaurant becomes extra special. There’s even a Petting Zoo in the lobby from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm. Call 415.616.6941 for reservations

Cliff House

There are various Thanksgiving dining options at the Cliff House. The Bistro is offering (walk-in only) Thanksgiving dinner from 2:30pm to 9:30pm. Sutro's at the Cliff House will also be serving a special menu from 11am to 9pm. You can also book the Terrace Room Thanksgiving Champagne Buffet, which features unlimited food and champagne with live harp music (Two hour seatings from 10:30pm to 6:30pm). Note that reservations for the Champagne Buffet can only be made by calling the Cliff House directly at  (415) 386-3330.

Lake Chalet

Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill in Oakland is a rambling horseshoe-shaped hometown hangout. On Thanksgiving Day, the restaurant will offer traditional holiday dishes via a three-course prix-fixe meal for $65 and a buffet for $79.

Left Bank Menlo Park

Join with friends and family at Left Bank for a home cooked turkey dinner! They will be serving a 4-course Prix Fixe Thanksgiving meal for $56.00 per person (price excludes beverages, tax, and gratuity). A limited à la carte menu will also be offered at the bar, featuring a selection of hearty salads, mussels, burgers, salmon, and more. A special kids menu will be available, a 3 Course Prix Fixe for $15.00. Dishes will include butternut squash soup and fuyu persimmon salad; roasted turkey, pork or risotto; and pumpkin pie.

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Madera

Madera at Rosewood Sand Hill will celebrate Thanksgiving with a special holiday menu ($118 per person; $59 for children age 12 and under). Among the temptations are a Fuyu persimmon tartine; roasted turkey breast with family-style sides; and pumpkin mousse, graham cake and cream cheese ice cream.

Michael Mina

At Michael Mina, the signature ahi tuna tartare makes an appearance on the Thanksgiving prix-fixe menu ($180 per person), alongside Maine lobster acquerello rice or pumpkin soup, the requisite roast turkey (or salmon or ribeye) and finish off with your selection of dessert.

Presidio Social Club

Enjoy a traditional three-course Thanksgiving dinner at Presidio Social Club. Indulge in butternut squash soup or a fall salad before feasting on roast turkey, wild mushroom and sage stuffing, and pumpkin or chocolate bourbon pecan pie. The menu costs $68 per person ($33 for children 10 and younger).

The Terrace Room

Oakland’s The Terrace Room will offer a Harvest Buffet ($69; $35 for children ages 6 to 10; guests 5 and under are free) on Thanksgiving Day. Roasted turkey breast with sage giblet gravy, cornbread stuffing and cranberry relish are only a few of the dishes that will tempt holiday diners.

Fleming’s

On Thanksgiving (starting at 11AM), Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse is offering a three-course feast, including classics like our Mixed Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast or our Sliced Beef Tenderloin. They have also created a delightful three-course Thanksgiving Children's Menu for $19.

Los Angeles

Tavern

The team at Tavern are bringing a little something for everyone to their Thanksgiving table, with options for omnivores, vegetarians and vegans alike. Settle in for a three-course meal that offers herb-roasted organic turkey breast and stuffed leg with mashed potatoes, gravy, Brussels sprouts with pancetta and thyme, cranberry sauce with mint and orange, sweet potatoes with sherry, and sourdough stuffing with turkey sausage. There’s even the “vegan Thanksgiving extravaganza” option, which offers sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, fingerling potatoes, Italian broccoli and Suzanne’s stuffing and wild-mushroom persillade.  ($95 per adult; $45 per child 10 and under; free for children four and under

PS They also offer Thanksgiving dinner to-go! https://www.tavernla.com/

Montage Beverly Hills

This swanky Beverly Hills resort is offering not one but three Thanksgiving Day options for you and yours, including dishes such as herb-roasted turkey, spiced prime rib and sweet potato gnocchi. At the Restaurant, stop by for brunch from 11am to 3:30pm, where you’ll find a sprawling buffet—complete with carving station—for $128 per adult and $39 per child aged 4-12. Looking for a more formal dinner? Between 5 and 9:30pm, the Restaurant hosts a four-course family-style feast for $105 per adult and $39 per child aged 4 to 12. If you’re hoping for a more casual affair, head to the Rooftop Grill for a three-course prix-fixe menu with holiday-inspired specials from 11am to 5pm, at $85 per adult and $39 per child aged 4 to 12.

Craft Los Angeles

The annual feast at Tom Colicchio’s CRAFT begins with for-the-table starters such as pork belly with celery root, then proceeds to your choice of roasted, organic free-range turkey; angus beef short ribs; seafood; and pasta. Pass around the family-style sides such as sausage-and-raisin stuffing and Brussels sprouts, and, as it’s the highlight of just about every visit to CRAFT, don’t forget the selection of desserts artfully whipped up by pastry chef Shannon Swindle. ($145 per person, with a $65 wine supplement available)

Cafe Pinot

This California-French restaurant with a gorgeous, tree-dotted patio will be serving your choice of a three- or four-course prix-fixe dinner with both traditional fare and a few brow-raising dishes, to boot. Find sliced turkey breast with heirloom cauliflower and mole; sunchoke soup with a red wine and shallot jam; and filet mignon au poivre. Finish with pumpkin mousse or an apple crumble to really get into the fall spirit. ($70 per three-course meal, $90 per four-course meal; $29 per child 10 and under)

Akasha

Thanksgiving goes modern at Culver City’s Akasha, with a prix-fixe California-inspired menu full of persimmon-and-pomegranate salad; gluten-free cornbread; herb-roasted turkey with chestnut-and-sage stuffing; a vegetarian option of herb-roasted mushrooms with squash and a wild-mushroom gravy; broccoli-and-cauliflower gratin; mac and cheese; and an entire pie buffet. You had us at “pie buffet.” ($80 per adult, $35 per child 10 and under)

The Belvedere

This feast at the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel is one of the classiest in town, including live music and bottomless bubbly. Starters including butternut squash risotto and chicken liver mousse, while entrées involve all the holiday staples such as free-range turkey with sage stuffing, pomegranate-roasted Brussels sprouts and buttermilk mashed potatoes, as well as roasted filet of beef with celery root, cipollini onions, and truffle. ($142 per adult, $65 per child 12 and under)

Gwen Butcher Shop & Restaurant

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Chef Curtis Stone’s four-course, prix-fixe meal skews classic and fine-dining with dishes such as chestnut velouté with pear and brown butter; roast turkey with gravy and braised-and-pulled dark meat in cocotte; mac and cheese agnolotti with smoked pork emulsion; and a range of sides, including duck fat potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing and Brussels sprouts with bacon jam. Finish with Stone’s take on apple pie and a selection of petit fours. ($85pp)

Mélisse

For the fanciest of appetites, Josiah Citrin’s fine-dining institution, Mélisse, is offering a four-course prix-fixe meal that feels anything but limited: Each course includes four or five choices, and you even get your pick of three of Citrin’s mom’s traditional sides. Just a few dishes from the lengthy and mouth-watering menu: Maine diver scallops with foie gras, young turnips, porcini and a truffle consommé; whole-roasted dry-aged prime rib with horseradish jus; herb-roasted free-range turkey served with chanterelle mushrooms, apple-and-brioche stuffing and pomegranate gravy; and pecan pie with Dulcey and bourbon sauce and whipped crème fraîche. Whoa. ($95 per adult, $42 per child 8 and under)

New York

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Le Coq Rico

If there’s anywhere to dine on Thanksgiving, it’s this restaurant, which specializes in sophisticated poultry dishes. The feast begins with a choice of duck foie gras terrine, butternut squash soup (adorned with croutons, smoked duck breast and roasted pumpkin seeds - YUM!) or an Autumn salad. Entree selections include stuffed Heritage turkey with cabbage and butternut squash, celeriac mousseline and housemade onion chestnut stuffing, or Maine sea scallops with celeriac purée. They’re also preparing meals to go that serve up to 8 guests for $315. Orders Taken Until Thursday Nov. 15th at 8:00 PM

Also available “To go

Hearth

Head to the East Village for a special Thanksgiving menu at Hearth, where guests will be served autumn squash soup with citrus yogurt, spiced pumpkin seeds, poached turkey breast and braised thighs, with squash soup, mushroom leek stuffing, roasted veggies, mashed potatoes and braised greens. The dinner is topped off with a choice of apple crumble or pumpkin mousse with cranberry compote and spiced pecans.

Adults - $98, Children $49

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Simon and the Whale

Head of to Simon and the Whale for their “Throw Down Thanksgiving” that also promises a bit of extra pizazz. A set menu showcases fall chicories with apple, pistachio, and duck prosciutto, turkey breast and confited legs (with brussels sprouts, sweet potato gratin, cranberry sauce, and giblet gravy on the side), and a pumpkin roll or apple pie for dessert.

$100 per person

Made Nice

This fast casual eatery serves up the quintessential Thanksgiving feast, to-go. Available with servings for 4, 8 or 10 guests, they meal includes roasted turkey with gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, roasted Autumn Vegetables, green bean casserole and cranberry chutney. Complete your meal is add-ons like butternut squash soup, pies, and extra servings of sides (because those are always the best part, right?)

$160 serves 4, $320 serves 8, and $395 serves 10.



