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Manhattan Restaurants continued

Central Park Boathouse
Central Park, enter at E. 72nd St.
The fanciful American dining and beautiful pondside setting of this Central Park sophisticate draw families for Sunday brunches and early-evening dinners. After feasting on pan-seared scallops or Colorado rack of lamb (and hot dogs and pastas for the little ones), treat your kids to a gondola ride (reserve ahead). (E–VE)

China Fun
246 Columbus Ave., near 71st St.
The décor is plain and the rooms are oddly shaped, but pay no mind. Your kids will be fascinated by the open kitchen at the entrance where ducks hang in Chinatown fashion and chefs hack away at racks of spare ribs at lightning speed. Dim sum all day long is a favorite, as well as dishes that range from unspicy Cantonese to hot, hot, hot Szechuan. Try the flat chow fun noodles in a variety of preparations. (I)

The Coffee Shop
29 Union Square W., at 16th St.
The model-grade staff at this popular Union Square coffee shop with Brazilian overtones won’t interest your kids, but they’ll love the crayons, place mats with puzzles, and kids’ menu with favorites like spaghetti and meatballs. Go early to avoid the seriously chic crowds and try to score some see-and-be-seen sidewalk seating where you can keep your shades on while you sip your caipirinhas. (I–M)

Dallas BBQ
Visit for restaurant locations.
Portions are huge, table manners are optional, and the barbecue is messy and delicious at these Manhattan institutions. Try the oversize loaf of onion rings with a “side” of slaw. (I–M)

Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop
174 Fifth Ave., near 22nd St.
Introduce your kids to Frankie, who rules the counter at this super-narrow, vintage-1929 Flatiron luncheonette. Fountain cokes and Dr. Brown’s Cel-ray soda combine with oversize egg-and-bacon sandwiches and melt-in-your-mouth pastrami on rye for a true New York experience. (I)

EJ’s Luncheonette
1271 Third Ave., at 73rd St.
447 Amsterdam Ave., near 81st St.
432 Sixth Ave., near 10th St.
Especially popular for brunch, these kid-friendly diners fill bottles with juice or milk and serve pancakes better than you could ever make yourself. All three locations offer a kids’ menu with hot dogs, grilled cheese, PB&J, French toast—you name it. It’s worth having to fold your stroller for the dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets. (I–M)

Épicerie Café Charbon
168 Orchard St., at Stanton St.
Like any reputable French grocery, Épicerie is stocked with fancy foodstuffs, but the real draw is moderately priced bistro fare like escargots, steak tartare, moules marinières, and terrific frites that kids will love. You, on the other hand, will love the Belgian beer list. Come early to avoid the culture-vulture hipsters. (I–M)

F&B Güdt Food
269 W. 23rd St., near Eighth Ave.
F&B, short for Frites and Beignets, is the Arc de Triumph of fast food. Sugar-powdered beignets arrive with a choice of seven sauces, like caramel and berry. Hot dogs come in 22 guises including the Great Dane (with rémoulade, roasted onions, and cucumber slices) and the Healthy Dog (a tofu frank with hummus, diced carrots, and olives). (I)

105 Reade St., near W. Broadway
The staff is wonderfully friendly at this elegant Tribeca seafood restaurant, where families donning lobster bibs can munch translucent sea scallops and pick Ipswich fried clams out of a Chinese takeout box. Kids will appreciate the barbecue shrimp. (E–VE)

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From the Fall 2004 edition of the New York Family Guide