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Jun 5, 2010 07:23 AM

Two nights in Paris: not looking for stars but for excellent, original food

We are an American family of 5 with teenage children who love to eat and are adventurous. We spend months every year in Italy but this is our first real trip to Paris. We know how to find what makes us happy in Italy but feel overwhelmed by the choices on Paris. We mostly enjoy small restaurants with creative but not challenging food (no goose barnacles). Great quality ingredients and prices that are fair. We prefer meat to fish. We would rather not be surrounded by tourists. We are not looking for notches on our belt. We are willing to travel for our food. We do not want elaborate, starred experiences; just excellent food, well prepared!

Can you recommend two restaurants? The choices do not have to be scaled down for our kids. They love to eat. We are going mid-June so places with long waiting lists for reservations would be difficult.

Thanks in advance for your ideas!

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  1. Les Papilles, no choice but very approachable food. Always a delicious garnished soup to start that you serve your self from your table's own tureen, a hearty meat usually braised, tiny cheese course and lush dessert.

    Table d'Eugene
    (Thanks, John.) You'll have to take the metro to get there, but this is a really sweet address. Lovely food, portion size to satisfy the hungriest teenager, off all but the savviest tourist circuit. Very reasonable for quality/quantity.

    1. I would suggest Au Gourmand on rue Moliere in the first arron. It's owned by two lovely French men -- one who is the host and the other the chef. The cuisine is fresh, using Paris' best bread, butter, vegetables, etc. with extremely fair prices.

      1. Excellent and original don't always go together.
        I think Ze Kitchen Galerie or its newer sib KGB, l'Aromatik and Claude Colliot are both; Chateaubriand, Itineraires and Carte Blanche are often cited here as both but I find all too inconsistent to rely on; Le Marcab, Le 122, Rech, Le Gaigne and Frenchie are excellent but not really original.

        1. Thanks for all the suggestions! We really appreciate them.