Austin

Arlo Gray

Crowd favorite Top Chef winner Kristen Kish opened her Austin gem this summer, and diners say it’s so good that it might even put the city’s barbeque in second place! Typically a place we would reserve for date night, Arlo Gray will be serving special menu offerings perfect for the season.

Stella San Jac

This is the first restaurant we’ve found serving their turkey fried,  and we want to give them a high five! The menu offers a refreshing spin on the classics that we would forego cooking for any day. Sides include: mashed sweet potato and brûlée marshmallow, roasted cranberry and satsuma tangerine, boursin creamed green beans and crispy shallot, andouille and jalapeño brioche stuffing, roasted Brussels sprouts with butternut squash and Nueske bacon, and salad of Lolla Rossa, poached pear, cornbread crouton, candied pecan, and cider vinaigrette. Perfectly-pipsqueak-sized individual pecan tarts will be served for dessert.

$49 per adult and $29 per child

Order in:

Boiler Nine

We don’t know a pipsqueak (or parent) who would turn down mac+pimento cheese with Cheez-it crust. Along with honey-lime brined, smoke roasted turkey by the pound, jalapeno lime cranberry, sauteed green beans with roasted mushrooms and garlic butter, and andouille sourdough stuffing, this is feast is a win. Parents, there’s a special addition just for you! Boiler Nine offers a Make Your Own Holiday Cocktail Kit for $18, so you can mix up rio star grapefruit, pomegranate, hibiscus and canela with spirits from your cabinet in the comfort of your own home!

Dinner for 4 - $152, Dinner for 8 - $255.

Olamaie

Called “other-wordly”, Olamaie offers their secret, off-menu biscuits by the 1/2 dozen for Thanksgiving and other holidays. If you’re planning on spending your Turkey day preparing a beautiful meal, add these as your one shortcut and you won’t be sorry! $18 per half-dozen.

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Nashville

Kitchen Notes

When there’s a buffet station just for pipsqueaks with pasta and meatballs, chicken tenders and fries, mac n cheese, stewed green beans and ambrosia, you know you’re in for a very special Thanksgiving feast. Standout classic items include butternut squash soup with basil cream and spiced chickpeas, king crab legs and oysters on the half shell,  and rosemary turkey with gravy, orange cranberry chutney and cornbread dressing. The buffet also includes prime rib, breakfast favorites, and additional entrees. Best of all, a pie bar and vanilla crepe station filled with every decadent topping offer a delicious finish.

$50 for adults, $25 for children 6-12, complimentary for children 5 and under.

Capitol Grille

Champagne Thanksgiving Brunch at the beautiful Hermitage Hotel? Sign us up! Southern food abounds, like Jack Daniel’s roasted pumpkin soup and traditional deviled eggs. Displays include seafood, cheese and charcuterie, various salads, breakfast classics, along with sage and rosemary roasted turkey, garlic and thyme prime rib, and apple cider glazed bone-in ham carving stations -- and all of the traditional sides. A spread of 10 desserts like Fall spiced cannoli and bananas foster bread pudding.

$74 for adults, $26 for children

Order In

The Henley

Known as one of the best restaurants in Nashville, the Henley is hosting its second annual ‘Turkey Call”. Let Chef Daniel Gorman prepare your Thanksgiving feast for 4-6 guests to-go, complete with a whole roasted heritage turkey (between 14-16 lbs), rolls, mashed potatoes, gravy, oyster and cornbread dressing, and a choice of pecan or pumpkin pie. We’ve heard they’ll even treat you to warm apple cider while they load your order into the car. $200

Miami

BouludSud

When a two-michelin-star chef’s restaurant  is serving up an inventive Thanksgiving meal, it will be a holiday to remember. Autumnal flavors pepper the menu, with options like spiced pumpkin soup and pate en croute served with persimmons and cranberry mustard. We know a pipsqueak or two who might pass on the tempting ‘traditional turkey’ main course with chestnut dressing, whipped sweet potato, brussels sprouts, cranberry chutney and gravy for ‘Cinderella Pumpkin Agnolotti’ with brown butter and sage amaretti crumble. Dessert options sounds divine, including bourbon orange semifreddo, spiced pumpkin mousse and pecan tarte with cranberry sauce and ginger ice cream.

Adults $75. Children under 12 $25                                                                    

The Regional Kitchen and Public House

2018 James Beard Nominee, Chef Lindsay Autry is preparing a not-to-miss Thanksgiving feast with traditional fare and Miami flair.. A buffet of  Old Bay poached pink Florida shrimp commences the menu, leading into adventurous salads, and hot selections of tomato pie, fried chicken, local wahoo, roasted seminole pumpkin with sage and more. At the table, diners can order their main entree of roasted turkey breast, herb braised thighs, roasted leg confit, or prime rib. Served at the table are whipped yukon gold potatoes, house sausage and cornbread stuffing, and garvy. Maple pumpkin pie, apple tarts, mini bourbon pecan pies, cranberry orange cheescake and chocolate caramel verrine make a dessert table for which to be very thankful! Adults $70, children 12 and under $25.

Order in:

The Regional Kitchen and Public House also offers its feast to go! $225 serves up to 6 guests and $325 serves up to 10 guests.

Seattle

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Goldfinch Tavern

With sweeping views of Puget Sound, Goldfinch Tavern is a celebration of the region, and a perfect place to spend a memorable Thanksgiving. This brunch buffet by Chef Joe Ritchie is one of the swankiest in town, with a build your own hot chocolate bar that is sure to delight pipsqueaks. Crab cocktail, local oysters and shrimp, sweet potato tartlets, cranberry brushcetta and lox wraps are just a few of the appetizer offerings. Entrees are bountiful, from eggs benedict and omelettes to crispy crab cakes and prime rib. It wouldn’t be complete without a turkey platter of organic turkey breast, braised leg and thigh meat, Sage Gravy, and Fried Sage.

$50 per adult; $18 per child.

Scout PNW

The restaurant's third annual Friendsgiving starts with cocktail from ‘the nest’, a lounge on The Thompson Hotel’s rooftop. With a simple farm-to-table menu of family style dishes, including roasted turkey, roasted trout, and a luxe oyster brioche stuffing, The Scout invites you to let them do the work, and the dishes.

Seatings are at noon and 4 p.m. and cost $90 for adults, $40 for children under 12.

Urbane

A Thanksgiving kids menu that includes turkey, mashed potatoes, a veggie choice and dessert in the heart of Seattle? That’s something to be thankful for! The Urbane will serve turkey two ways: a brined and roasted turkey breast or a turkey thigh with “whole bird” gravy, along with brown butter mashed potatoes with roasted garlic, brown butter and chives, haricot verts with garlic, shallot butter and guanciale, cornbread dressing with sage and confit turkey leg, roasted Thumbelina carrots with parsley maple and lemon, roasted pearl onions with butter, thyme and white wine and cranberry orange relish. For dessert,  sticky toffee pudding with J.P. Trodden bourbon toffee, candied pecans, cinnamon merengue and local vanilla ice cream sounds festive and decadent.  

4:30pm-10:00pm, $49 per Adult; $15 per child 12 & under

To the Farm: Apple-and-Pumpkin-Picking with the Pipsqueaks!

We could wax poetic about fall forever -- the crisp air, fiery foliage, and sweet bounty of the harvest . . .

Whether you're venturing to an apple orchard or pumpkin patch, we're here to help you maximize the outdoor adventures with the kids. What to bring (don't forget snacks!), what to wear (this is prime family photo opportunity, after all...), and how to go from field to feastBecause babies can't be basic.... let's have some old-fashioned, food-focused, family fun!

Dress for Success -- Let's face it, those sun-dappled, leaf-filled photos are a big part of the occasion! No need to super coordinate the fam', just a nod to fall with your fashion picks is great -- as long as it's still comfortable! Nothing cuts the occasion short like a too-chilly child with damp socks, so dress in layers to be prepared. As Scandinavian parents say, "there's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes"

Be prepared -- The lovely thing about pick-your-own is that you don't need much to do the actual picking, but you will want to bring some supplies for a picnic in the field (colorful cloths, a child-friendly knife), and think about a way to get the produce back home.  Little arms will appreciate a cart that they can pull -- those apples are heavy! 

Farm to Table -- There's no better hands-on way to experience the harvest than in your own kitchen.  And you don't need to be a master chef -- or have more than a few minutes of prep time -- to whip up homemade applesauce (seriously, just throw chunked apples in a pot with a splash of water!), oven-dried apple rings, or toasted pumpkin seeds.  But if you want to go the extra mile, and, say, peel those apples to make pie, go for it!  We'll be too busy straight-up dipping wedges in goat's milk caramel...

Victorio Apple Peeler & Corer
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DIY Goat's Milk Caramel Apple Kit

It's in a Book -- Celebrate and learn together with some seasonal bedtime tales...

Looking for an idyllic scene near you? Here are some apple (and some pumpkin) -picking spot from our friends at Mommy Nearest to get you started: New York, in Washington D.C., in Philadelphia, in Boston, in Miami, in Houston, and Chicago and Los Angeles Looking in London, here's a list from Time Out UK to peruse.

Vive La France!!

