When it comes to mealtime, there’s only one thing that can top eating a delicious meal while enjoying the company of your family, all while knowing that you don’t have to do a lick of clean-up afterwards. And that’s being outside while you do it!
Now that the weather is warmer, I’ve been on the prowl for family-friendly restaurants with an al fresco option. So I thought it was time to revisit one of my pre-child faves with a patio to see if it was worthy of Tiny Dining status: Wood-n-Tap in Rocky Hill.
Wood-n-Tap has seven locations throughout CT, most in the greater Hartford area. If you read my post from last week about Wintergreen Woods in Wethersfield, CT, then you know that my main motivation for completing that mini hiking outing was a late lunch at the nearby Wood-n-Tap in Rocky Hill.
There’s lots of convenient parking all around the building.
Which of course means that the patio has a lovely view of the parking lot. Not the most scenic of dining locations, but on the other hand, Boo’s favorite distraction right now is telling us the color of every. single. car. he sees. So this patio would be prime real estate for him 🙂
Unfortunately though, it was still a little too chilly to sit out on the patio on this visit. So we headed inside to eat in the cozy dining room.
We did have to wait for a minute. There’s a large waiting area with plenty of bench seating. Boo likes to crawl up and down the length of it. Hey, if it keeps him happy and he’s not bothering anyone, works for me.
One thing that makes this restaurant great for a family is that there are plenty of booths. Since Boo won’t tolerate a high chair anymore, corralling him in a booth is the next best thing (my patio dining strategy is still in beta mode).
There is also a bar area in the restaurant with high dining and regular tables. So that may be an option for your family if the dining room side is full.
Today, we actually sat in the back room, which is sometimes reserved for parties. This worked out great. It was like our own private dining room!
I know it’s sad, but I was so excited when our server handed us a packet of Wikki Stix for Boo. Have you seen these before? (They also have them at Ted’s Montana Grill.)
I love them! They kind of look like skinny crayons, but they are not crayons. They are these bendable, practically indestructible (Boo wads them up in a ball and I can still pull them back apart) waxy sticks that kids can bend and form into different things like geometric shapes, letters, stick figure people, etc. or just twist together and pull apart. (Boo’s masterpiece below.)
Or use them to attack their toy turtle. Whatever works.
They are great entertainment. And the best part is they are completely reusable. You can take them with you, store them in your diaper bag and whip them out anytime (and anywhere) your little one needs to be otherwise occupied for a few minutes. I think I currently have three sets of them floating around in my diaper bag and one set in my purse–I never leave home without my Wikki Stix 🙂
Although not quite as exciting as the Wikki Stix, the Kids’ Menu was great too.
I love when there are lots of side item choices. For picky Boo we chose pizza (shocker) with a side of mandarin oranges. Yeah, that combination does seem kind of strange in retrospect. But he didn’t seem to notice. It was a good size pizza portion too.
You may have noticed that Boo is still wearing his coat in the above picture. Yup. Just exhibiting that infamous toddler independent streak (No red coat off! As Boo would say).
As for hubby and I, we started with a basket of my beloved “Softies”, which are yummy, chewy, warm soft pretzels served with the most delicious honey mustard dipping sauce you will ever taste. If you are generally a fan of soft pretzels with mustard, you must order these. Delish.
I then proceeded to order the most un-salad salad I could find (topped with fried chicken strips, cheese, and bacon) so that I could still feel like I was being “good” and eating a salad. Not fooling anyone, I know. And hubby went straight for the splurge with the nachos.
We’ve been here a bunch of times and sampled a lot of different dishes and they’ve all been good. The menu has lots of variety. I especially enjoy their regular burgers (or the veggie hummus wrap when I’m actually trying to be “good”), but they are probably best known for their mini “Bites”–creative little burgers (or turkey burgers or chicken sandwiches) served by the plateful.
We actually did come here once with Boo when he was pretty little (and before he was really ready for the Kids’ Menu), and the one disappointing thing I had noticed (or so I thought) was the lack of a baby changing station in the main restroom. WELL, have I got some news! (You know, if you’re into hard-hitting, late-breaking, restroom news.) Turns out there IS a baby changing station after all.
You know how I mentioned that we were seated in the back room? Well, as we were finishing up our meals, I noticed a woman with a baby slip past our table and into a back corner where she disappeared behind a wall. Hmmm. Where could she be going with that baby? My curiosity got the better of me and as soon as I saw her go back through the dining room to her table, I casually got up and sauntered over to sniff around this mysterious baby-friendly corner. And look what I found!
A family restroom with a changing station! Yes, I do realize how much of a mommy geek I seem like right now. But sometimes a changing station is a make-it or break-it kind of item.
So anyway, if you need to diaper your wee one, bypass the main restroom (at the front of the restaurant, behind the hostess stand) and head for the back of the dining room.
Between the walk and the meal, I think we were all ready for an afternoon nap. So we skipped dessert and headed for home. (I’m saving up my calories for ice cream at Robb’s Farm anyway.)
Now let’s review–yummy kids’ menu, entertaining Wikki Stix, spacious patio–sounds like a perfect recipe for summer dining to me!
12 Town Line Road (off Silas Deane Highway)
Rocky Hill, CT
Phone: (860) 571-9444
Get directions here:
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