Paris weekend with 11mo. baby
Hi, we just booked a last minute trip and will be in Paris next Sat afternoon - Monday afternoon (Nov. 20-22). Assuming I can get reservations, I would like to eat at:
Sat. dinner: Chez L'Ami jean
Sun. dinner: Violon d'Ingres
Mon. lunch: Chez Denise
Otherwise, I may try to book: La Regalade (the new one), Christophe, La Rotonde (and otherwise open to other baby-friendly suggestions).
The catch is that we will have our 11 month old son with us. Would any/all of these restaurants be okay with a baby diner? Do they have highchairs? (I'm quite certain that none have baby changing tables in the bathroom, correct?) If I have a choice of dinner dining times, would early or late be better as to not annoy my fellow diners? (He is a pretty well-behaved baby -- then again, I am his mom so I could be biased).
Also, re: CAJ -- is the foie gras for two still the way to go? (Loved it last time, but it's been about one year).
Thanks -- we love Paris and are so excited to bring our baby for the first time (ex utero, that is)!
You seem to be familiar with Paris, so I would guess that you have noticed that very young children are not often seen at dinner in restaurants. I'm not helpful in answering your question but I do have a couple of suggestions.
Were I going to Paris with my 11 month old son, I would enchant him at parks, on Paris' famous Merry go Rounds, with the musicians at, say, the Richard Lenoir Sunday market, maybe a ride on the Giant ferris wheel, ice cream, more ice cream... And I would arrange with my hotel in advance of our arrival for a bonded baby sitter for the evenings when jet lag will probably take its toll on my young traveler. With him safely tucked away, I would take my husband out for a well deserved romantic dinner at any of the restaurants you have listed.
I have not seen any high chairs in any restarauarant.
Specifically regarding Chez l'Ami Jean, - the foie gras is one of many ways to go, - even many adults feel the space is uncomfortably tight. Soup's dog stayed out of the resto the entire time we had lunch there.
I would suggest that you bring your baby only to the restos with a lot of space, and not to a small bistro.
And it would not hurt to let the resto know too that you will have whatever space-occupying equipment that you will be carrying for the baby, plus the baby.
Not long ago we were in a very small resto with some CHs, seated next to chldren who have learned the only way to communicate was to scream. Curiously the parents made no effort to try to get the baby out of the small for a walk on the street, anything like that. It was pure unadulterated torture.
For the sake of equal time, I must share this: a CH couple came to dinner with their baby. The parents are extremely caring with the baby, whether ther eare 12 or 2 persons in the room. I have noticed that where the circumstance, the parents do not skim on their baby-sleep ritual: food, rhetoric, song. The baby so promply fell asleep in the next room that I forgot his (the baby's, not the Ch's) existence. During dirnner when I wandered into that room it was I who nearly screamed, finding a baby on my futon.
Thanks so much for your responses.
As I constantly hear that babies are welcome at all restaurants in Paris (yet, also hardly see babies dining at them), I thought I would specifically check for thoughts about a one year old in the specific restaurants where I would like to dine. I was thinking of CAJ, Chez Denise, La Regalade, not only because we like the food, but also because they are lively enough so that perhaps a baby would not be noticed. But it seems that in your opinions a baby would not be welcome at all at dinnertime, and it is very helpful to know that you have never seen a high chair in any restaurant. This is very informative and I greatly appreciate your help!
It's just that: for example chez l'Ami Jean, we never know where to put our elbows, as the table has no room, and our legs overlap each other's (but some of us dig this), while the dog has to be parked outside. So where does one put the baby? Not that Jégo was ever found scowling at one.
"I have not seen any high chairs in any restarauarant."
Ah, you won't, they're tucked away in the courtyard or basement along with the salami, ice cream and chocky mousse they trot out for kids. My experience is that the most amazing things materialize when you show up with a kid. It's not like Japan where the 11 month old is King, but it's not bad.