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Here's the thing, sometimes sports are *just* like food: they bring people together.  When you gather at the stadium or around the dinner table, you can set aside tensions and instead focus on an experience and that's often a wonderful thing.

France, of course, is celebrated for its food, and dining is such a part of it's identity -- from a simple pique-nique to haute cuisine -- that with Bastille Day, Tour de France, and of course a World Cup *win* this weekend, we couldn't help but pour a glass of rosé and slather our summer BBQ in Maille...

Surround the little ones in an *international spirit* from early on, with a book or toy that inspires Francophile-foodie fun.

We're currently dreaming about the cuisines of Provence, Alsace, Brittany, Dordogne... so we rounded up some great spots for dining out en famille! 

And whether you'd like to recreate some authentic recipes chez tous, or conjure up a Proustian madeleine moment, some of our fave food writers can take you there:

 

Links we Love: French Edition:

And while we are in the mood for wine...

 

Napa, like Paris, is always a good idea -- even with a pipsqueak in tow for the journey.

 

Sonoma may be less famous than its sister valley, but that's changing...

Celebrating Pride!

We're teaching our children to show their true colors, and support diversity, dignity and equality.  Here are some fun ways to celebrate Pride together!

Bring the rainbow to the table -- and make a healthy meal too -- with a full spectrum of vegetables or fruit in your meal!  Babies will go ga-ga for the smoothie ice cubes this summer, and our toddlers will eat anything on a stick. All of these recipes are simple and natural -- no food coloring needed!

Wear your pride proud -- whether your little one is feeling twirly, just experimenting with footwear, or managed to get a little booboo, there's a colorful way to accessorize for everyone, even if the sun isn't shining on your parade!

Plan a Pride picnic -- dish out some of those colorful recipes on a quality picnic blanket, and get the games out!

Chef-Dad Nate Green on Bottles, Bathtime and Making Food Memories

Hosts Alice and Hsuan'ya of Nibble+squeak HK Interview Chef Nate Green ahead of our first Hong Kong event at Rhoda:

First of all, congratulations on your new baby!  Thank you!

What lessons would you like to teach your children about cooking/food?
I really want my kids to know where their food comes from and how much hard work that goes in to growing it or raising it. I’d like them to know that its ok not to like something but you should always try it first before saying you don’t like it. Most of all I would love for them to find a joy in cooking and in food.

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What is your most interesting or fun experience while eating with your children?
I just love the way Lily interacts with the people around her when we dine out, she’s a real charmer. For us meal times are special.  Lily always eats with us, and a huge part of our meal is sharing as she always wants to try what we are eating, she always wants to share her food with you, and she always wants to feed you in the same way we feed her.  Harley is only 3 weeks old, but I love to give him his bottle as we do a mixture of breast and bottle feeding.  I think for Dad’s to be involved in the bottle feed is great bonding time.

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Does Lily have a good palate for food? Does she like the food you cook?
 

She loves food and will usually polish off anything I make her, I usually make batches of stuff and freeze it down for her. She’s a very lucky girl as her Por Por is also a really good cook and so I will tend to cook her western dishes and Por Por will cook her Cantonese food.

 

Where do you find inspiration when creating a new dish? Do you ever consider your family?
I always look at food memories when creating new dishes, child hood experiences always have a lasting impact on me, nothing evokes memories more than food and music. Rhoda’s food has always been about simplicity and flavor, everything has to be delicious and for me nothing is more than food cooked with love for those you love.

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Running your own kitchen and restaurant is very demanding and time consuming, how do you find balance between your family and business?
It’s tough, but luckily Rhoda is closed week day lunch, so I get a good 2-3 hours with the kids every morning before heading out. I tend not to go out after work so that I’m fresh to spend time with the kids in the morning and I always want to make sure that we have quality time together. My wife Kos is incredible and she always make sure we have as much family time as possible. We Facetime just before bed every day too. That’s the time I miss the most. I love giving Lily her bath it’s the thing I really look forward to doing together. Ultimately for us, the family comes first.

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Tell us a little background on yourself and how you ended up in Hong Kong.
Hi, I’m originally from near Birmingham in the UK. I moved to Hong Kong about four and a half years ago to seek a change from the grind of living in London where I had been for the previous 12 years. I’ve been working in kitchens for just over 22 years now having started at the age of 14 in our local village pub. My career has seen me work in many different styles of restaurants from gastro pubs to high end brasseries and Michelin-starred fine dining establishments.  I also took a year out to work at a family butchers to improve my knowledge of butchery.

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How and when did you first realize your love for the culinary arts?
I’ve been surrounded by food my whole life; the kitchen and meal times were always a focal point of family life for us. My dad used to grow a lot of his own fruit and veg, they never used to waste anything, which usually meant something was always cooking. I think I’ve been in the kitchen pretty much since I could walk. As I got older birthday treats wouldn’t be a trip to a theme park, I’d ask to go to a nice restaurant.

We know that Rhoda is named after your grandmother, how has she inspired your cooking, and what is the greatest lesson she’s taught you?
My Grandma lived in London throughout World War II so she was a real tough cookie, she came from a long line of great cooks. Her Mom used to cook at a pub called The Antelope, just off of Sloane Square in Chelsea. Grandma used to be able to be able to magic up feasts from nowhere, she was never happier than when she had a full house of hungry mouths to feed, everyone was welcome at her table she was a real hostess, which is I guess the best gift she ever gave me which is the gift of hospitality and wanting to make people feel welcome.

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How would you describe Hong Kong’s culinary scene?
It’s an incredibly diverse scene, there is something for every one. 

When families dine at Rhoda, what would you like their lasting impression be?
Rhoda is all about sharing and encourage our guests to have a great time over good food and great conversation.  I just want them to create a great lifelong memory, I don’t really care if they remember what they ate or drank, I just want them to remember what a great time they had here.

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Miami's Hidden Gems, from a Dad Who Knows

To most people, Miami exudes a certain luxurious lifestyle, with sleek expensive cars, sun-kissed skin, expensive hotels and glamorous beaches. But for those that call Miami home year-round, there’s much more happening behind the scenes than perhaps tourists get to see...

As a native South Floridian (and proud dad to identical twin 4-year old daughters), our Nibble+squeak Miami host Juan believes Miami is on the verge of being proclaimed one of the best foodie cities in America. He’s here to tell us where to eat in the Magic City whether you’re there on vacation with the family or a local who wants to enjoy a good meal with pipsqueaks-in-tow.

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Café Roval   A favorite brunch spot from longtime Miami restaurateur, Mark Soyka (and one of the locations where we held a Nibble+squeak lunch!) This aesthetically gorgeous restaurant built inside a historic coral rock house, is surrounded by lush backyard gardens, a Japanese-style pond and a romantic ambiance that’s hard to find in Miami. At night, it’s the perfect date spot but for Sunday brunch, there may not be a better spot with the kids than Café Roval.

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What to Eat?  The kids (and adults) will love the Meyer lemon pancakes, garnished with a scoop of brandy-soaked blueberries and a drop of cream. Pipsqueak tip: Make reservations and ask for backyard seating. Take a stroll with the little ones around the charming pond while you wait for your food to arrive.

Ceviche 105   The Peruvian restaurant scene in Miami is highly competitive and that’s great for us consumers. This Downtown Miami hot-spot never disappoints and is arguably the most recognizable name in Peruvian cuisine in town. Fancy a pisco sour? Sangria? Try them both and take an Uber back to your Airbnb/Hotel.

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What to Eat?  What not to eat should be the question. If so, no holds barred. We’re big fans of Peruvian cuisine in my household. My girls love the lomo saltado, a stir fry with marinated strips of steak, with onions, tomatoes, french fries and rice. We pick at their dish but we also order fish ceviche. You can do mixed variations of ceviche with different seafood types but I judge a good Peruvian restaurant by how fresh their fish ceviche in lime juice tastes.   Pipsqueak Tip: Families congregate here all the time so they have high chairs and a designated family bathroom with a changing table. They recently opened up a second location in Aventura Mall, the 4th largest mall in the US.

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Finka Table & Tap  This gastropub is located in Kendall, a suburb about 30 minutes west of the city of Miami. Finka in certain ways embodies what Miami is all about: a melting pot of cultures and flavors infused together. Cuban, Peruvian and Korean influences are unified to create a distinctive flavor set with a gorgeous ambiance and décor. What to Eat? Korean style brussels sprouts, oxtail mushroom risotto, and ‘Japchae’ Noodles are musts for parents. For the kids, order the Mac n’ 3 Cheese with carne asada, bacon and scallions, hold the scallions if your little one is picky (like mine).  Pipsqueak Tip: Make Finka part of your day if you plan on going south to visit Zoo Miami. The gastropub is about a 20 minute drive north from the zoo.  

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Beaker & Gray Wynwood’s favorite casual, yet hip, happy hour and dinner spot has small plates, inventive food and a warm ambiance that welcomes families and a trendy crowd alike. Their beloved happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 4pm to 7 pm and features a variety of $5 - $7 libations and small plates. What to Eat?  They produce my favorite ‘old-fashioned’ in Miami and at $7 during happy hour, a steal. Their ‘bites’ menu must try’s are the cheeseburger croquettes (wagyu, aji amarillo, bacon) and sandwichito, a creative take on the traditional cuban sandwich. The pumpkin gnocchi with pork rib is divine.  Pipsqueak Tip: The kids love the skirt steak or the chicken thighs.

