Happy birthday, Googie! How is it possible that you are two so soon? You had such a rough start in life but thanks to the awesome doctors at Presbyterian Hospital and good old fashioned prayers, we managed to take you home at 3 weeks old. Yes, so much to be thankful for this season and we’re happy to report, he’s absolutely perfect! In true IttyBittyFoodie form, Googie counts olives and salmon as some of his favorites. So for his special occasion we chose to celebrate at Nick Badovinus’ newest Neighborhood Services outpost in Addison’s Village on the Parkway.
A resounding “Welcome to Neighborhood Services” greeted us as we walked through the dark wood doors. NS just opened at the beginning of the week and the servers were enthusiastic and excited over our little birthday boy. A brand new high chair and menus were brought over, pronto. Our server, Colin mentioned he had a little boy too and understood the mechanics of eating out with young ones. For a newly opened restaurant, we were expecting servers to be less knowledgeable than the other NS but Colin stepped in like a pro. He was helpful in recommending drinks – a Walla Walla Sangria for me and a nice craft beer for Beefcake.
We had gotten to the restaurant at 5.30pm to avoid crowds and were happy to see other tables with toddlers and children already seated. The restaurant is set like a retro tavern with lots of rich woods and black and white photos of young Hollywood stars in their prime. We sat in the section with Steve McQueen, Sean Connery and a very handsome Paul Newman. The food though is quite a few notches up from regular tavern food like Devilled Eggs with Maine Lobster, American Caviar and Creme Fraiche. The burgers are made with dry aged beef and come fully dressed with caramelised onions and they do a mean fish and chips that rivals those in Australia. At nine years old, Pikelet who eats three quarters of an adult portion shared his meal with Googie. The battered haddock came out hot and crisp with a side of those award-winning fries (voted Best French Fries by DMagazine 2014) and coleslaw.
Lollo decided to share a steak frites with me. At nearly seven, he has developed a taste for medium rare steak (or as he calls it, “pink meat”) and NS delivered perfectly! The green peppercorn Voodoo sauce had me under its spell and I couldn’t help dipping the truffle fries into spicy, silky pan sauce. Lollo tried it but though it was a tad spicy for his taste.
Beefcake ordered the special of the night, grilled drum fish filet with a spicy Cajun sauce thanks to our server’s recommendations. It worked out to be too spicy for the kids but I secretly think, that’s the way Beefcake planned it!
For dessert, we had a small pot of creme with four spoons to share. We had a lovely Anthony’s Chocolate Mousse cake waiting for us at home from Central Market so we didn’t go too crazy but what a fabulous family meal we had. Neighborhood Services has a casual pub feel where you can take the kids but still enjoy elevated fare with the confidence of Badovinus’ keen eye for seasonal and high quality ingredients. The service and food were flawless on this occasion and no one could tell that Neighborhood Services opened just a few days before we visited.
Happy Birthday to our little love, Googie. We didn’t expect you and now that you’re here, we cannot imagine life without you. What a lovely gift you are.
Till our next Happy Meal!
Click here for more information on Neighborhood Services.
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ITTY BITTY INFO:
- Food: Upmarket, gastro pub using seasonal ingredients
- Ambiance: Dark like a tavern, casual with a big bar area
- Service: Friendly, knowledgeable
- Kid Friendliness: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 There is no ‘kid menu’ but there’s lots of items children can eat
- Itty Bitty Foodies Tip: Portions are large enough to share with little ones.
- Parent Foodies Tip: Go early… it gets crowded even on a weeknight