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Feb 22, 2008 07:10 AM

Easter dinner-Paris w/ 7yr old? Ideas?

Hello Chowhounds,

We will be in Paris for Easter with our 7 yr old daughter. Staying in the 7th. Any ideas for Easter? Brunch or dinner would be fine. Also, does anyone know if there is anything special happening for Easter (egg hunts, etc.)?


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  1. Its me again. I realize that I should have include that our hotel recommended bambouche, petite chaise and petite lutetia, as well as some specifics about our desires. Can't find much about them. I have done a ton of research (ie: google searches on many french sites, all of the guides) and still can't find anything specific for easter (except bristol hotel). While we aren't looking for fancy, we are looking for special. We live in NYC and love to go out to eat. But, we have never eaten a holiday dinner in a restaurant. We want to stay away from touristy places. If I couldn't eat at home on Easter I would pick something like Union Square Cafe or like Lupa.

    I keep coming back to l'atelier de j. robouchon and l'ami jean. Are these places appropriate for kids? Also saw a place canteen 10, that mentions kids. Usually when we go out, we order our daughter from the regular menu, but simple things like salads, veggies, pastas, rices, etc. We plan to eat informally for the rest of our trip, but we feel Easter should be locked in.

    Hope that helps a bit. Looking forward to hearing your opinions. Thanks.

    2 Replies
    1. re: doughreme

      Le Bamboche, La Petite Chaise, Le Petit Lutétia, all nice places. With the correct spelling you should find more information. Like it's Le Bamboche, Rue de Babylone, 7th arr. (right behind Le Bon Marché).

      A La Petite Chaise, Rue de Grenelle:

      Le Petit Lutétia, Rue de Sèvres:

      You may also want to consider La Cigale-Récamier, a nice soufflé place.
      Rue Récamier, 7th, off Rue de Sèvres near Sèvres-Babylone.

      For brunch, you may want to consider 'Les Ambassadeurs' at The Crillon with its 'Brunch du Monde' (Sunday 12 PM to 3 PM). I am sure they'll do something special for children that day. However, you'd have to book now.

      BTW, the 7th arr. covers parts of Saint-Germain (Sèvres-Babylone and Bac) and stretches over to the Ecole Militaire area (a major hub and a lively part of the 7th arr.). The middle of it, around Les Invalides is less busy, has less restaurants, in general and is very residential (lots of embassies also).

      1. re: doughreme

        Sunday tends to be a problematic day for the best restaurants being open in Paris. Also, in France, and most of Europe, the Monday after Easter (Paques) is a national holiday and most everything is closed.

        I have been in Paris on Easter 2 or 3 times before and have always eaten at one of the brasseries, such as Procope, on that day. Most places that are open will have a special Menu de Paques. The brasseries probably do not meet your criteria of special but they are not bad. My guess is that most of the Freres Blanc places will be open.

        Since you are from NY, I would roughly compare these to somewhere such as Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles on Madison Avenue.

        Get a Michelin Red Guide for Paris. It has a section on restaurants open on Saturday and Sunday. From that you should be able to call or email and confirm if they are open on Easter.

        Around March / April the chocolate shops begin to sell a thing called a Poisson d"Avril, a hollow chocolate fish that is filled with smaller solid chocolate or praline fish and sea creatures. These are nicely done at la Maison du Chocolat (you have one in NY), Gerard Mulot and others. My children used to always look forward to getting these.

        Around the end of March / First of April there is also a Sunday called les Musees du Printemp when all the museums are free. Not sure if egg hunts are something they do in France.

      2. Thanks Dodo and f2dat06. I checked the websites of the places you provided and I am going to send emails to find out whether they will have easter menus. Can I correspond in English? I can try to do it in French, but it will take some research to word it correctly. My french is a bit rusty.

        Not having seen them, other than on the web, are any of the ones recommended by the hotel (not lutetia, I wish...) or La Cigale-Récamier, better than the others?

        Funny - I just checked, my neighbor wrote a note in one of my books recommending Procope too. When you went there for Easter, did they do anything to celebrate (menus, something for kids, etc.)? Did you bring your kids? I forgot about Les Halles. We used to go there alot and really enjoyed it. It would work for Easter, but would be a completely different experience than the Crillon. Not sure what is better at this point. Whatever we do will be memorable.

        If anyone else knows of anything, I would certainly love to hear from you.

        I looked at the chocolates and absolutely planned on having the "Easter Bunny" visit our room. The prices look good too, relatively speaking. We are fortunate to live near Jacques Torres and the "Easter Bunny" usually shops for a chocolate bunny there. I haven't seen a fish there, but will definitely get one in Paris. Maybe they don't do egg hunts. That might explain why I can't find anything on it.

        I might be overthinking all of this, but if anyone understands, it a chowhound.

        We leave on 3/14, so if you think of any other Easter ideas, I warmly welcome them.

        Thanks again.

