After much anticipation — like more than a year’s worth — I finally got my family in to the Parents Nite Out at Dig’s Bistro in Berkeley. Every month on the first Monday, Dig’s Bistro (a local, seasonal, fresh, tasty, organic, foodie gem of a restaurant) opens its doors to the floodgates of parents needing a night of excellent cuisine without the kids.
And I loved it.
What we did
Rookie Dad Alec took an earlier bus home to meet us at the restaurant at 6pm while I put the wheels in motion on the home front. I adjusted the preschool pick-up and TV show time forward and hyped the “kids’ party” that we’d be going to. At 5:45, we all loaded up into the double stroller and headed toward the restaurant.
Now pardon me while this adventure comes off the rails for about 30 minutes. When we arrived, Finding Nemo had already been started in the kids room. Three older (gosh, elementary age?!) children had finished their seasonal, organic chicken and pasta and were heading toward an ice cream dessert. Milo was clingy and crying-whining and Holden was afraid of the movie. Awesome. Yes?
After three back-and-forth visits to our boring grown-up table with no movie and his fun room with movie and crayons but no parents, Milo finally made the right choice.
Alec and I enjoyed a delicious dinner of charcuterie plate, summer squash bisque, mixed lettuce salad, flatbread with black mission figs and prosciutto, semolina crusted halibut, and grilled natural hangar steak capped off with a bittersweet chocolate torte and almond blancmange (whatever that is). Yes, we totally pigged out.
And the kids remained happily in the room until it was time to pry them out for our walk home.
What they did for us
In addition to providing the adult patrons with delicious food and cozy, quiet ambiance, Dig’s Bistro provides a room for as many as ten children (over the age of two) to play, color, and watch movies. They also give the kids a tasty dinner and dessert. All for $10 a kid. I told you this was brilliant.
Yeah, its more than ordering off the kids menu at some places but its way cheaper than what we pay for babysitting.
Who else is doing this?
Another excellent East Bay restaurant, Franklin Square Wine Bar (seasonal, local, delicious), recently opened and is trying to get off the ground with their own version of this called Munchkin Mondays. Alec and I tried this one too (because I didn’t plan ahead for reservations at Digs the last time, oops) and the kids loved it.
The kids sat in a fun tent with pillows, games, two babysitters, and a TV playing Finding Nemo. And it was just them.
So, come on parents! If you live near us, we must patronize and encourage these businesses to keep on keeping on. If you live far far away, are there other places offering this awesomeness?
Rally a group. Invite your friends. But don’t forget to call ahead for reservations. Both places are popular for a reason!
We ordered so much food because we had a coupon from restaurant.com (a service which I am not sure I can recommend and will have to write about another day). No promotional consideration was offered or accepted at either location.
Photo credit: either me or Alec. The photo is of us at a different date-night last month. To be honest, as photo-happy as I am, I didn’t have the presence of mind either evening to take photos.