Mandolin Aegean Bistro  This Greek restaurant housed in a transformed 1940’s bungalow in the design district neighborhood is an absolute gem. Serving simple Greek dishes using the freshest ingredients thanks to their own farm in the back of the restaurant. The charming outdoor space houses the majority of seating but if you really want to avoid the sun, they have ample indoor seating. All tables outside have canopy umbrellas so you can enjoy a lunch outdoors.

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What to Eat? Start with the ‘mezes’ and smother your bread with the spreads. Order a spicy mandolin kebab sandwich or try the delicious moussaka made with eggplant, ground beef, potatoes and béchamel. Sit outside, close your eyes and you’ll feel like you’ve been whisked away to the Greek islands.  Parent Tip: One block south of the restaurant, Mrs. Mandolin curates a beautiful selection of homeware in her boutique, plus a café and coffee bar. 

Sabor a Peru  Home cooking. That’s exactly what Sabor a Peru delivers. We visit often and every time we dine here, there’s 2-3 older ladies in the kitchen preparing the dishes with love and care. I’d venture to say this is our favorite Peruvian restaurant in all of Miami. Despite stiff competition, my brother-in-law who is of Peruvian descent says Sabor a Peru serves up the most authentic cuisine of the hundreds of Peruvian restaurants in Miami. What to Eat?  Go with the jalea, a heap of breaded shrimp, clams, calamari and fish. The jalea is enormous so split it with the table and then order arroz chaufa, a fried rice better than anything you’ll have at any Chinese takeout spot. Finish off the meal with an alfajor, a cookie with dulce de leche filling. Share with the kids.  Pipsqueak Tip: If your pipsqueak prefers chicken over steak, order the lomo saltado with chicken instead of beef. Easier to chew for them and equally delicious. Comes with french fries and rice too.

Genuine Pizzeria  James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz (of Michael's Genuine) was the brainchild behind one of the top pizzerias in America, Harry’s. He decided to expand his brand and re-named the pizzeria, Genuine Pizzeria. With locations expected to open up all over South Florida, this coal-fired pizza jewel uses only fresh, chef-curated toppings and the pizza crust is tender.  What to Eat? Signature items include polenta fries and my two favorite pies: rock shrimp pizza with roasted lemon, manchego, scallion and cilantro and the short rib pizza with gruyère, caramelized onions and arugula. The kids will love the banana Nutella panini for dessert and so will your sweet tooth.  Pipsqueak Tip: Genuine Pizza is located at the Aventura Mall, the 4th largest mall in America. Walk off that pizza and take the pipsqueak to the indoor playground area inside the mall.

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Wynwood Kitchen & Bar  Definitely one of the most visually striking restaurants in the city, WKB is directly inside the Wynwood Walls. An hip place to stop by for deliciously international-inspired small plates with a unique surrounding of walls covered with graffiti and street art behind you. My girls are usually mesmerized for the first 30 minutes here.  What to Eat? Start with the ‘The Wynwood’ salad with red and yellow beefsteak tomatoes, manchego cheese, piquillo peppers, arugula puree. Order several tapas: tuna ceviche with watermelon lime sauce, jicama, red onion, cilantro slaw, and avocado, and ropa vieja empanadas which are heavenly. Add a side of brussels sprouts with caramelized onions and bacon for good measure.  Pipsqueak Tip: Ask for a table in the outside patio area and observe the wall art from your seat. Best area for people watching in the hippest neighborhood of Miami.

Blue Collar  The man behind this unpretentious, American comfort food gem is owner and local celebrity chef Daniel Serfer. Located 10 minutes from the Wynwood/Design District neighborhoods, this small mom-and-pop spot has been pleasing Miami palates for years. Although there isn’t much space for two high-chairs for twins in this joint, we have dined with babies on laps because the food is so darn good. I’ve dubbed this "the most consistent restaurant in Miami" because I have never, ever, had a bad meal here. 

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What to Eat?  Veg Chalkboard. I am as carnivorous as the next meat-loving Dad but the veggie plate at Blue Collar puts all veggie dishes, anywhere, to shame. Choose 4 items from 20+ veggie options including the roasted beets with goat cheese, curried cauliflower puree and roasted artichoke hearts. If you are still craving something heartier, the dry aged cheeseburger made with prime NY strip beef, lettuce, tomato and onions inside a Portuguese muffin, is a killer burger. Pipsqueak Tip: With a location right on busy Biscayne boulevard, opt to sit inside with small ones.

Ironside Kitchen Pizza & Coffee Co.  Tucked away in Miami’s historic Upper Eastside neighborhood, Ironside serves up authentic Neapolitan pizza pies. “Authentic” is such a cliché word to describe a restaurant’s true-to-form cuisine but Ironside even hired a professional pizza maker, certified by Italy's pizza polizia, to oversee pie creation. The pizza here is produced according to the Neapolitan tradition on wood fired oven with only the finest "00" flour from Mulino San Felice and tomatoes from San Marzano in Italy. On any given afternoon, you’ll find large families with small children sharing a coal-fired pizza and succulent pasta in a relaxing outdoor space.  

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What to Eat? Really hungry? Start your meal off with delicious Italian meats like prosciutto di Parma, Parmacotto ham, calabrese, salame. The game plan here is to order either two pies or a pie-pasta combination in order to fully appreciate the flavors of this authentic Italian eatery. I recommend the Regina with toppings of cherry tomato, arugula, parmigiano, prosciutto crudo and mozzarella fiordilatte. They’re not afraid to customize a pasta for you so ask and you shall receive.  Pipsqueak Tip: I’m not a pizza purist. I like toppings. But the classic Margherita here is very tasty and the kids love it. Just hold the basil, please.

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Spring Chicken  From the same owners of the famous Yardbird Southern Table & Bar in South Beach, this casual Coral Gables eatery proudly makes everything from scratch in–house, including some of the tastiest fried chicken in South Florida. It is inundated with families on weekends looking to enjoy a casual yet delicious meal.  What to Eat? We usually go with the Superfood Kale Salad which comes with crispy or grilled chicken breast or ‘The Yardbird’ sandwich, an ode to the beloved South Beach restaurant which is served on a toasted potato bun and includes pickles and mayo. Pipsqueak Tip: The jumbo tenders are hand-breaded and HUGE and they have a section on the menu titled “Lil Ones” where you can get Jumbo Tenders with a choice of fries or watermelon for the pipsqueak. If you have multiple children with you, order the tender combos that come with 3 or 4 jumbo tenders for under $10. You may need to help them finish because they are enormous!

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94th Aero Squadron  The aviation geek in me loves this place. I come here for the views and enjoy the food but the focal point is the unobstructed views of planes taking off and landing at Miami International Airport. Reasonably priced brunch on the weekends is why locals come here but tourists flock to this place all week. This place is a necessary stop before your flight back home.  What to Eat? Come for a brunch of seafood items like stone crab claws and shrimp along with prime rib, chicken dishes and steaks. There’s really something for everyone.  Pipsqueak Tip: Make a reservation in advance and ask for a table by the windows. The AvGeek in your family will thank you.

Smith & Wollensky  Besides the beautiful location at South Point Park and stunning views of Fisher Island and yachts frisking by, this South Beach steakhouse institution cooks up one of the best dry-aged beef steaks around. Enjoy your meal while you relax, people-watch and reflect on the views.  What to Eat? Any cut of beef you prefer is prepared to your liking here. The lobster mac n’ cheese is one of the best I’ve ever had. The Wollensky’s Butcher Burger is succulent and tastes as it should, fresh and of top quality.  Pipsqueak Tip: If you’re visiting during lunch and want to enjoy the proximity of the beach, pack some belongings and walk 5 minutes. There’s a small children’s playground with water features that my kids love. Find shade under a palm tree and let the little ones enjoy.
 

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Wynwood Yard   Wynwood is Miami’s hippest artsy neighborhood and one of the hottest neighborhoods in the nation. Before 10:00pm, both children and furry children are embraced in this outdoor hub of food, drink and entertainment in the heart of Wynwood. Trendy food trucks, live music and craft brews abound with plenty of space for children to run around. You’ll see a nice mixture of after-work crowd, couples and groups along with an eclectic international family crowd. Embrace the multiple languages being spoken at once.  What to Eat?  Many food truck concepts to choose from. Hop around and try multiple.  Pipsqueak Tip: Go early. Enjoy a few hours of evening family time before the late crowd (around 10:00pm) begins their night.

Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlor Located in Dania Beach, approximately 20 minutes from Miami and 5 minutes from Fort Lauderdale, Jaxson’s is an iconic institutional ice cream parlor in South Florida. Show up on a hot summer day and the lines are insanely long. To be fair, the line goes by fast and you’re rewarded with a heap of delicious ice cream concoctions. What to Eat?  Jaxson’s Jr. Sampler - three jumbo scoops of creamy ice cream, beautified with whipped cream, a cherry and your choice of three syrups or toppings. The traditional hot fudge sundae is also awesome.  Pipsqueak Tip: If there’s a long wait, find a table in the front outdoor covered area (behind the small horse carousel) and you’ll get your order in quicker.

