Brasserie in 7th or 6th, Paris
We're looking for a place to have a good dinner in the 7th or 6th arrondisement in Paris. We have 3 boys, ages 6-12, who are quite well behaved ... but they're still kids, and we don't think it's fair to subject them (or the proprieters of a fine restaurant) to a 2+ hour meal. SO, we figured a brasserie with a fairly wide selection would be the best choice. The kids will certainly find something they'd like, and hopefully we can find something that's a lot better than what we can get back home in the US. We'd prefer something french, but more on the modern (i.e., lighter) and less on the old style cooking if possible. Any suggestions?
I suspect you are not using the term "Brasserie" in it's strictest sense. In France a Brasserie is a restaurant that has continuous service as opposed to a Bistro that opens for lunch and dinner. My guess is you are looking for good food not simply a good Brasserie so a Cafe or Bistro will also meet your needs.
You will also find that most brasseries in Paris are fairly traditional, in some respects that is there USP, traditional food in historic settings i.e. Bofinger 4eme. I recommend you do aim for some of this "old style" cooking as it is really good in Paris.
Avoid Lipp, Les Deux Magots and Cafe de Flore, these grand old Brasseries in the 6eme are great for a quick drink but are touristy and have average to poor food.
A few to consider in the 6eme are Le Select, Le Nemrod, or Fish (Fish probably has the most contemporary menu, they speak good english and cope well with kids).
We are big fans of the Brasserie de L'Ile St Louis on (you guessed it) the tip of the Ile St. Louis just behind Notre Dame. It's not going to win any awards for innovative cuisine anytime soon, but it manages to have a neighborhood feel despite the location, the interior is a trip, and the waiters (many of whom have been there forever, at least in the 9+ years I've been going to Paris) are alternately brusque, hysterical, friendly, and annoying. It's a delightful place - great for kids. The steak tartare is a personal favorite, but I believe they do Alsatian-focused food as well.
Allard might be a good option as well - though it is more expensive. Bofinger would be fun with kids - again, don't expect a revelatory culinary experience.