Upper East Side
For a chance to savor the lap of luxury, head uptown.
Sun Feb 15 2009
Shopping builds a powerful appetite. Kids can enjoy a lavish afternoon tea at Alice's Teacup Chapter 2 (156 E 64th St, 212-486-9200), housed in an atmospheric townhouse that evokes all the enchantment of Lewis Carroll's Wonderland. Madeline, the plucky French schoolgirl, lives on at the Hotel Carlyle (35 E 76th St, 212-744-1600). Ludwig Bemelmans, who launched the book series about the character, re-created his charming illustrations for the barroom walls. On weekends, the landmark hosts a children's buffet brunch and sing-along. While kids gather at the Steinway, parents can order from the a la carte menu and sip a cocktail or two.
More prosaic fare (wraps, pizza by the slice, salads) makes City Market Café (1100 Madison Ave, 212-535-2070) a quick, kid-friendly pit stop. For an on-the-fly sugar rush, William Greenberg (1100 Madison Ave, 212-861-1340), a family-run bakery that opened in 1946, sells plate-size black-and-white cookies worth any post-indulgence guilt. Children emerge with cheeks stuffed like chipmunks'.
Further east at highly regarded pizzeria Totonno's (1544 Second Ave, 212-327-2800), kids can play with pizza dough while they wait for their pie to arrive. Stroller-laden families cluster outside Big Daddy's (1596 Second Ave, 212-717-2020), drawn by the oversized burgers. Outdoors, the relentless assault of pop music is audible, and inside it's earthshaking. "The noise doesn't bother me," one mom said. "I have three boys. In fact, it makes the little one doze off."