Best Family-Friendly Restaurant - 2002
Romano's Macaroni Grill
For child-free couples, picking a restaurant can be difficult because there are just so many choices: Should you go for ethnic, exotic, trendy? For families, though, the field is pretty narrow: Will this restaurant satisfy tender young taste buds that don't yet appreciate tangy, spicy or interesting flavors? Is it loud enough that if a kid pitches a fit, other diners won't notice or at least won't shoot a look that says, "How dare your child ruin my meal with a bloodcurdling scream?" The challenge for grownups with kids is finding a place that doesn't just serve up deep-fried bland in a ball-pit-and-video-game-infested hell. For desperate families, the Macaroni Grill seems to fit the bill. No singing mice, no loud television sets hanging over the bar. The restaurant has crayons and paper tablecloths, just the tools needed for a prodigy's minimasterpieces. It's loud enough that few will hear your little tike's giant belch. Best of all, the waitstaff brings out a whole bottle of wine when you order just a glass. If you want or need more, you can help yourself.