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The Salty Donut  What started as a Wynwood pop-up donut stand selling donuts out of a trailer is now the latest and greatest donut shop in Miami. No longer a pop-up, this brick and mortar shop produces donuts such as the maple-bacon 24-hour-raised brioche doughnut and a guava and cream cheese donut (very Miami). Innovative donuts is what they do and they do it better than most. Alcohol infused donuts? Yup, they do this too and they are divine. Lines are a bit long but worth the wait.  What to Eat?  Get a ½ dozen donuts and make sure to try 6 unique ones. The artisanal donut game is strong here and it’s just a shame to just try one or two. Self-guilt not included. Pipsqueak Tip: Go early in the morning. They tend to sell out by the late afternoon of the popular donut flavors.

Juan Ruiz, a devoted father and self-proclaimed “foodie”, works at a university and when he’s not with his identical twin girls, he’s busy writing about travel, parenting and the latest foodie spots in his blog, doubledutydaddy.com

SXSW with Baby? Yes! An Insider Parent Guide to Austin:

Each March, as the film, music, and interactive media worlds make their pilgrimage to Texas for the iconic South by Southwest festival, a spotlight shines on the vibrant food and restaurant community in Austin.  In a town known for it's superlative barbecue and Tex-Mex -- which are not to be missed -- there is an outsized energy around the food scene, with so many inspired and creative and delicious options to explore in a short time!

With SXSW coming up, there will be an influx of visitors to Austin, (some of whom will be parents traveling with infants, toddlers, young children), but that doesn’t mean the restaurants will be as busy as you might think: with so many shows and events going on it can be a great time for families to get into some of the best restaurants

For those parents traveling down to Austin with their pipsqueaks this week, or any time of year for that matter, our lovely Austin host, Kelsey, has put together her favorite spots in ATX -- feel free to bring your crazy crew as there are a ton of kid-friendly options and all these restaurants are very warm and welcoming:

June baby

June baby

Matzo ball caldo, bolognese, burger 

Matzo ball caldo, bolognese, burger 

June’s All Day  

This is my spot. It’s got that perfect neighborhood vibe, and while the setting is casual, the food is phenomenal and they have a killer wine list that rotates constantly.  I love everything on the menu, but the snapper carpaccio, matzo ball caldo and bone marrow Bolognese are favorites (and my kids love the burger and fries.) They are open all day and have the best happy hour from 4-6, which is conveniently when my kids eat.  There are highchairs for the younger kids, but the space is a bit small so be prepared to sit close together. It’s worth it, I promise.

La Barbecue

If you’re the type of person who is willing to wait in line for the best BBQ, I would do it at La Barbeque.  If you go with enough adults that one can hold the line and one can play with the kids, there’s enough space to have them run a bit.  Plus, you can get a coffee or beer while you wait.  Go for the brisket and beef rib, but the sausages, pulled pork, sauces and all the sides are phenomenal and worth the wait. 

That said there are a number of barbecue places in ATX that would be the best place for miles in any other town! A few faves with only a *little* wait: Stiles Switch, Brown’s and Freedman’s.

Mattie’s

A revival of an Austin icon, Mattie’s is in an impeccably renovated Victorian home on gorgeous grounds.  The food is seasonal and the biscuits and fried chicken are not to be missed. If you’re going with kids, they have a picture-perfect lawn that has a pared down menu. You can sit under their beautiful live oak trees while sipping porch cocktails as your kids have a bit of space to run. There are also peacocks that live on the grounds and my kids love spotting them in the trees!

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Elizabeth Street Café  

This Vietnamese café and boulangerie in Bouldin is a beautiful neighborhood spot.  About as Instagram-worthy as restaurants come, ESC also has amazing pho and super fresh spring rolls and noodle bowls.  They also have delicious French pastries and a fun kids menu that isn’t just the standard.

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Olamaie

Michael Fojtasek’s Olamaie is a perfect interpretation of southern food with a focus on local ingredients.  More upscale than some others on this list, the food here is thoughtfully prepared and delicious. Don’t miss the off the menu Biscuits, especially if bringing the kids!  Reservations recommended here and this one you’ll want to dress a little nicer for.

Emmer & Rye

Chef Kevin Fink and his team consistently impress with their unique dining experience on Rainey Street.  They mill their own heritage grains, source local ingredients and have a nifty Dim Sum cart with small, inventive plates to try.  The menu rotates but the Cacio e Pepe is a staple and I love the Short Rib Carnitas.

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Pitchfork Pretty

Upscale Hill Country cuisine in a beautifully designed A-Frame setting.  This restaurant is gorgeous and their delicious food is a good representation of Texas cuisine.  I loved the Ruby Trout Crudo, Marinated Broccoli and the Sweet Potato Rosette. The Fried Chicken is also a hit.  I have admittedly not taken my kids here yet, but it’s fairly new so I just haven’t had a chance.

Perla’s

The patio at Perla’s doesn’t get much better.  Right on South Congress, it’s a perfect place to watch the bustle of the famous Austin strip.  I’m a big fan of the Wood Grilled Oysters and Grilled Octopus. My kids love the Shells and Cheese, as do all of the adults.

Odd Duck

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Odd Duck has a small bites menu that is always changing with the seasons.  It’s one of the best restaurants here that captures the culture of Austin in its cuisine and vibe.  Everything is handcrafted from the cocktails to the entrees and flavor here is king. There are always a couple of dishes that my kids like but no dedicated kids menu, and I’ll admit it’s a little more adventurous than usual for them.

Launderette

Everything here from the food to the drinks to the vibe is so well done and so wonderfully Austin.  The flavorful food has a Mediterranean influence and their desserts are not to be missed. The Birthday Cake Ice Cream Sandwich is one of the best desserts in Austin and super kid friendly at that.  They have a dedicated kids menu, wikki sticks and colorful straws for the littles also.

Kemuri Tatsu-ya

As a disclaimer, Kemuri is not the most kid-friendly and really fun late at night, but I wanted to put on the list because if you want to feel the pulse of Austin food right now, it’s here.  The Japanese/Texas cuisine is really unique and immensely flavorful. If you can get a reservation, snag one but otherwise go willing to wait and have a drink in their outdoor area in front.

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Fresa’s

This is a great kid-friendly option in South Austin that also happens to have delicious food.  They have an amazing outdoor space that kids can run around in and a special menu for the kids as well.  Parents can feast on tacos, healthy bowls and wood-grilled chicken and steaks, as well as all the guac and queso you can handle. Because you aren’t in Austin until you’re eating queso.

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Ramen Tatsu-ya

I don’t know if many people see ramen as kid-friendly, but my kids love it.  Ramen Tatsu-ya on South Lamar is some of the best ramen you’ll find in the city – super flavorful broths and inventive add-ins.  It’s popular for good reason, but if you’re going with kids get there early (for lunch or dinner) so you don’t have to wait in line.

Veracruz All-Natural

Breakfast tacos are like a religion here and Veracruz are my family’s faves.  They use handmade tortillas and salsas and their Migas Taco is one of the best around. One of their locations is at a coffee shop (Radio Coffee and Beer), which has a big outdoor space for the kids to run around while you wait for your tacos.

Veracruz All Natural

Veracruz All Natural

Radio Coffee and Beer

Radio Coffee and Beer

Other Family-Friendly Spots in Austin

One of my favorite things about eating and drinking in Austin is the amount of restaurants/coffee shops/breweries that have wonderful outdoor spaces for the kids to run around while you get to have coffee or a beer with friends.  Some of the places we frequent the most are Radio Coffee and Beer (mentioned above), Cosmic Coffee (has Leroy and Lewis BBQ), ABGB (a beer garden that has pretty great food and live music), Friends and Allies Brewing Company (next to a sweet climbing gym with a kid area, Austin Bouldering Project), and Live Oak Brewing Company.

In addition to all the eating and drinking you can do, there are so many fun activities to do with kids here.  The Zilker Zephyr train in Zilker Park is a hit with any kid I know and we love walking or running the nearby Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail with the stroller.  The Thinkery is an amazing children’s museum with tons to do for pretty much any age of kid. The Austin Nature & Science Center is wonderfully eclectic and a great outdoor space to explore and dig for dinosaur bones.  If you’re coming for SXSW, there are also a lot of kid-friendly shows at various venues around town. Check out Do512 Family for suggestions on which shows are kid-friendly.

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After 9 years of living in New York City, Kelsey moved down to Austin with her family.  Originally from Colorado, she attended the University of Colorado at Boulder where she earned a degree in Marketing.  In NYC, she spent 6 years at advertising agencies and then 3 years at Cisse Cocoa Co., a startup food brand, as their Director of Marketing and taste tester of their delicious products. Dining out is one of Kelsey's favorite activities and she loves exploring Austin's booming dining scene and of course trying out all the tacos. She specially loves doing so with her husband and young children, Archer and Wren. 

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The World's Biggest Mama Meetup!

We're joining our good friends at Mindr (and their friends at the United Nations Foundation's Global Moms Challenge) to help make history, with the World's Biggest Mama Meetup EVER!

On March 8th, 2018 -- International Women's Day -- Nibble+squeak will be facilitating mama meet-ups across the USA and around the world!  We'll take part in a global conversation about how we can make the world better for all moms, and how moms can make the world better for everyone.

