It’s a common complaint for parents: eating out with kids often means settling for mediocre food, for you and for them. If you’re tired of the steady rotation of pizza and chicken nuggets, a new restaurant is offering deliverance — and deliciousness.
My Baby’s Chef is tucked inside Nest Chestnut Hill, at 10 W. Gravers Lane. The premise is pretty simple: good food that doesn’t pander to little palates. The result is a menu that’s got some elevated classics — including a grilled three-cheese sandwich and sliders — and some more adventurous tastes, such as a grain salad and portobello mushroom burger with tomato confit and smoked paprika aoli.
Did we mention they have La Colombe coffee? And BYOB brunch on Sundays?
“You don’t have to hate where you eat,” said co-owner Eleonora Barbieri. “This is delicious food for both kids and grown-ups.”
There’s no children’s menu, just a belief that even the pickiest eaters can learn to embrace tasty dishes. The focus is on seasonal, organic ingredients, too.
Barbieri is something of an expert on tiny palates. She’s been making baby food for three years through her company, Baby Steps, offering families homemade food that’s convenient. She’d been looking around for a larger kitchen when Nest owner Kara Hertzog approached her, looking for a restaurant for the existing kitchen and seating area in the building.
Barbieri recruited Danielle Harrison, a veteran of the Philly food scene and former Hell’s Kitchen contestant, to join in. Harrison, who’s known as Dannie, has cooked around the city, at hot spots such as Urban Farmer and Morimoto.
Roughly eight weeks later, My Baby’s Chef served its first plate.
“I always like a new challenge, no matter what it is,” Harrison said.
The pair has big ambitions for the restaurant: in addition to being the natural home for local play dates, My Baby’s Chef also offers catering, either at Nest or at at a home or another venue. Barbieri is a child nutritionist, and wants to focus on postpartum nutrition for moms, too. She’s even offering a “meal train” service to help new moms, with food targeted to help them recover (and help friends and family find the perfect gift!).
They plan to serve dinner on weekends — also BYOB — and want to become a go-to spot for a mom’s night out. The restaurant will hold a grand opening party on November 18 from 5 to 8 pm with face painting and fun for kids and plenty of tastings for adults.
Featured Photograph courtesy of My Baby’s Chef at Nest Chestnut Hill.