I really hate to keep bashing on Manhattan through comparisons of my experiences living in both boroughs, but ultimately Brooklyn is superior. And when it comes to restaurants, I prefer dining in Brooklyn. The spaces are more interesting, the new chefs put out their best, and the service is more personal (as if they actually care for you to return again). We love to eat out and Elijah is as excited about culinary adventures as we are. We prefer having our little fireball with us even when other people invite us out to dine with them. Colleagues of my partner are often taken aback (sometimes mortified) when we stroll through the front door to meet them with a half of a person in tow. The look is similar to those horrified faces of passengers on the airplane when you walk past them with a baby, some who even vocalize and gasp “Oh God”! I always assure them that he is a professional. Elijah is a “koodie”, a kid foodie. The term was birthed in a Chicago Magazine article writing about the spawn of mature foodies, which were snobby kid foodies called “koodies”. I love it! Although we are not food snobs but simply enjoy interesting, delicious food in inviting spaces, we are referred to as foodies by some of our west coast friends and family. I am also known to be that “nutritional nut” Mommy, a label I am also extremely proud of. I believe that what I put into my son’s small, growing body will affect his development now and also serve as a platform for the way he eats food for the rest of his life. It is very important to me, almost a religion. When I was pregnant I read books about how I would feed my baby after breastfeeding. There was one book that struck a cord, “Hungry Monkey“. It made sense to help develop my child’s palette, so from a very young age, I was bringing my small baby food mill to restaurants, and Elijah was eating miso cod with eggplant freshly pureed in the form of baby food. But dining in Manhattan was a total drag. We would get the proverbial eye roll when pushing our stroller into a chic restaurant downtown. Sometimes, actually many times in the West Village, the hostess would rudely scoff and say “I am sorry but we do not have highchairs”. Not feeling welcome in restaurants pretty much kills my dining experience altogether and I was thoroughly unimpressed and uninterested with most of the Upper Westside dining options. I wanted to be down with the cool kids exploring the latest hot new restaurants, but those establishments are not child friendly. So when we moved to Brooklyn, I was pleasantly surprised that little people were not discriminated against in fine dining restaurants. Hipster spots included. The former Dreslin Restaurant in Williamsburg was on the top of every New York dining list (difficult to get into any night of the week), and when we sat down our waiter brought Elijah crayons and paper. Just the other evening our family of three met our realtor and her boyfriend at James in Prospect Heights. The space was small, cool and intimate. In lower Manhattan this chic space would not have been kid friendly, so walking in I assumed no highchairs and a chilly welcome. The greeting was opposite. The service was outstanding, some of the best I have experienced since moving to New York. Elijah enjoyed a Kobe beef burger, some of our scallops and fava bean crostini with mint. About two hours later and face covered with peanut butter gelato, he flamed out and we left. It was a spectacular, memorable dinner, one we would not have felt comfortable enjoying in Manhattan. I am thrilled that experiences like these will be part of my son’s childhood, all because Brooklyn’s dining scene is koodie Friendly.