BEST RESTAURANT FOR KIDS - 2005
Barton G the Restaurant
305-672-8881 When it comes to choosing restaurants for kids, many people think of places that are clean, inexpensive, relatively cheery, and, above all, fast. Which means burger chains, pizza parlors, theme eateries like Rainforest Café, and dining venues that provide distractions by way of video games, thumping music, and giant TV screens. In other words, these children are being taught that dining out is a choice between cheap, unhealthy food and mediocre mass-produced chow accompanied by flashing lights and jungle noises. We have a different strategy: Take the young ones to Barton G, which works like a great family film, the sort that kids relate to on one level, the adults on another entirely. You can relish the fresh ingredients and flawless preparations of contemporary American fare, and they can get their kicks via the fantasyland presentations. It's amazing how excited children become when a skewer of fish the size of a pirate sword comes to the table, or when their macaroni and cheese arrives in the guise of a giant mousetrap (and equally fascinating to see how such foods bring out the gleeful child within each adult). Watch eyes widen at a ficus-size nest of cotton candy, or a milkshake replete with blender and add-ins, or cupcakes with a decorating kit of candies and icings. The little people go home happy and at the same time get to experience a sophisticated dining experience -- well, as sophisticated as a place that serves duck in a duck decoy can be.