Our core philosophy at Nibble+squeak is that there’s nothing more powerful than a community of parents. We’re proud to be bringing people together around the world as part of the World’s Biggest Mama Meetup.

WHAT SHOULD WE DISCUSS?

Whatever you'd like!  It would be great to have a conversation about some of the big issues facing mamas today, like access to care for a safe and healthy pregnancy, the #MeToo movement and how to make workplaces and neighborhoods safe for all, ways to fight the "motherhood penalty" in the workplace, and get mothers into boardrooms and onto ballots, and how educational opportunities can empower women and girls.

WHERE ARE MEETUPS HAPPENING?

Everywhere! There are global meet-ups planned, but Nibble+squeak will be fostering meet-ups in our existing communities, plus a few beyond!   Contact us below if you'd like to connect with the group in your city.

Adelaide - Atlanta - Austin - Bangkok - Beijing - Berlin - Boston - Boulder - Brazil - Brisbane - Canberra - Cape Town - Charleston - Chicago - Cincinnati - Connecticut - Dallas - Denver - Des Moines - Detroit - Edmonton - Fort Lauderdale - Guangzhou - Guatemala - Ho Chi Minh City - Hong Kong Houston - Indianapolis - Istanbul - Kansas City - Krakow - Lagos - London - Los Angeles - Memphis - Melbourne - Mexico - Miami - Munich - New Jersey - New York - Newcastle - Omaha - Orange County - Paris - Perth - Philadelphia - Phoenix - Pittsburgh - Salt Lake City - San Diego - San Francisco - Seattle - Shanghai - Shenzen - Silicon Valley - St. Louis - Sweden - Sydney - Toronto - Twin Cities - Washington, D.C.
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An Insider Parent's Guide to New Orleans with the Kids

Jenni is celebrating her 19th Mardi Gras in New Orleans this year. She met her husband Mike when they were freshmen at Tulane, and while life has changed a bit for them since then (a wedding, a move to the northeast, a now seven year old daughter, and twin two year olds), they haven't missed a Mardi Gras yet. Ahead of this year's trip with her family of five, Jenni took the time to give Nibble+squeak her tips for navigating NOLA with pipsqueaks-in-tow:

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I always thought that NOLA was not exactly kid-friendly.  Maybe that's because NOLA and I met while I was in college, or maybe that's because I gave in to common stereotypes about the city.  But, whatever the reason I thought that, I was wrong.  After having our first child in 2010, we have taken our (now three) kids to New Orleans every year.  We always visit at Mardi Gras, but sometimes during other seasons too. 

In New Orleans, "fancy" doesn't always feel fancy and casual doesn't always feel casual.  I've categorized as best I can, but know that you can kind of just "go with the flow" when in NOLA.  Be sure to check the restaurant's website for a dress code, but most won't have one. This is a list of restaurants that I've taken my kids to and that I love, in no particular order:

Higher-end

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Strawberry shortcake perfection

Strawberry shortcake perfection

Commander's Palace  This is classic and quintessential New Orleans.  The turtle soup is not to be missed and the three-course offering is always great.  The absolute highlight of the meal though for me and my daughter is the Strawberry Shortcake.  A perfect shortcake (just enough salt, not too sweet) with fresh Ponchatoula strawberries.  You can't find this anywhere else.   

Brennan's  Another New Orleans classic, this one had me at dessert also.  Brennan's is the birthplace of Bananas Foster and it is magical as the chef prepares it table-side. 

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Court of Two Sisters Jazz Brunch is available every day here and is a wonderful option with kids because there's a little something for everyone.  Don't be turned off by the fact that this is a buffet; the food is fresh and inspired.  Plus courtyard seating and live music to keep their attention.  A great French Quarter brunch option.

Dante's Kitchen  Located uptown, this is a hidden gem.  Don't miss out on the Vietnamese Style Pork Belly appetizer and the fingerling potatoes which are roasted with herbs and brown butter and topped with a bacon gremolata.

Cochon  Donald Link doesn't disappoint.  The duck and andouille gumbo is great as is the macaroni and cheese casserole.  The creamy grits are always cooked to perfection and the braised short rib is melt-in-your-mouth delicious.  The last time I ate here I was pregnant with the twins so, yes, I sampled a LOT.  

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Jacques-Imo's Another uptown fave.  Be warned that they don't take reservations and you *will* have to wait to be seated.  That said, it's NOLA.  So order a cocktail from the bar in a go-cup (yes, that's a thing.  a glorious thing.) and take it outside to let the kids play and be noisy.  The shrimp and alligator sausage cheesecake is the must-have app and I go for the blackened redfish every single time and it has never disappointed.  

So-Bou  Short for "South of Bourbon," this newcomer has impressed us in recent years!  The menu is varied and oh-so-interesting.  This one's for the families with more adventurous kiddos but I can attest that my daughter was last there at 4 years old and she had no problem finding delicious "kid-friendly" things to eat (the drumettes of fried chicken confit were a big hit).  For dessert, I highly recommend the "Pecan Pie, Not Pie" which includes a chocolate covered cracklin' (yes, you read that correctly) as well as peanut butter whipped cream.  To.die.for.  (Did I mention I was also pregnant with twins for this meal?)

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So-Bou

Fried green tomatoes at Dick & Jenny's

Fried green tomatoes at Dick & Jenny's

Dick & Jenny's  This is another New Orleans classic, with some of the best Creole food to be found.  The fried green tomatoes and the fried gulf oysters are both fabulous, as are the BBQ gulf shrimp.  Boudin balls are great!  My kids like to get a table by the window and watch the cars pass by on Tchoupitoulas Street.    

Fun and Casual-ish

Juan's Flying Burrito  They do New Orleans Mexican food right.  The Bacon Azul Quesadilla is my go-to filled with blue cheese and bacon.  The Hawaii 5-0-4 (a play on NOLA's area code) nachos are also delicious, featuring bacon, pulled pork, mango salsa, pineapple salsa, chipotle sour cream, avocado, cilantro and jalapeños. They're famous for their burritos which are a big hit with my husband.  If you go to their Magazine Street location, you can sit inside or outside and don't forget to grab one of their excellent margaritas to-go.  The perfect drink to savor while shopping the stores on Magazine.

Camellia Grill Note to parents of littles, this is a counter-seat only diner.  So if your little one isn't yet able to sit solo on a backless stool, skip this one until they can.  Classic diner fare served by some of the best waiters you'll ever meet.  Always met with a smile.  Chocolate cherry freeze is my daughter's dream beverage.

Superior Grill  More good Mexican in NOLA, this time with a few creole-inspired options.  The crawfish quesadilla is a must-eat.  And, again, don't forget your go-cup of margarita!  They'll even salt the lid for you so you can enjoy the full fun of a margarita as you walk around uptown or wait for a parade.

Crawfish Quesadilla at Superior Grill

Crawfish Quesadilla at Superior Grill

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Frankie & Johnny's This is the place that we go to FIRST every single trip.  Literally land at the airport, rent the minivan (yes, I know, whatever), and show up thirsty and hungry at F&J's.  This is classic NOLA fare including great po-boys.  My husband gets the french fry po-boy with debris (don't judge, it's once a year) and we always get the fried pepper and onion rings appetizer.  This is our go-to for boiled crawfish as well as boiled shrimp - they are pure perfection.  And, there's a kid's menu here that offers red beans and rice, chicken fingers, shrimp and fries or even a delicious (or so I'm told by my oldest) noodles with butter.  Pitchers of Abita on tap are best to wash it all down.

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Waiting on crawfish at Frankie & Johnny’s

Waiting on crawfish at Frankie & Johnny’s

Domilise's This place basically feels like you're having lunch in your grandma's kitchen.  BEST po-boys in the city, hands down.  Come at me.  Ha!  The menu is short and simple (and extra delicious).  Get an oyster po-boy, dressed.

Crescent City Brewhouse  Sit outside on the balcony with a view of the river and enjoy beers and excellent pub fare.  The specialty salads are awesome here (and because I'm recommending a SALAD while in NOLA, you know it has to be good).  A great option with kids if you're downtown in the French Quarter and don't have a reservation but want to have a decent sit-down lunch.

Cafe Du Monde  OK, fine.  It isn't really a full-service restaurant.  But beignets make everyone of all ages happy.  Full stop

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Beignet bite

Lagniappe

In New Orleans, Lagniappe means "a little something extra," so here are a few ideas for foodie-adjacent must-dos!

If you're looking for a quick sweet treat with the kids instead of a full meal, two of my fave dessert spots are Hansen's Sno-Bliz and Sucre.  Hansen's is old-school (since 1939!) and serves snoballs (shaved ice) to NOLA locals and tourists alike.  Keep an eye open for special flavors like Bananas Foster or Chai and definitely indulge with the condensed milk drizzle.  Be sure to check their website before you go, Hansen's is only open seasonally.  Sucre is new-school and serves sweet treats including chocolates, macarons, cakes, sundaes, gelato and, every mom's favorite, boozy milkshakes. 

Columns Hotel - My home away from home when in New Orleans.  Drink a mint julep and enjoy sitting on the large front porch overlooking St. Charles Avenue while you watch the streetcars roll by.

