Rules to Dine By

3 Aug

DB Bistro Moderne. Image credit DB Bistro


Prior to having kids,  I use to love going out to eat.  Lately, not so much.  Having two children under the age of three has definitely made dining out a little more complicated.  My husband and I have been forced to learn which restaurants are kid-friendly and which aren’t so much.  I will be honest, for our family, this has been a very slow learning process and I have sat through many  meals mortified.  Hubs, however, loves his fine dining, especially while traveling and refuses to put off fine-dining until the kids are older.  As the saying goes, “I may have lost a battle, but I am winning the war.”  We have agreed on three rules that have made all the difference for us while dining out. 

Here they are: 

  1. If there is a restaurant he absolutely must dine in, then we go either for lunch or at 5pm for an early dinner. (And pray the restaurant is empty.)
  2. When making reservations he has to use the specific words, “is your restaurant kid-friendly.” Hubs tried to pull a fast one on me a couple of times by asking “do you accept kids.”  Can a restaurant really say “no” to this question? Kid-friendly is completely different.
  3. We have to be in and out in an hour. We sit and order for the kids immediately and ask to take care of our check when our meal is brought out.
  4. Always leave a good tip when dining with kids.  (I know I said three rules and this one is fairly obvious, but the wait staff truly make or break a dining experience and they should be compensated.)

In February, we dined at DB Bistro Moderne in Vancouver and had an amazing dining experience.  We of course arrived at 5pm, right in the middle of their staff meeting, but we were greeted with smiles and  instantly set up with our drinks and complimentary appetizers by Chef Stephane Istel.  The hostess was extremely accommodating and once we were seated, our waitress was friendly, knowledgeable and fast.  Chef Stephane, visited our  table a couple of times and was so sweet to our children. He went above and beyond to make sure our dining experience was the best and he succeeded.  It did help that ultimate foodie, Al Roker, was seated next to us towards the end of our meal. Not to mention,  knowing one of the chef’s at Daniel Boulud’s in NYC helps, however, to the DB staff’s credit, they did not learn of that piece of info until our friend called and had champagne delivered to our table.  (Thanks Chris!) Regardless, the food was literally to die for.  It was so fabulous that we got take-out the following night, which, the chef didn’t recommend, but my husband HAD to have the famous DB Burger.  Needless to say, it was worth it. 

Chef Stephane and the DB Burger. Photography by Steve Bosch, Vancouver Sun.


2 Responses to “Rules to Dine By”

  1. Modern Hostess August 3, 2010 at 9:20 am #

    Great tips! Love rule #3. Ordering food first for kids is key.

  2. Erin August 3, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    While I’m not married to a foodie, I completely agree with dining out early. It helps us to keep the kids in their bedtime and dinner routine…I’ll have to remember the other two rules if we’re brave enough to take the kids somewhere really nice! 🙂

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