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It’s revenge of the breeders as Fornino adds kid-friendly items

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The indomitable parents of Park Slope demanded a kid’s menu, and the owners of the new Fornino restaurant on Fifth Avenue caved.

Less than a week after opening the high-end pizzeria on Fifth Avenue and Carroll Street, a blog-fanned furor erupted over the restaurant’s lack of child–friendly cuisine.

“This menu has issues,” wrote “Scott A.” on Yelp, an online directory. “There are no ‘simple’ menu items I could order since of course last night was the night my son decided to be picky. I wasn’t looking for chicken fingers and French fries, but maybe a basic pasta I could order as an app would have worked.”

Fornino quickly responded, adding five kid dishes at $7 apiece — but that only enraged the childless even more, raising anew that age-old Park Slope question: is anywhere in the neighborhood safe from strollers and squealing kids — and will anyone stand up to the breeders?

“Go take your kid to TGI Fridays if you want a children’s menu,” wrote “Malik R.” on Yelp. “Would you go to Le Bernardin or Babbo and complain because there wasn’t mac and cheese on the menu? … You aren’t special and don’t deserve special treatment.”

Fornino chef Michael Ayoub, a veteran of the Brooklyn restaurant scene, didn’t see what all the hoopla was about.

“I don’t tweet, I don’t Facebook, I don’t Yelp,” Ayoub joked. “I’m in the hospitality business. They want a kid’s menu, it’s not a big deal.”

Of course, there is the question, who doesn’t like pizza? It’s not as if you have to order the only item over $30 on the menu: pizza with black truffles.

“Pizza is the great common denominator,” said Ayoub, who opened a successful Fornino in Williamsburg, and was once in charge of the long-closed and adored Cucina, which occupied the same space as the new joint in Park Slope.

But strollers are as common a sight in Park Slope as righteous adults forking over top dollar for an organic heirloom tomato, and “the breeders” are quite a force to be reckoned with. It was only two years ago that the bar Union Hall dared to ban strollers — a ban that lasted all of one week.

So Ayoub answered parents’ call with no regrets — business is reportedly doing well — but he did have one request.

“We’re not turning into a romper room,” Ayoub said. “A guest of any age should act accordingly in the restaurant. Most parents can take care of their child if there is an issue.”

He added, “I have full faith in the parents of Park Slope.”

Updated 5:18 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Brenda from P.S. says:
The next thing you know these people will demand to be able to give birth in the restaurants!
May 19, 2010, 9:03 am
Bwrecka from North Brooklyn says:
I absolutely love my godchildren and have been a nanny but kid's menu demands are getting out of control. Someone was slamming Lanza's in Manhattan for not having a kid's menu. They are taking their kids to a mafia front restaurant and slamming it for not having a kids menu... um... yeah. If you are taking your child to a bistro and there isn't a children's menu, order something both of you will like, ask for a second plate and share. If junior throws a fit over not getting to order his own food, you are raising a spoiled brat and need to learn how to parent. I wish a fraction of these bistro-goers spent as much time caring about the quality of school lunches in our public schools.
May 19, 2010, 10:53 am
Brenda from P.S. says:
Can I ask for a cat menu because I feel like bringing my very loud, attention seeking cat to the restaurant?
No?
Ok, well then no menu for demanding and poorly behaved children.
Children who can eat adult foods and act politely belong at an adult restaurant. Children who can't should eat at home or go to a child oriented restaurant like a pizzeria.
May 20, 2010, 8:35 am
Winston Smith from Poop Slope says:
"...is anywhere in the neighborhood safe from strollers and squealing kids — and will anyone stand up to the breeders?"

Why is this question even being asked? Why do some assume that just the presence of children will ruin their day?

Inappropriate behavior should not be acceptable but everybody should be able to go to a good restaurant and eat a good meal. Why should I feed my kids that sh!t at TGIFs.

and

What if I complained about sharing my dining experience with a different type of person, based on their race or religion instead of how they looked.
May 20, 2010, 1:17 pm
crabbypants from ps says:
brenda - yes! pretty soon there will be a "we can accommodate your birth" sign. restaurants like this will compete with each other for pregnant park slope moms and dads-to-be by offering special birth party spaces where birthing pools can be rented and the whole natal posse can be comfortably served. what's the matter with you? you can't stand the sound of children screaming during your meal (for which you pay good money)? wait until you hear the proud cry of laboring, birthing mothers in the rear pushing out the next generation.
July 5, 2010, 9:52 pm

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