Although parenthood doesn’t always lend itself to this, I like to eat like a grown-up every once in a while. At a table. With real dishware. And I don’t always want to pay a sitter so I can get my civilized society fix.

Which is why I am grateful for European-inspired coffee houses. Most recently LAMill, which opened at the Four Seasons in Harbor East this past fall.

A little bit of mom-fort (or parent-comfort for that matter) in a what can be a kid-crazy world.

Think European-inspired baked goods with an American-twist meet fabulous coffees and teas with a side of soups, salads and melty-sandwiches. Are you swooning yet? You’ll find a concise (yet delicious) breakfast and lunch menu that designed for on-the-go or eat-in. I can’t speak for lunch as I was there for breakfast, but this review in Grub Street references a lobster pop pie. Hello, deliciousness — and my next downtown lunch adventure.

Suffice to say, I visited LAMill twice last week. Once for late morning coffee with a colleague (who just happens to be another mom and both of us remarked at how relaxing and “ahh” inspiring the chill vibe was), and then again on Sunday with Pat and the Bug. For a cold January morning, Sunday at 9:15 AM was very quiet at LAMill. Perfect for us.

The banana bread received triple “Bug Approved” status. Pat and I enjoyed it too, but the real stars of the show… were the beignets. Just like our trip to the Big Easy last year. Sinfully delicious and come with your choice of dipping sauces. I’m partial to the meyer lemon dipping sauce. The Bug loved {and I mean loved} the chocolate sauce. We didn’t have a chance to try the salty caramel… but it’s intriguing, no?

LAMill’s European cafe inspired decor is designed for adults (complete with CNN quietly displayed on a flat-panel screen mid-restaurant), but decidedly kid-friendly. You’ll find high chairs, your stroller will most definitely fit through the door, and there are an array of pint-sizer-friendly beverage items (organic milk/chocolate milk/fruit drinks).

Ironically, what the Bug immediately noticed (and responded to) was the decor. Their industrial/modern vibe included tons of shapes for her to point out. Everything from the hexagon tile pattern on the floor to the circular lightbulb chandeliers, to the repeating cylinders in the wall divider… it’s an unlikely perfect place for a game of iSpy. Which is fantastic since it will keep little minds busy while you sip your latte. In a real china cup. With a spoon.

Like a grown-up.

Can’t wait for the weather to warm up. LAMill will open up outside seating on the patio, overlooking the harbor. Leisurely Sunday morning, anyone?

[divider]
GETTING THERE: We parked right on the street in Harbor East, around the corner from the Four Seasons. Sunday morning is a great time to find quick street parking for $2/hour. There is valet parking at the Four Seasons and garage parking, but it’s of course a splurge for a cup of coffee and a pastry. Just depends on how much comfort (or relaxing!) you’re going for…

COST: A regular latte is $2.50. That’s pretty good in my book. Beignets are $4.00 for three. Our breakfast of coffee, juice, chocolate milk, two orders of beignets, a cup of fresh fruit and one piece of banana bread was about $20. Plus $2 for parking.

FAMILY ACCESSIBILITY: LAMill is part of the Four Seasons, so it’s designed for travelers and traveling families. Stroller accessibility, enough ambient noise that kid chatter wouldn’t disturb other patrons and extremely clean. The staff was uber friendly as well. That said, not the place you want to take a super-charged kid with tons of energy to expend. Lots of stem ware. On those uber engergetic days, take your latte to go and wander around the promenade (or visit the soon-to-open Pierce’s Park!).

KEEP THEM HAPPY: Perfect venue for shape exploration or iSpy. Fantastic architecture and design.