Chef Rachel Klein, has not only found the oasis, she has created the oasis for parents who don't consider a sticky vinyl banquette, fried frozen foods, and a specialty straw particularly ""family friendly"" dining.
When it comes to dinner, pleasing the children and their parents is not an easy feat. Ideally, mom and dad would like to sit, relax, and enjoy a lengthy meal of high quality, tasty food. The kids want a few of their favourite tastes and textures, but only between rounds of playing house, trains, and dinosaurs.
At Aura’s family friendly dinners there is the perfect balance of everything. From the room and service to the meal itself. My family and I were recently invited to experience Aura’s family-friendly dining. The dining room is set up with just under a dozen tables for the perfect number of families to feel like you’re dining at a bistro or small restaurant and not so many families that the room feels like a preschool.
As we perused the menu, a toddler at the table next to ours exclaimed with glee as her food arrived “Cheerios!” If your baby is used to an early dinner they may be famished when they arrive at Aura, but Aura is prepared. Babies are served toast points and banana slices as a little appetizer and the adjacent playroom is a welcome distraction.
As for the food, the children’s menu is exceptional with everything from the Chef’s selection of house made baby purées to sliced turkey breast and cranberry sauce. Of course there are also the classic kid’s favourites such as mac ‘n cheese, pizza, grilled cheese and chicken nuggets (main course) and broccoli, potatoe puree, peas & carrots, or corn (sides). The prix fixe menu offers really interesting dishes such as the Kampachi Crudo (appetizer) and the Georges Bank Scallop with japanese pumpkin ravioli in a brown butter and sage sauce (main course). The portions were extremely generous and when we had a change of plan as one of our little ones didn’t want what they originally ordered, the waitstaff and kitchen didn’t miss a beat.
Pros: delicious, upscale, and family friendly
Cons: television in the playroom (good and bad)