2 lunches and 1 dinner in Paris on August 3rd and 4th
this is my first posting so please forgive any slip ups. My wife and I are going to be in Paris with our 7 month old boy for a couple of days in early August. We have 2 lunches and a dinner that I'd like to use to full advantage. I have no idea where to go for lunch. We were thinking of Chez L'Ami Louis for dinner.
All the places would need to be sufficiently child-friendly that we could enjoy our meal without feeling like we are ruining those of others. Doesn't seem like that is an issue considering previous posts about the French and kids, but just in case.
Thanks a lot for any help,
I forgot to mention. The dinner we have open is for Friday night, lunches are Thursday and Friday.
For lunch you could try a picnic one day, for a very Parisian experience. Pick up your vitels on Rue Buci in the 6th and your bottle of wine from Le Dernier Goutte,close by. Then go to the Jardin du Luxembourg and sit and eat in really gorgeous surroundings. Feed your baby the sublime french cookie, a maracron from Laduree or Pierre Herme, and eat a few yourself--I bet you can't just eat one.
Lunch outside at a cafe is fun and easier for when you have a baby, so you can get up and stroll if necessary. If you go early or late you might snag an outside table at Le Comptoir at the Carrefours de l'Odeon, but there are many terrific places. Le Comptoir is owned and run by a renowned chef who also owns the lovely hotel that houses this bistrot. It is always fun to eat at Les Deux Magots--order a tartine (open face sandwich on the world famous pain de Poilane and watch tout de paris go by.
Dinner is a little more difficult. I don't know if Louis would be a good idea. Check if smoking is still going on. Also, it is very expensive, so people might be a little less tolerant of a baby.
I think L'Ambassade d'Avergne at 22, rue du Grenier St. Lazare in the 3rd, tel: 01 42 72 31 22 might be a better choice--I have actually seen families there. If you go be sure to order Aligot--you can thank me later.
With the baby you will probably be eating early so the restaurants will not be crowded. People do not really start arriving in numbers until nine pm.
Another suggestion for dinner is Au Petit Tonneau in the 7th. The chef is a wonderful warm woman named Ginette Boyer, who cooks lovely food. I paricularly love her mushroom dish and as I have said in many posts she makes the best tarte tatin I have ever eaten. She makes a lovely turbot with a sublime beurre blanc. Chez Catherine in the 8th arr. offers a more upscale meal and appears family friendly since the chef is a young woman (don't know if she has kids).
Go and enjoy yourself and let us know how you manage and what you eat.
I used to be a chowhound, but now I have a 9 month old. I guess I'll be content to hit the market on Richard Lenoir and eat in the apartment until she's 5.
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I'm just back from a week in Paris, without my daughter. We saw many babies in strollers accompanying their (French) parents at lunch and dinner. A very fancy Michelin-starred dinner might not be the best idea, but you shouldn't rule out every restaurant experience--the French families we saw certainly didn't!
The key, I think, is to find a place with good food and a decent-sized terrace, and to eat outside. It's a very pleasant experience, and in some ways preferable to a closed-in dining room, especially if the insane 92F+ heat continues into your stay in the city. We found that relatively few restaurants have a/c, and even when they do, it is used more sparingly than is typical for the US (this may be a function of energy shortages now occurring in France). If your child gets fussy, one of you can evacuate him, and it's easier to navigate a stroller, since many places seat people closely together.
Eating on the earlier side (meaning 7-9 pm, or even earlier if you go to a cafe with nonstop service)is smart to avoid crowds and meltdowns.
One place we ate at that many people brought kids to was Le Maupertu, a Provencal-ish place on Bd. de la Tour-Maubourg, right behind the Eglise du Dome, where Napoleon is buried. This was not an unproblematic meal (I'll post separately on the restaurants we ate at this trip), but the vegetable preparations, fish and desserts are nice, the terrace is pretty, and there's plenty of space.
Other ideas: Picnic in the Jardin du Luxembourg is a great idea--there are little squirting fountains for kids to splash in. The heavenly, heavenly pattisier Dalloyau is right off the nearby Pl. de Rostand--the macaroons and ice creams are to die for, and will make anyone of any age swoon!
In the Marais, try the bistrot/winebar Les Philosophes for lunch or a casual dinner, or for lunch, get takeout felafel sandwiches from L'As du Fellafel, which lives up to its hype, on the rue des Rosiers, and bring it to the Place des Vosges.