THE STANDARD GRILL: 848 Washington Street, NY
"Trendy, clubby, hotel-set American bistro under the High Line with sidewalk tables & lively bar."
If you Google the Standard Grill, this is one of the first descriptions that will pop up. There are words in this sentence that should actively scare you and your offspring away. And I mean this in the nicest way possible. I have many a fond memories of wasting (wasting happily I might add) the day away in the beer garden and I do not ever recall needing to step over an army of strollers. That is a beautiful thing. Under normal circumstances I would think twice before marching my runny-nosed toddler into this establishment, but it was Easter Sunday and they were advertising an egg hunt and a petting zoo. HMMMMMM.... It sounded a bit far-fetched considering the location. For those who have not visited the Standard, this place resides in the Meatpacking district. An unofficial name for a part of town in Manhattan that is characterized by pretty people who wear a lot of leather, don't wash their hair (but will still always look better than you) and never seem to work. It's a special part of town that is best visited infrequently (in my opinion.) But it was Easter and my curiosity got the best of me. REALLY, THE STANDARD IS HOSTING AN EGG HUNT??
How disruptive will my kids be?
You will feel awkward. You will feel like everyone is looking at you (they probably are and it's not because they think your kid is cute.) You will regret taking your toddler inside from the moment you get settled. I felt all of these things and it was Easter Sunday for crying out loud so the kid-model ratio was unprecedentedly high I'd imagine. But you can just feel that the place isn't about catering to the toddler set. Now, I saw little babies happily snoozing about and I'm thinking this place is a better place to go when your kids are not mobile. Read: they cannot whip the ceramic dog and cat salt and pepper shakers across the bar and break the tails off.
Can I bring a stroller into the restaurant?
We did bring our stroller inside but I saw most of the strollers parked outside. We also were seated in the bar area (smart, smart hostess) so we had a lot of room. My son was uncharacteristically crabby that day so I was hoping he'd pass out in his stroller. That did not happen. Generally speaking, I would not bring a stroller inside. Maybe if the place was really empty and you had a wee one, I can't imagine anyone saying anything. But you might feel strange.
Does the restaurant cater to kids in any way?
Not really. BUT, I was genuinely impressed at how accomodating the entire staff was on Easter Sunday. I am not sure if it was a one off because of the day or if that is how it would be every Sunday. They do have highchairs, no boosters. No crayons or kid menus. They do have changing stations in the bathroom and they were happy to bring juice in a plastic up with a lid- and I didn't even ask for it.
How early does the restaurant start serving dinner?
They serve food continuously all day. On a glass half full note, the usual crowds that go here will not be dining at 5PM. So go for it.
Are there food options for allergic kids?
Not really. But we're dealing with an international hotel brand who cater to a very specific crowd. I'd imagine you would only have to ask your server and he or she would gladly accommodate.
Why? Even though we had a stellar experience and the waitstaff was excellent, this is not a place for kids. Or shall I say this is not a place for toddlers. It's a seen and be-seen kind of atmosphere and lapping the bar area with a 2-year-old doesn't fit into that equation. Also, about that Easter egg hunt...lets just say the Standard should leave that alone in the future. Just like parents with toddlers should probably leave them alone.