Anyone with small children knows how difficult it can be eating out. If you’re lucky, like I was with my first daughter, crayons and food are enough to keep your kid occupied and well-behaved while you can actually chew your food and take your time to eat. If you’re unlucky, like I was with my second, you ask for the check as soon as you order so you can be prepared to escape when your kid shows signs of eruption. Thankfully, now that my little one is 3-years-old, we can enjoy eating out and my girls, for the most part, are well-behaved in restaurants.
How I wished for a place like new Montclair restaurant The Nook when we went through the rough eating out period. Parents in Baristaville now have a place that understands eating out with kids.
The Nook is the latest restaurant from Sheree Sarabhayavanija, owner of Spice II and Habañeros, and inspired by her son Luck and daughter-in-law Anne. Luck and Anne have three boys ages 5 and under, so if anyone knows about eating out with little ones–it’s them. They recently moved back to NJ from Vancouver, Canada and, along with Sheree, decided to bring a family-friendly restaurant to Montclair that offers breakfast, brunch and lunch daily from 7:30 am – 3:30 pm.
So what’s so family-friendly about The Nook? There is a Kid’s Play Area in the restaurant with an easel, trains, toys and, best of all, a kitchen set, which will be filled with play food and chef hats and aprons. Luck tells me that there will also be a huge board which they will fill with pictures of kids and their families and kid’s artwork.
Kid’s meals are priced right at $4.50 and offer the standard kiddie meals: silver dollar pancakes, french toast, Belgian waffles, Eggs and Sausage, Chicken Fingers, Hot Dogs, and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. Next to the play space is a community table and a lounge area. Want to meet a friend for a playdate? Meet at The Nook, let the little one’s play a enjoy a good meal. The rest of the restaurant is filled with traditional tables.
Sheree and family were nice enough to let me come in yesterday morning to learn about The Nook and sample the menu. It’s a good thing I like to eat, because they brought out five different meals: French Toast, kid’s Silver Dollar Pancakes, Belgian Waffles, and two types of omelettes–egg white with mushrooms and peppers and traditional with broccoli, asparagus and cheese. I liked everything, but my favorite was the French Toast. It was large pieces of thick, crusty French bread sweetened just right. I was very happy about the quality of the kid’s pancakes and fresh, seasonal fruit that it came with too.
The Nook will have its Grand Opening this Friday, July 23. Sheree and family have some great plans for the restaurant too: monthly family nights, using local artists work as rotating art, and adding some great items to the menu. The restaurant will also be available for private parties.
537 Bloomfield Avenue
Montclair, NJ, 07042
Open Daily from 7:30 am – 3:30 pm