Help with 2 restaurants in Paris.....
Ok, here's the challenge. My family (about 8 adults and 4 kids ages 4-8) are headed to Paris in May. We will be there to celebrate my niece's successful battle with leukemia so this trip will be largely centered around her. Some of us will be staying near the Pont Neuf some in Saint Germain des Pres and some on the Ile de la Cite but all within walking distance of each other.
1. We are looking for a restaurant to celebrate with the kids. We will most likely need to reserve a private dining room. Obviously with young kids, Haute French is not the first choice for cuisine, but I am finding that many of the restaurants with those facilities are Haute French. A place not too far from our home base (think Notre-Dame area). I was perusing Ze Kitchen Galerie, and although I don't see a private dining room, there does appear to be a large banquet that may be able to accomodate a party of 12 ( a private dining room is preferred, however). Any ideas about a Parisian restaurant's flexibility to accomodate a young palate? Not looking for chicken fingers, mind you, but perhaps less sauce or a pasta with a butter and steamed veggies? When we took our 4 year old to Rome we were pleasantly surprised to find very flexible kitchens.
2. The next dining spot is for the grown-up dinner! (Secret whoop of joy) Although we are all fans of great food we don't necessarily enjoy the stuffiness that can sometimes can accompany a 3 star Michelin restaurant. Location is not important, although a view would great (Seine even)? Not too noisy, please (the 2 oldest have some hearing issues and can miss out on conversation). Haute French, traditional French are welcome and preferred. I was considering the L'Astrance but am worried that with a large party, that it will be impossible to get a reservation, even in late May.
For your first dinner with the whole family, I first thought about location and then the food (gasp!).
I love Place Dauphiine on the Ile de la Cite for its tucked-away atmosphere and relative non-touristiness. I usually think first of Taverne Henri IV, but this is a wine bar and that doesn't seem right for your group.
La Rose de France might be a possibility for you. If the weather is nice, I wonder if you could be grouped at the outdoor tables. If the kids became bored, they would have the adjacent part of the Place to play in quietly.
I've also eaten at another place across from the Rose that I thought was pretty good, but cannot remember the name... anyone else have good experiences to recommend from Place Dauphine?
It may be too far away, but the Palais Royal is another location that comes to mind. There are restaurants and cafes at a variety of price levels. The Restaurant au Palais Royal would be very nice for a celebration. Again, if you were seated outside, the setting is just lovely. The eldest wouldn't have to deal with the inside noise of a restaurant and the kids again could get up and you could still keep an eye on them.
Though I often recommend ZKG, I don't see it as a place to bring children with simple tastes. How about Le Train Bleu. It is a gorgeous space in the Gare de Lyon, the food is quite good, and it is child-friendly. I don't know if they have a private room but there are some long banquettes and it is not cramped.
If you can get a res at L'Astrance that is a wonderful choice for the adults. Don't wait to contact them.