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Zapp’s  crawtators  (seasonal Mardi Gras packaging)

Zapp’s crawtators (seasonal Mardi Gras packaging)

Zapp's potato chips - Zapp's has many different flavors but the Crawtators are my favorite!  In fact, we included them in our wedding goodie bags.  Pick some up at a convenience store on your drive to another meal (hey, it's NOLA), crank up WWOZ on the radio (90.7 FM) and do a little dance.  Because life is good here.

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King cake - I won't even begin to embroil myself in the "who has the best king cake" discussion (although I definitely do have an opinion).  These can be found during carnival season and are the pastry of my dreams.  A recent wedding attended while in New Orleans even had a king cake wedding cake.  I had never been so thankful for being pregnant with twins as I was at that wedding; I felt zero shame going back for a second slice!

Hotel Monteleone - Want an interesting cocktail in the French Quarter?  Check out the carousel bar in the Hotel Monteleone.  OK, maybe this is one that isn't for the kiddos, but more for the kids at heart.  

Finally, beer

Abita is a fave that now distributes far and wide.  I still love finding a Purple Haze on tap at home on the East Coast, but I think they taste a bit better in NOLA.  You can find more Abita flavors locally too.  Although, our (and when I say our, I mean my husband's) most recent fave NOLA brewery is the NOLA Brewing Company.  Two thumbs up for their Hopitoulas IPA.

Freret Beer Room  Craft beers.  Great burgers.  Inspired dining.  Family-friendly.  What more can you ask for?

And New Orleans never disappoints with its kid-friendly offerings.  For activities, there are amazing Audubon offerings including Audubon Park, the Audubon Zoo, the Aquarium of the Americas and the Insectarium (yes, my little one ate bugs there for the first time!)  There is also City Park, including Storyland, as well as plenty of fun kid-friendly tours on swamp boats and riverboats.  And let's be honest, a streetcar ride is fun at any age!


Jenni (Stivrins) and Mike (Murin) met in New Orleans in 1999 during their freshman year of college at Tulane.  After moving away post-graduation in 2003, they decided to make New Orleans a permanent part of their lives and were in town paying their wedding deposits the week that Hurricane Katrina was approaching.  While they never ended up settling down in NOLA as planned, they have made it a point to return annually during Mardi Gras (and sometimes more often!)  That hasn't changed as they added kids to their lives.  Their three children, aged 7 (girl) and 2 (boy/girl twins), are experiencing their 8th and 3rd Mardi Gras this year, respectively.  This year is Jenni and Mike's 19th Mardi Gras in NOLA.

 

 

Celeb Chef Marcus Samuelsson on Fatherhood, Flavor, and Family Meals

Marcus Samuelsson may just be the busiest chef in the business right now. He is a bona fide TV star, celebrated cookbook author—and wrote the best-selling memoir Yes, Chef.  He was the youngest person ever to receive a three-star review from The New York Times; has won multiple James Beard Foundation Awards including Best Chef: New York City; and was tasked with planning and executing the Obama Administration’s first State dinner. Plus, along with New York and London, he has over 32 restaurant locations across the US, UK, Sweden, Norway and Bermuda.  

Ahead of our gospel brunch at Red Rooster Harlem, Marcus chatted with Nibble+squeak about the globetrotting lifestyle he enjoys with his wife Maya Haile and his 18-month old son Zion Mandela

By Liza Hamm (Photo credit @mayahaile and @marcuscooks!)

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Tell us a little about Zion's personality...

He's the happiest baby with a lot of energy. It doesn't matter how tired you are, when Maya and I see his grinning face, and all the energy, it fuels us. It's thrilling to experience the world through him. Just watching a baby learn new things and experience parts of life for the first time is so fascinating. 

Has being a parent changed your style in the kitchen at all? 

Going out to eat is such a positive experience for kids. It opens their world.

In some ways, yes. I feel inspired to make things that I think he'll enjoy eating. He's still just a baby, but we can tell he's liking the process of tasting food and forming opinions on what he loves and what he doesn't. It's actually very entertaining to watch. 

What is the first food you introduced him to?

I think it was sweet potato. It’s the perfect thing because it doesn’t give off any kind of smell. He often dislikes something the first time because he’s not used to it. But we just keep trying. 

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What are his current favorite foods?

Right now, it’s chicken, roasted sweet potatoes and cauliflower. But I also boil salmon and mash it up with avocado. He loves that. 

What are you most excited to teach him in the kitchen?

I can't wait to show him how to catch and filet a fish. That was something I did all the time as kid growing up in Sweden. Of course I'm excited to teach him knife skills and cooking techniques, but also the bigger picture with food– the history of where certain foods come from, why we eat the way we do, and about waste and sustainability. All of that excites me and I look forward to passing on that knowledge to him while having thoughtful conversations with him about it. 

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How soon will Zion get to help out in the kitchen?

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He's already with us in the kitchen when we cook and we love it!  He observes and will help us out with dusting some berbere spice onto finished dishes. I'm thinking he'll really start to get into it once he's ready to stir and mix of ingredients, and then we can move forward from there. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have a special routine with Zion at the moment? 

We are starting to form a few routines. At the moment we read books super early in the morning. He's an early riser and ready to take on the world at 4:30am, so that's our time to dive into the baby books and bond. He loves all the classic, like Goodnight Moon, and anything with animals and some explanation about them.

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Has Zion traveled to any of your other restaurants yet?

He’s been all over. We’ve gone to Bermuda, London and Ethiopia. He’s a good traveler. London to New York is nothing to him. But once it gets a lot over 5 hours, it’s tricky. 

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@mayahaile

My Mom always said ‘you came into *my* world, not the other way around.’

Does he like to visit your restaurants?

He’s not aware of what’s going on. But he clearly has the right priorities. If I'm cooking on the beach in Bermuda, he loves it—not because I am cooking but because the beach is there. 

Does he get VIP treatment at your restaurants?

No, none of that! Of course, everyone is excited to see him running around. But I am very concerned about him being over-pampered. It’s already a little weird for him when so many people come up to him, when we walk from home to the restaurant. 

How do you balance being a Dad with a very busy career?

I think balance is one of the hardest things. I’m just lucky to have an amazing wife. We do it together. And we bring Zion into our world. My Mom always said ‘you came into my world, not the other way around.’ I appreciated that. So he’s going to be exposed to my world—he’s going to meet wait staff, dishwashers, purveyors. He’ll constantly be around teamwork. 

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How else did your Mom and Dad influence your partnering style?

They were always behind, next and in front of me. I never forget that support. I would not be here today without it. I knew I could go to my parents no matter what problem I put myself in. I don’t take that for granted. Every family goes through stuff and you just have to know we’re in it together. 

Nibble+squeak is all about the joy of dining out -- together with your family. What’s your philosophy on family meals?

I take a lot of pride that people come through Red Rooster with their family. Going out to eat is such a positive experience for kids. First, you get to interact with other people, which is always good. You’re constantly introducing them to new experiences. That only helps them socially. It opens their world. 

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Nibble+squeak is thrilled that Marcus will be welcoming our community into his culinary world, with a gospel brunch at RED ROOSTER HARLEM, on February 11th!

An Insider Parent's Guide to the Top Family-Friendly Restaurants in Portugal

I don’t remember if it was the sunny beaches that beckoned us back from the delightful cliff-top restaurant every afternoon, or the memory of succulent little clams that pulled us off the sand, but either way our last trip to the Algarve is an amazing blur of sunshine and great food.  Portugal has always had a special place in our hearts, with its terrific historical sites, unrivaled food, beautiful beaches and friendly people.

That’s why Nibble+squeak is delighted to partner with Martinhal Family Hotels & Resorts and share with you Martinhal founder Chitra Stern’s pick of best restaurants to dine with your kids in the Algarve and around Lisbon.

Breakfast at Martinhal Sagres

Breakfast at Martinhal Sagres

Your Guide to the Algarve and Lisbon from Martinhal Family Hotels & Resorts' Chitra Stern:

My favourite restaurants in Portugal…

… in the Algarve – apart from our own O Terraço at Martinhal Sagres, which has the best view combined with great food and wine and child-friendliness, here are some others:

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Parrilla Natural in the Quinta do Lago area is an excellent restaurant to visit as a family looking for an elegant night out.  They have a good menu with great meat dishes and other options too.  The setting is beautiful with tables set in a grove outside the main building.

São Gabriel Thai Garden– also in the Quinta do Lago area, this is a truly excellent place to go out with the family.  The Thai menu obviously has some popular Thai dishes and the setting in in a beautiful old house with a garden.

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Vila Velha – in Sagres.  One of our old-time favourites in Sagres for family dining.  The restaurant has excellent service and a great range of dishes – both Portuguese and international.  A good selection of dishes for vegetarians, too.

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Vivendos – at Meia Praia, Lagos.  A small restaurant with great daily specials that the chef works hard on – good for lunch when you make a day-trip into Lagos from Sagres.  Go before you get to the beach as it is not a beach restaurant.

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… in the Greater Lisbon area – apart from our restaurants in Martinhal Cascais and Martinhal Chiado, we love:

Sud Lisboa 

Sud Lisboa 

Sud Lisboa – fabulous setting at the River Tagus with views to the 25th of April Bridge (which looks like the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco).  Located right next to so many tours must-sees in Lisbon like the Jeronimos Monastery, the Discoveries Monument and MAAT Musuem.  Great for lunch.

