Monday, December 7, 2009

Bravo! Cucina Italiana

In the urban jungle a few weekends ago, we found ourselves near this restaurant and decided to stop in for lunch. The food was good and the service top notch but that isn't the purpose of this post. What I wish to blog about was something that I haven't seen at any restaurant ever.

As the parent of a three year old, I start to notice how restaurants cater to the smallest among us. There are a few restaurants that we just don't go too often because trying to get a three year old in and out for a meal is just more difficult than we want to attempt. Most seem to fall back to the standard three crayon and a place mat theme but for a three year old who just isn't into coloring and can't read the place mat yet, those keep her attention for about three nanoseconds. If the service is decent, we can usually keep her attention by doing word games or talking about the day until the food is served but in instances where the service is slow, it can be a real challenge.

So when we walked into Bravo! Cucina Italiana on the west side of the Urban Jungle, I wasn't surprised when we got the standard three crayon pack and the place mat. However, I was really surprised when our waiter set down a small plate with some bread dough and told us that our daughter could make something with it and they would later bake it for her. Our daughter really enjoyed playing with the dough and eventually with my help, we made a replicate of her Mama and gave it to the waiter to bake while we ate our meal.

On a side note, another pet peeve of mine is when ordering a kid's meal, they bring it out molten hot along with my food. I then get the pleasure of spending the next ten minutes blowing on my daughter's food until it is cold while my food gets cold almost as fast. But to a three year old, waiting isn't in their vocabulary and if I'm not blowing, their food isn't getting cold. So it was with pleasant surprise that when our food arrived, my daughter's meal had obviously been cooked first and was only luke warm. I only had to cut it up before she could dig in.

We had our leftover boxed up, bill payed and were just finishing up the last of the dessert when the waiter brought out the baked creation my daughter had created. I had forgotten about it and from his apologetic tone, he had too. But so had my daughter so it wasn't any problem. When she saw the baked Mama that we had created, she was enthralled and took great pleasure in eating Mama's head and legs off. However, since her main food had been allowed to cool down ahead of time, she had eaten a good portion and wasn't hungry enough to eat the rest of Mama. That went into the box with the rest of the food for later. So if you have kids and want to go out to eat at a kid friendly place that doesn't involve a guy named Chuck or cheese that will also satisfy your adult needs, I suggest Bravo! Cucina Italiana on the west side of the Urban Jungle of Des Moines.

7 comments:

Eutychus2 said...

Ed...
Thanks for the article; a little over a month ago my wife and I dined for the first time at a Bravo! restuarant ... like you said, it was a great experience.

R. Sherman said...

Finding family friendly places is always difficult. There's always the compromise between the "jovial meal" at some fast food outlet versus decent adult fare at a sit-down restaurant. It's nice to see a restaurant understand that parents would like to eat something other than fries once in a while.

Cheers.

sage said...

wow, what a nice treat! When making biscuits, I use to give a chunk to my daughter do design and then back (or bake her a biscuit the shape of the first letter of her name) but she's too big for that now. (that last comment is also a warning!)

Vince said...

Sooooo, then they handed her dough and managed you into kinder gardening your own. You would have to say that was almost brilliant.

geri said...

wow! I never had kid service like that - even the lukewarm kids meal would make me very happy indeed. Bravo!

Beau said...

Neat! Never heard of them before, but with a little looking found they're not too far away on our next trip to the big city. Thanks.

Three Score and Ten or more said...

Very nice service. We are a few centuries beyond that need, but I know who to recommend (as if anyone I know personally were going to Iowa soon.