Disclosure: This is a sponsored post as Jamie and her family were invited to a meal at Italiana’s. All opinions expressed are her own.
Dining out is one of my absolute favorite things to do. (T) and I lived in NYC for 10 years and I had the time of my life eating my way through all the delectable food that city has to offer. I am an avid runner and (T) is a recreational biker, but the dirty truth is that the ONLY reason either of us does any type of physical activity is simply to eat more. Yes, we are foodies. So upon becoming parents, we very quickly had to learn how to combine my love of dining out, with (T)’s love of saving money. Over the course of the next few weeks, the Money Momma will be sharing some of her favorite local restaurant picks, meaning they are both family friendly and affordable, as well as tips for dining out while staying on budget.
Tip #1: Choose a restaurant that serves family style
One of my best tips for keeping dining out affordable is to choose a restaurant that has a “served family style” option. It’s rare that either (R) or (S) eats their entire dinner, even a kid’s meal. We constantly order them each a meal upon their insistence that they are hungry and without fail we pay for a half-eaten grilled cheese. When we order family style, the meal comes in a large size and everyone shares. Italiana’s in New City is not only family friendly and delicious, but they have one of the best family style dinner deals in town. If you purchase a family style entree, you get a FAMILY SIZE pasta side dish for FREE! This is enough food for at least 2 meals for our family of 4. We have ordered this way several times and so far we have not had one thing that wasn’t insanely good. This deal applies to both eat in or take-out so it can be taken advantage of for a family night out or a quick stop on the way home from life.
If dining in is the experience you are looking for, this is a fantastic place to bring a family, have a date night, or even a girls night out. The main floor of the restaurant is spacious and there is also a gorgeous outdoor patio that is very quiet and has a bit of a romantic feel. (R) and (S) enjoyed watching the chefs cook their famous brick oven pizza (you can see the whole thing from the dining room) while (T) and I perused the more adult items. No matter what your drink of choice is, Italiana’s is likely to have it. They also have their own specialty drinks and a martini list. You can enjoy a history lesson in alcohol while reading their drink menu.
3 year old (S) is not very patient when it comes to waiting for his food (and really neither am I) so we really enjoyed the bread while we read the menu. As the waiter (who was quick and accurate) began to tell us the specials, which change every day, (R) began to chant “pizza, pizza, pizza”. We always have a temporary moment of panic when dining out with (R) because there are very few things she will eat. Italiana’s is always a good choice for us because they have pizza! The server even winked at us and said “I’ll tell them to leave the basil off.”
Since we were there to sample their food for this piece, we stuck to things that could feed a family of 4 for at least 2 meals. (T) and I chose a Caesar salad to share (this could have been an entree; it was so big), chicken parmesan, and a pasta Bolognese. The mozzarella cheese was so good we wanted to eat it by itself. And don’t even get us started on the desserts – Oreo stuffed zeppoles! The perfect size for (R) and (S)…
Throughout dinner, we routinely commented on how we felt like we were dining with our pretend big Italian family. The staff was happy to see all of their customers come in, many customers requesting their favorite server or favorite table (its always good to see returning customers, it means people like it). We even watched as 3 staff members respond super quickly and attentively to seat a walk in party of eleven, who brought diners ranging in age from 6 months to 80 years. It should also be noted that Italiana’s is fully equipped with a party room and complete audio visual equipment setup for any type of larger event. I would happily plan a baby shower here any time!
As we were gathering our four bags of leftovers (R) said to us “Wow. Their food was really good.” Enough said. (T) and I were able to have an “adult” meal with our kids. Fabulous food (no waste), great atmosphere, affordable, happy all around.
Enter RNYM’s Italiana’s giveaway! Give this post a like, a comment, and share on your own timeline for a chance to win a $100 gift card to Italianas!! Drawing to be done by third party website on 6/25/15.