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Manhattan Restaurants continued

99 Bank St., near Greenwich St.
Nadine’s fits in its West Village neighborhood the way a beret fits on a Frenchman: comfortable, cozy, and warm. Children strapped into high chairs and booster seats at this contemporary bistro chow down on macaroni and cheese, penne pomodoro, and pizza while adults happily indulge in diver scallops, cedar-plank salmon, and Cajun-style meat loaf with a fluffy side of mashed potatoes. (I)

Nick’s Pizza
1814 Second Ave., at 94th St.
Mama’s manicotti competes with Nick’s much-lauded pizza at this popular Upper East Side spot. But make no mistake, it’s the pizza that’s on everyone’s tables. With the cheesiest mozzarella you’ll find anywhere, it’s no surprise that it’s been a perennial “best” since Nick’s original Queens days. A full Italian menu, too. (M)

1604 Broadway, near 49th St.
A welcome change from Mexican tacos and burritos, this Times Square spot meanders through Central and South America with a menu of ceviches, steak or chicken a la parilla, tamales, and other Latin goodies. Bright tiles and a dramatic ceiling light that changes colors throughout your meal make for a party atmosphere. The tres leches cake is better than any birthday cake your kids have ever had. (M)

Ollie’s Noodle Shop
Call 212-921-5988 for restaurant locations.
Friendly prices and shareable portions pack these West Side Chinese noodle shops with hungry families. They’ll put a rubber band around two chopsticks (with the paper cover rolled up in between) to help your kids eat with authenticity. (I–M)

Osteria del Circo
120 W. 55th St., near Sixth Ave.
A grown-up restaurant with grown-up prices, this midtown Sirio Maccioni– family offshoot entertains with whimsical circus décor and pampers kids in a way that only an Italian mama could. Order Shirley Temples and pizzas, or ask the chef to create simpler versions of the menu’s Tuscan offerings. (E)

Patsy’s Pizzeria
Call 212-688-5916 for restaurant locations.
Awe-inspiring thin-crust pizza, great salads, and friendly service pack ’em in at these family-oriented city pizzerias. There’s a somehow-pleasant din over which even the most vociferous baby can’t be heard. (I–M)

Peanut Butter & Co.
240 Sullivan St., near W. 3rd St.
There are nearly twenty ways to savor peanut butter at this kitschy West Village café, where you’ll be transported back to elementary school with offerings like ants on a log (raisin-studded peanut butter on celery) or the Elvis (a grilled peanut-butter sandwich with bananas, honey, and bacon—allegedly his favorite meal). Crusts optional. (I)

Pearson’s Texas Barbecue
170 E. 81st St., near Third Ave.
At Pearson’s newest outpost, kids and adults can get as messy as they want with yummy ribs and chicken that they must eat with they hands. The room will remind you of the picnic area at a trailer park (if you’ve ever seen one) and the country music playing in the background is the real thing. It’s probably the only place on the Upper East Side where you can find a Lone Star Beer, too. (I-M)

Ping’s Seafood
22 Mott St., near Pell St.
83-02 Queens Blvd., at Goldsmith St., Elmhurst
Introduce your little ones to authentic Hong Kong cuisine served from a dim sum cart. They’ll accommodate just about any special request, but be sure to ask the hostess: Most of the servers speak very little English. (I–M)

The Pink Tea Cup
42 Grove St., near Bleecker St.
Killer pancakes, a groovy jukebox, and decadent pies make the sometimes epic wait for a table at this Village soul-food café worth every minute. The staff is Über-kid-friendly and your budget will love the lunch specials. (I–M)

227 Mott Street, near Prince St.
81 Washington Street, near Front St., Dumbo, Brooklyn
What kid doesn’t like rice? From this eponymous restaurant, they can have it any way they want: with Vietnamese lemongrass chicken salad, baked black beans, carrot or spinach rice balls, pad Thai–style with rice noodles—or just plain. Rice offers ten different types of rice and about a dozen main-course toppings. The Brooklyn branch has a very cool brick-warehouse setting with an outdoor patio. (I)

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From the Fall 2004 edition of the New York Family Guide