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Panorama – Guincho – close to our Cascais property.  Fabulous seafood and fish place with amazing Sea Bass baked in sea salt.  Other favourites include the “Açorda” which is a typical dish from the Alentejo made with bread, garlic, coriander and prawns.  Superb lunch experience with views onto the Atlantic.

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O Watt – in central Lisbon.  Good gourmet food by Chef Kiko Martins – which little gourmets will enjoy too!  Very close to Martinhal Chiado. 

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Palácio Chiado – a very chic and elegant “food court” set in an old palace.  A wide variety of food offers from Charcuterie to Sushi/ Sashimi.  The hamburgers downstairs are fantastic.

[Ed. note: Even the New York Times is enamored with the scene here.]

Bairro de Avillez – Chef José Avillez’s latest hit!  Fabulous food inside a heritage building – simply amazing Lisbon experience.  Also located very close to Martinhal Chiado.

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Bairro de Avillez

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Mercado da Ribeira– also known as the Time Out Market – offers food by some of the best chefs in Portugal and stalls by some famous restaurants.  Each member of the family can choose a different food stall to try the best of Lisbon’s chefs. 

 

Dessert? 

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Santini of course!  Santini is the best “gelato” place in greater Lisbon – they now have several outlets but this is a great place to have their ice-cream.  Go early if going for lunch or dinner – it isn’t too difficult to find seats together at noon or at 5.30pm, but it gets crowded at peak times.

 

ENTER TO WIN!  Martinhal and TAP Air Portugal are offering YOU a chance to WIN a one-week family vacation to Portugal!

Martinhal Family Hotels & Resorts

Martinhal Family Hotels & Resorts

Chef Dan Kluger Opens Up About What it Took to Open Loring Place

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NYC chef Dan Kluger is getting ready to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Loring Place, his acclaimed Greenwich Village Restaurant.  It’s the first restaurant he’s designed and owned but not the first time that his cooking has drawn raves from both critics and guests... 

When Dan isn’t in the kitchen, he spends time with his wife and two daughters, Ella, 11, and Georgia, 8.  He kindly hosted a wonderful Nibble+squeak event at Loring Place earlier this fall.

By Liza Hamm

Congrats on Loring Place’s success! Tell me a little bit about the experience of building a restaurant from scratch.

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It was quite a project. It was a lot of fun to choose everything, and design something I wanted, and to see it come to fruition. At the same time it was incredibly tough. It was a trying time, managing construction, and managing budgets, and managing the timeline, all of which did not necessarily go as planned.

Well, the result was worth the headache. Do you feel like it accomplished all your goals? 

I am very pleased with the food and the reactions to the food. It’s fun, flavorful twists on simple food.  I am happy with our space and staff. We are quite busy and it’s still a hard ticket to get into but I always feel like we can be busier. I certainly spent some of the summertime worrying about how to build the business. 

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Did your daughters give you any particular input or suggestions for Loring Place?

They would like to think they did! I’ll make something for them at home and they’ll like it and say, "you should put that on the menu." It’s more wishful thinking than anything else... But I made a spinach pizza one day, and they loved it and said that should go on the menu. 

Do they visit the restaurant often?

They probably come every six weeks or so. My oldest likes to spend some time in the kitchen with me. She likes to see what’s going on. They’re simple eaters. They love the pizzas and basic pastas. I always do a bunch of vegetables for them.  

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Do they like helping you with the cooking at home? 

Yes.  Georgia is into baking. She’ll get it into her head to make cupcakes, and the next thing you know she has everything out and she’ll whip them up and decorate them on her own. Ella is more interested in making pasta together. We made gnocchi the other day. She likes to cut vegetables. 

Was getting them interested in cooking very important to you?

It wasn’t necessarily important but they did start early -- when Ella was about 5, I bought her a knife. She started doing a little prep work here and there. 

Clearly opening a restaurant is very time-consuming. How do you balance that work with being a parent?

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That was definitely a hard time because I didn’t see [my daughters] at all. Now, I take one to two days off a week and try to make the most of those days!  They’ve gotten the short end of the stick because [being at the restaurant] is really important right now. I think they understand and respect that.

At some point, I’m sure [the restaurant] will be on auto-pilot and I won’t have to change my schedule around and I’ll get to spend more time with them.

If anything, I put . . . the family life on hold. I took just one day off for the first four or five months  I worked straight through.

They must think it’s very cool that you’re created your own restaurant.

I don’t know if they get the magnitude of it, but I think they’re very excited about the fact that I own the restaurant. They saw it come to fruition and I think they appreciate it. 

Do you have a favorite activity to do with the kids on your days off?

We typically go out for a meal. I’ll take them to our local diner. That’s our tradition. They can have whatever they want, but we have to talk about real things, which is always a good time. 

Sounds like they’re pretty adventurous eaters. Is that something you tried to make happen? 

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No, I think they’re picky eaters! They know they have to try things. They have no problem going to a sushi restaurant and finding something to eat but they’re certainly not having eel like I am. We’ve become friends with the owner. He’s certainly opened Ella’s eyes to Kobe beef and things like that. He sends stuff over as a nice treat for them. 

Any tips about making kids a little less picky at mealtime?

I wish I did. The one thing is they have to try it, at least take one bite of something new. That’s a big challenge and it’s hard to commit to that but recently…Ella doesn’t like shrimp and always whines about it when I try to get her to taste it. Somehow she tried tempura shrimp and now she loves it. So now I try to convince her she would never have figured that out if she hadn’t tried something new. 

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I make everything simple for the most part when I cook for them. I’ll put hot sauce on my food but leave things simply prepared. As a result, they have to eat some of everything—from Brussels sprouts to asparagus to steak. They get plenty of vegetables and the meat we buy is local and naturally raised. 

Nibble + squeak is all about the joy of taking your kids out to dine at restaurants….what’s your policy about having kids at your restaurant?

We welcome kids -- [our] menu is constantly changing but there are always one or two winners with kids every season. We had butternut squash fries that kids ate because they thought they were french fries. The pizzas have vegetables on them…there’s a Brussels sprouts pizza, spinach pizza.  

Why is important for families to get the chance to go out and dine together? What do kids learn from that experience? 

[Children] should get to go out and see what it’s like to have wonderful service.
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In general, families need to eat together. In terms of dining out, we need to expose kids to it more!  Learning how to behave at dinner is very important to me when my kids go out. That they’re constantly saying please and thank you and looking the server in the eye. They’re forced to speak to "a stranger." All of that is important when it comes to basic manners. Also, they can’t just be going out for Chinese food and pizza. 

What do you remember most from your times dining at a restaurant as a kid? Is that how you got interested in a culinary career?

That’s why it’s ironic to be talking about it. As a kid, I don’t really remember going out at all. We went to the local Chinese restaurant for Sunday night meal every once in a while. 

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So how did you get interested in cooking?

I went to Syracuse and ended up becoming a nutrition major and took some food science and food safety classes.

I really fell in love with everything about food service and ended up doing an internship at Union Square Cafe with Danny Meyer. After graduating, I’d still go and hang out and after a couple of months, they offered me a job in the kitchen. The rest is history. 

 

Fall Harvest - Tips for Picking with the Pipsqueaks!

We could wax poetic about fall forever -- the crisp air, fiery foliage, and sweet bounty of the harvest . . .

Whether you're venturing to an apple orchard or pumpkin patch, we're here to help you maximize the outdoor adventures with the kids. What to bring (don't forget snacks!), what to wear (this is prime family photo opportunity, after all...), and how to go from field to feastBecause babies can't be basic.... let's have some old-fashioned, food-focused, family fun!

Dress for Success -- Let's face it, those sun-dappled, leaf-filled photos are a big part of the occasion! No need to super coordinate the fam', just a nod to fall with your fashion picks is great -- as long as it's still comfortable! Nothing cuts the occasion short like a too-chilly child with damp socks, so dress in layers to be prepared. As Scandinavian parents say, "there's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes"

Be prepared -- The lovely thing about pick-your-own is that you don't need much to do the actual picking, but you will want to bring some supplies for a picnic in the field (colorful cloths, a child-friendly knife), and think about a way to get the produce back home.  Little arms will appreciate a cart that they can pull -- those apples are heavy! 

Farm to Table -- There's no better hands-on way to experience the harvest than in your own kitchen.  And you don't need to be a master chef -- or have more than a few minutes of prep time -- to whip up homemade applesauce (seriously, just throw chunked apples in a pot with a splash of water!), oven-dried apple rings, or toasted pumpkin seeds.  But if you want to go the extra mile, and, say, peel those apples to make pie, go for it!  We'll be too busy straight-up dipping wedges in goat's milk caramel...

Victorio Apple Peeler & Corer
Stoneware 11
DIY Goat's Milk Caramel Apple Kit

It's in a Book -- Celebrate and learn together with some seasonal bedtime tales...

Looking for an idyllic scene near you? Here are some apple (and some pumpkin) -picking spot from our friends at Mommy Nearest to get you started: New York, in Washington D.C., in Philadelphia, in Boston, in Miami, in Houston, and Chicago and Los Angeles Looking in London, here's a list from Time Out UK to peruse.