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Posted at 1:00 PM ET, 06/11/2009

Kids Restaurant Week: Down With Chicken Fingers

By Anne Kenderdine

Parents, this week you can elevate your family dinner to new culinary heights -- and you won't even need to do any cooking or cleaning up. As Julia told you last month, this Saturday marks the start of Kids Restaurant Week, when about 20 area restaurants are offering special fixed-price menus between 5 and 7 p.m. (Those 11 and younger pay only their age; for everyone else, it's $29.) The promotion aims to get more people into restaurants during those slower early-evening hours, and it seems to be working, as restaurant are already reporting a spike in their reservations.

What can you expect on the menu for pint-sized foodies? At Mie N Yu, the youth choices include tandoori chicken skewers and an organic beef burger; at Firefly, you'll find macaroni and cheese and a decorate-it-yourself cookie. At Art & Soul, there's Mac-N-Chini (a version of the fried risotto balls the restaurant usually serves), a peanut-butter-and-jelly hoecake and "baby cakes." Juniper's menu is sophisticated: there's a salad of arugula, cantaloupe, prosciutto, goat cheese and mint (which should definitely be the starting point for a talk with your kids about unusual flavors) and a lime cheesecake lollipop. Herbs in their dishes are locally grown, too -- they come from the restaurant's courtyard.

The promotion kicks off at a free, kid-friendly festival of food tastings and cooking demonstrations at Eastern Market, which benefits from some of the participating restaurants' proceeds.

-- Lavanya Ramanathan

By Anne Kenderdine  | June 11, 2009; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Events, Restaurants  
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