505 Chestnut St., Winnetka
In a time when restaurants are in the news for banning kids from
their dining rooms, one Chicago-area eatery is making it clear that
not only are kids welcome, but they're special, too.
Jerry's Restaurant in Winnetka isn't your typical tot-friendly
spot. The upscale bistro features seasonal offerings like Chilean
sea bass and coconut shrimp on its constantly changing menu. But on
Tuesdays between 5 and 6:30 p.m., Jerry's offers the "Kids Are
Special" promotion, which provides a sophisticated dining
experience parents can enjoy with their children.
In the three years since the restaurant opened, owner Betsy
Simson has noticed an increase in the number of kids interested in
gourmet food-and in parents who want to introduce their kids to
refined fare from an early age.
Plus, this is the type of place where the general manager shows
off pictures of his grandkids while showing you to your table,
making the child-friendly promotion a natural fit.
But even on Tuesdays, there's not a plate of mac and cheese or a
hot dog to be found. Instead, the menu focuses on kid-sized
portions of gourmet food, such as green and white fettucine with
spring peas, prosciutto and parmesan crème, or a crispy veggie
spring roll with sweet chili dipping sauce.
And of course, don't forget some molten chocolate cake for
With very small children, the best bet in warmer temps might be
sitting at one of the picturesque outdoor tables to take in the
world as it goes by-and stretch little legs while waiting for the
food to arrive. Mini-foodies, on the other hand, will enjoy the
indoor opportunity to watch the chefs work their magic in the open
If you're looking for the regular "kids meal," Jerry's isn't it.
There's no menu with a maze or cartoon characters and your food
won't magically appear in 10 minutes or less.
But for parents who want to enjoy a nice meal with their little
ones, it's a very welcome alternative to "no kids allowed."
Elizabeth Diffin is the senior editor at Chicago Parent. She lives in Wheaton.
See more of Elizabeth's stories here.
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