        3 Replies
        1. re: doughreme

          Eating at the Crillion (Ambassadeurs) is pretty much a world class event (there are 2 restaurants there, the one with Michelin stars that Dodo is talking about is l'Ambassadeurs, the other, a bit less expensive is l'Obelisk). I have never been to the brunch, I suspect it may be a bit less formal than dinner. If you would feel comfortable taking your 7 yr old to Daniel in NYC then no problem with Ambassadeurs.

          Cigalle Recamier is a good choice too. It is located on a quite dead end street in the 6th. It used to be called just Recamier and had one Michelin star which it lost about 6 years ago, not sure why, it is a good choice.

          Regarding the Poisson d'Avril, in France fish of April is the equivalent to April fools in the US. That is why you see the chocolate fish in March / early April. The high end chocolatiers will have plenty of other meticulously prepared ducks, eggs, etc as well.

          The times I have been to Paris at Easter have been without family. I really do not remember the restaurants having special things for kids. You must reserve for Easter because the restaurants that are open will be packed with families having lunch or dinner together.

          You should have no problem emailing these places in English. Even when I write for reservations in French I usually get an English response back. Some way they pick up that I am not native.

          1. re: f2dat06

            hi! i know that le bristol is having a special easter brunch and events on the lawn for kids. also, easter lunch (more adult, more expensive). but we ARE talking beaucoup euros. still, it sounds like just the sort of thing you're talking about. (my wife and i are going for dinner on easter monday.) it's listed on their home page, so a quick google should get it--if souphie doesn't throw a quick link out here first...

            1. re: f2dat06

              La Cigale-Récamier has nothing to do with the former starred Le Récamier, it's just the same location!

              La Cigale (what its name was before) was located not far away on Rue Chomel before moving to where Le Récamier was, just because the space became available and because it's whole lot larger with had very nice outdoor terrace in the dead-end-street too. Unfortunately enough, Gérard Idoux (Cigale's chef) was never lucky enough to get a Michelin star. But since it's a popular place also with locals (you can spot people like Catherine Deneuve there) and often solid booked, he most likely doesn't care too much.

          2. You are probably recognized by your american email address. Thanks for the info. I sent emails to Le Bamboche, La Petite Chaise, Le Procope and Les Ambassadeurs at the Crillon. Can't find email addresses for Recamier and Petite Lutetia. The brunch at the Crillon sounds great and even though it is formal, I think you are right in supposing that brunch will be less so.

            BTW, I absolutely love Daniel, but it would be wasted on my 7 yr. old daughter. She can sit in restaurants for hours, so that's not the issue. It's the cost. (at her age, she is just as happy with a bowl of pasta as with anything else) And the brunch cost isn't too bad, it appears to be 30 euros for kids, so I can rationalize taking her. If we can get in, that is.

            1. Any Sunday in Paris is going to be a bit of a challenge, but I would try this (notes lifted from what I sent a friend)

              Le Vieux Bistro
              14 Ru Du Cloitre-Notre-Dame (4eme)
              01 43 64 18 96
              (directly accross the street from Notre Dame; if you walked out of ND,
              turn to the right and cross the street)
              - You would never in a million years believe you could find a
              non-touristy place to grab a bite near Notre Dame, but you sure as heck
              can and this is the place. Don't get the head cheese unless you REALLY
              want it (they will bring you an entire six inch dish for you to take as
              much as youd like (seemingly)). I believe we were the only Americans
              there, amazing. Go on Sunday around 11:30 am and ask for a table in
              the back room and watch it fill up with traditional French families
              coming out of church. Or, if you're at Notre Dame for the 4:00 recital
              (I belive this is standard, every Sunday) you could drop in for un cafe
              post concert.

              (Don't miss Berthillion, a wee ice cream stand at 31 Rue St Louis en
              I'lle on Ile St. Louis), the best ice cream in Paris ... no, really,
              the BEST ice cream in Paris ... a Parisian sent me there, what more
              need be said?)


              1 Reply
              1. re: NYChristopher

                Le Vieux Bistro is EXCELLENT, however they do close at 3 and reopen for dinner again in the evening so @ 4:00 they are closed. The first time I went there i went with a frind for a late lunch and when we arrived they were closing, so bear that in mind.

              2. Thank you everyone for the great suggestions. Heard back from the Crillon (got myself excited about this) and they are fully booked! La Bambouche does not do anything different for Easter and the rest have not yet responded, so I am still looking. Will email the others to see what I can find out.

                BTW, we are planning to go to church on Sunday. Not sure if we can get near Notre Dame, but will probably try, so I will email the bistro you suggested.

                And ice cream, my downfall, has to be a pitstop at some point. (P.S. we have the brooklyn ice cream factory near us, and its amazing, if you haven't tried it yet and find yourself in bk in need of a fix; the great views are free).

                1 Reply
                1. re: doughreme

                  With regards to ice cream in Paris, go to Christian Constant, 37 Rue d'Assas (same name different person than the chef on St Dominique). This is a very good chocolatier that has a small salon where you can sample exceptional ice creams and sorbets made on site. Berthillon will seem industrial in comparison.