March 24, 2011

{Dining Out} Ditch Plains UWS

Since we've been hosting my friend Christine's Virtual Baby Shower all week with lots of great giveaways (click here and here to enter!), I've had family-friendly foodie places on my mind. A few Sundays ago, I organized a get-together with friends (who all have kids under the age of 2) at the recently-opened Ditch Plains on the UWS (in the space vacated by Bar Bao).  The large 5000 sq ft space holds a bar/lounge area, communal tables, comfortable booths, and one open private room.  The latter was perfect to fit our group of 4 couples, 3 toddlers/newborns, 3 strollers, and 2 highchairs with plenty of room to spare.  Like Marc Murphy's other restaurant, Landmarc, Ditch Plains offers a comfortable venue with value-priced wines and beers ($4 draft beers after 4pm on Sunday).

Ditch Plains is known for their hot dogs (and we've enjoyed both the Mac n' Cheese dogs and Chili dogs before), but on Sundays, Ditch Plains offers a Lobster Pot dinner ($30).  The small cast iron pot includes one whole lobster, corn on the cob, potatoes, and sausage.  Each family ordered their own crustacean and it was fun to see the kids look and "pet" the lobster as well as each family try to break apart the lobster in their own way.

Because the Lobster Pot wasn't enough for 2 adults, each family ordered another entree.  While our friends ordered Mussels and the Shrimp Gumbo, we chose the Grilled Fish of the Day ($20).  We asked for our Arctic Char to be on the rarer side and it came out perfectly cooked to our liking.  As fans of salmon and trout, we like ordering the similar tasting (though milder) Arctic Char.

While others ordered sides of rice/beans and grilled zucchini, we went with our server's suggestion and opted for a Side of Fried Jalapenos ($5).  They were spicy and dangerously addictive.
After all of that food, we were all stuffed - and then we heard the dessert menu and had to try everything:

S'mores ($4):  Though we can easily make these at home (we quickly microwave our s'mores, but these ones looked like they were finished off in the oven), we still couldn't turn down a plate of warm and gooey s'mores.  These are an easy crowd-pleaser.

Ditch'Wich ($4): We shared the ice cream sandwiches (they came in vanilla and chocolate flavors).  Both were pretty good, though not out of the ordinary.

Though we were excited about the Fried Mini Candy Bars ($4), we found that they were overall a bit too doughy. 
After drinks, shared appetizers (including oysters), taxes, and tips, the bill came out to about $100/family.  Overall, our group thought that Ditch Plains was a good value meal, with lots of options, and an excellent venue for young children.  Our private room also came with a TV (the booths also have individual TV's), that the parents thought could be useful to entertain the kids (especially if it could be hooked up to an iPad to show videos).

What are your family-friendly restaurant picks in NYC?

Ditch Plains is located at 100 W 82nd St (at Columbus Ave) in NYC.
Ditch Plains on Urbanspoon

4 comments:

  1. christinefreshlocalandbestMarch 24, 2011 at 10:03 PM

    I love the way that lobster is presented! And it looks like every item is very reasonably priced. I'm looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!

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  3. I've seen a much bigger lobster when I ate at an old lobster restaurant in Maine last year. It was double the size of that one.

    lobster bakes

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  4. Landmarc offers great choices of pastas, appetizers, and main courses. The mussels and fries, among their many items on their list, is a crowd favorite.

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