Please help a foodie visiting Paris with kids
My wife, kids, and I will be in Paris for 4 days and 3 or 4 nights in October (a Wed night or Thursday morning through Sun afternoon trip) with our 15 and 9 year old (the older a fairly adventurous eater, the younger...not so much), staying in a friend's apartment in the 11th. I've not been to Paris since I was a teenager; my wife's never been. Though food is a serious interest (particularly for me), *French* food isn't the food to which we ordinarily gravitate or about which we have really well-developed opinions. Without kids, we'd take advantage of being in Paris and splurge on one 3 star meal, but we can't afford it as a foursome, and it just wouldn't make sense for our family, anyway. We'll be living in Barcelona for the coming year, so I'm not feeling *too* sorry for myself over the missed opportunity to try one of the very top restaurants in Paris, but, still, it would be a shame to eat poorly, no? Can you help us eat really well in a family-friendly, non budget-busting way? We'd like to spend at least some time getting to know the 11th, but we'll also be all over the city doing the things tourists do, so we're open to recs near, e.g., Lourvre, Beaubourg, Pompidou, Ile de la Cite, Champs Elysees. We'll eat breakfasts in the apartment, and may do one or two other meals just by shopping for food and making sandwiches, etc., but will otherwise be eating in restaurants.
Thinking about one North African meal. Mansouria looks good. Comments and/or alternatives.
Bistros that offer especially good food? (And, as long as well-behaved kids are ok, food is the key: Charm to the setting would be really nice, too, but the subtleties of thee service are of very little importance to us, and though intensely interested in food, we are not wine sophisticates, and we're not likely to spend much on wine or to have much in the way of comment on quality of wine list.) I've come up with:
Repaire de Cartouche
Bistro Paul Bert
Chez Ami Jean
Are these good choices? Can we do better? And how much would it cost us?
If we wanted one (by our eating-with-kids standards) splurge meal, is there one French place (esp. more contemporary, but I'm open) that we could eat at as a foursome for under, say, 50 euro per person, that you'd recommend as really not to be missed? (Or are we already in this economic territory at the above bistros and similar places?)
Any other restaurant or food recs of any kind would be much appreciated.
I know all this is vague, but I would really appreciate specific guidance, and will post results after the trip. I've tried to give back to Chowhound in my own neck of the woods, and I am committed to providing some detailed info on both casual and high-end dining for visiting hounds once we've settled in Barcelona at the end of this summer. But for Paris, I've no clue and I tend to go with Chowhound boards over guidebooks, etc.
is the 9yo a girl or boy? a little girl would love the setting at Ladurée for a macaroon. The hot chocolate there is really a meal in itself. Though, as an adult, I would be tempted to save my appetite for the lemon or strawberry tarts.
I also might let my kids have a nutella crepe BEFORE a meal, then order them only a light plate at the restaurant, where I would eat more 'exotic' dishes.
L'As du Falafel is inexpensive, very kid friendly and chow-worthy too.
Keyser's is a famous bakery (some say the best in Paris) and their Mixte is must try for only E5, kids would love the mini financiers. So a meal for 4 could be under E25
I would be interested in what others think of La Cave de l'Os à Moëlle as a setting for kids. It is rustic French, no menu you just eat what is served, it's all put out on communal dishes so it's a friendly, chatty setting E20 Euros per person AYCE.
All good ideas. I would like to add that Asian restaurants are often more friendly to kids.
I particularly recommend Asia Palace in Chinatown -- also it is in a mall, children can play outside if they like. Have you considered baby-sitting while you go to l'Ambroisie or Senderens or another top notch place?
For North African, see Wally -- often very quiet at lunch time.
I fear that 50 € is the actual price per person in many good bistrots especially if you like wine. Good lunch value for fancy lunches include Les elysées (59€), Taillevent (70€), Rostang (79€), le Bristol (95?) and Savoy (100€). The two latest are the most kid-friendly, they have a more relaxed ambiance and the Bristol has a garden.
I just came back from Paris, and although we travelled w/ a ten-month old, we stilled looked for restaurants that were "kid-friendly" but that offered good food. To that end, the one restaurant that I will recommend is Les Coccottes de Constant (a review - in French, mind you - can be found here: http://tableadecouvert.typepad.fr/table_dcouvert/2007/06/les-cocottes-de.html). It's small - mostly bar seating w/ about 5 or 6 high tables and stools - but the food was spot on (let's call it modern and French). However, I don't think you can make reservations. What sold it for us was that our waitress was very accommodating w/ our baby (who, while not crying, was certainly requiring of attention throughout the meal), and still attentive and professional w/ us. In fact, the staff were all very cordial w/ us (which, considering some of the other restaurants I've eaten at in Paris, is saying something). There were also no less that four other families eating w/ children while we dined there.
The address is 135, rue Saint Dominique (in the 7e, spitting distance from the Eiffel Tower).
If you want something a little more upscale but that won't break the bank, try Chef Constant's other restaurant, La Violon d'Ingres (http://www.leviolondingres.com/), which is right next door (also 135, rue Saint-Dominique). Be sure to read the menu section of the website to see where Christian Constant talks about the pricing of the menu. As for our meal, for two of us, including two glasses of champagne and a shared dessert, it came to 71 Euros.
First of all, what most Americans think of as "French" food pretty much does not exist in France any more, if it ever did. The French eat much lighter these days, too!
They take food, and their meals much more seriously than we do, and spend a significantly larger percentage of their income on dining well, whether at home or away.
You can get some idea of the prices of meals in Paris by getting yourself a Michelin Red Guide. It details ALL (or most) of the restaurants in France, by city -- not just the :fancy" ones. and lists typical prices as well as specialties of the house for most. The little bib beside the entry tells you they consider a place especially good qpr.
I've never been to any of the places you listed so I cannot comment on them.
As for wine, most restaurants "house wine" is more than respectable to go with their food, and very fairly priced.