Looking Past the Children’s Menu



Nicola Marzovilla runs a business, so when a client at his Gramercy Park restaurant, I Trulli, asks for a children’s menu, he does not say what he really thinks. What he says is, “I’m sure we can find something on the menu your child will like.” What he thinks is, “Children’s menus are the death of civilization.”

Parents have so come to expect the safe fare (and cheaper prices) of a children’s menu that Fornino, a pizza restaurant in Park Slope, nearly faced a boycott when it opened earlier this month without one. But Mr. Marzovilla has never had one and swears he never will. Easy for him to say: He’s not in nurture-happy Park Slope, and maybe expectations are different at a restaurant where a plate of handmade pasta costs $24. But even if he were running a pizza joint, he would never offer children what he considers a “dumbed down” menu on the side.

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