Chicago foodie parents rejoice. A new restaurant has arrived, and it's done what few others in the area have achieved: It's a kid-friendly fine dining restaurant.
It's not Alinea-level fine dining, but in the world of kid-friendly restaurants, Crosby's Kitchen is about as close to Alinea as we'll ever get. And that's fine with us.
Crosby's, which is owned by the same company that brought us D.O.C. Wine Bar and The Smoke Daddy, took over the spot on Southport that was formerly Leo's Coney Island.
And on a street plastered with stores for the young stroller-pushing mom-Lululemon, Anthropologie and Athletica-Crosby's hit home with the perfect niche idea. They appeal to that mom and to her kids.
The menu consists of upscale contemporary food, such as the lobster deviled egg appetizer ($9), the seared ahi tuna ($23) and the NY strip ($26). But the Pièce de résistance is the rotisserie menu. Crosby's has its own custom rotisserie, where they fire up half of a wood-roasted chicken seasoned with a signature spice blend daily ($15), pork chop ($19 on Thursdays), prime rib ($28 on Fridays and Saturdays) and leg of lamb ($18 on Sundays).
While the full bar, chic interior, sports-ready TVs and fancy food may appeal to the parents, kids aren't left out here.
Even the kids can get in on part of the fancy food action since the rotisserie chicken makes its appearance on their menu. By the way, kids eat free every night from 4-6 p.m.
If they don't feel like eating, they can wander over to the kid-sized communal sink to wash their hands (my 3-year-old spent the majority of her evening fascinated by the sink that remarkably came in her size), they can color with crayons, or they can manage the ticket for their stroller valet (no joke-they actually valet your stroller and give you a ticket for it).
And while my Ukrainian husband snidely remarked, "Only in America would they have a stroller valet," I totally see the need now that I've used it.
I'm hoping that trend catches on quickly.
Danielle Braff lives with her two daughters and husband in downtown Chicago.
See more of Danielle's stories here.