Moms and dads rejoice! We’re here to save you (and your kids!) from happy meals and uninspired menu choices. Created by Chicago parents for Chicago parents, Little Diner’s Crew will soon become your go-to for a night out grabbing grub with the family. Read on to hear about how they got their start, their mission and how you can snag a spot at the table. Grab your bibs and go!

How did Little Diner’s Crew get it’s start?
Little Diner’s Crew was started by husband and wife super-duo, D.C. and Alayna Crenshaw. Both share a passion for experiencing restaurants that expose them to new, quality foods from around the world. After a brief stint on the mac-n-cheese and chicken tender circuit once they had little ones, they quickly tired of the kid’s menu options typical at most restaurants. They ditched the boring and opted instead to share their love of good food with their two boys.

What is the goal of Little Diner’s Crew?
The mission of LDC is 3 fold. They want to provide kids the opportunity to try new foods from around this beautiful thing we call Earth, give chefs a forum to educate kids about the food they eat, where it comes from and how it’s prepared and, lastly, they want to bring families together to enjoy a unique dining experience.

Are the dining events for members only?
Nah. Anyone can attend an LDC dinner. However, membership has it’s perks. Register your kids on the website, giving details on allergies and dietary restrictions, and kids receive an email welcoming them to the club and a kit that includes a passport they can have stamped at each event. One member is $65, or it’s $55/child when registering more than one.

Walk me through the event, please!
First of all, it’s important to note that LDC events start promptly. So, be sure to plan ahead so you can arrive on time — no small task for parents, we know! A different restaurant will be featured each month and will include such notables as Carnival, Naoki Sushi, Riva and RPM. When you arrive, you’ll check in with an LDC rep and have your passport stamped. The dining experience will include either the Chef, GM or owner discussing different aspects of the restaurant’s history, menu and cuisine. The menu for kids and adults is exactly the same, but the portions are smaller for the littles. Also important to know, kids dine alone with their peers while parents enjoy adult time at another table.

How old do my kids have to be to join the Crew?
LDC is best suited for kids ages 4-12 and their hungry chauffeurs (a.k.a. parents).

How do we stay looped in on events?
Good question! Be sure to keep tabs on their website to get the 411.


— Maria Chambers

Photos courtesy of Little Diner’s Crew