When being kid-friendly is a requirement, French restaurants are not likely the first establishments to come to mind, which is pretty ridiculous when you think about it. It’s not like the French don’t have children or keep them at home with their au pairs until they reach the age of 18. While French food includes more exotic dishes like escargot and frogs’ legs, you can also count succulent roast chicken, homey beef stews, and — oh, yes — french fries among the country’s signature dishes.
Still, this parent wasn’t quite sure when her family of three found the wait at Edina Grill too long on a recent Sunday and instead headed next door to Salut. Having only eaten there for business meals during the week, when most kids are in school, I was left with questions as to whether the restaurant would welcome a request for a highchair. It turns out the worries were unnecessary, and not just because Salut is only a French restaurant in name and spirit. (It’s one of several local Parasole concepts and not the Minnesota outpost of an acclaimed French chef.)
The air was certainly youthful at Salut, where several families — often three generations together — enjoyed brunch. The noise level between the tables with children and the tables with only adult diners didn’t vary much, so parents with children who don’t know the difference between indoor and outdoor voices have no need to fret. Chances are, the 21+ booth next to you sipping on mimosas will match the volume of your little ones decibel for decibel. Though not an enormous dining room a la Maggiano’s or Cheesecake Factory, Salut has enough space between tables so that you can comfortably pass by your fellow diners without hitting them in the head with the diaper bag. The menu offered kid-friendly food with lots of gooey cheese, and any carb-loving toddler would be satisfied with the baguette that kicks off your meal.
A few points of caution, though: Salut only allows kids to sit in highchairs at tables, so families dining in booths will have to perch their children in wobbly booster seats on the bench seat. Not the ideal seating arrangement for the wiggly sort. Strollers have to stay parked in the restaurant’s entrance (the hosts will keep an eye on them for you). And the delightful smell of french fries will make it close to impossible to prevent your kids from demanding them. Give in — but grab as many as you please for yourself.
Salut Bar Américain
Brasserie in Edina
5032 France Ave S
Edina, MN 55410
OWNER / CHEF: Parasole Restaurant Holdings / CJ Van Proosdy
RESERVATIONS / RECOMMENDED: Yes / Yes for peak dining times
VEGETARIAN / VEGAN: Yes / No
ENTREE RANGE: $6-20 for brunch; $6-17 for lunch; $10-35 for dinner