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Paris Lunch Challenge

dsackton Apr 26, 2012 04:38 PM

We are trying to come up with somewhere great for lunch on an upcoming trip to Paris but our group will be a bit challenging. We are very into food and would be trying to get some michelin starred places in except: our group consists of 2 omnivores, 2 vegetarians, a toddler, and an infant. The toddler is fairly well behaved and an adventurous eater. The infant is not yet eating solids. We need to find somewhere delicious that can accommodate the vegetarians, but where lunch is not going to last more than 2 hours. This will likely be our only fancy meal of the trip as dinner seemed to hard. For dinners we'll stick to falafel, crepes, cooking, and maybe a bistro or 2. Any great ideas?

  1. d
    dsackton Apr 27, 2012 06:34 AM

    It doesn't have to be a starred place, just somewhere very good. We aren't really interested in leaving the kids with a babysitter. The toddler (my nephew) does pretty well at restaurants and generally really likes good food. The infant is mine, is nursing, and frankly I don't feel like bringing a breast pump on our trip just so we can go out once. We wouldn't try to go somewhere fancy for dinner with them, but figured we could figure something out for lunch.

    4 Replies
    1. re: dsackton
      phillamb168 Apr 27, 2012 06:46 AM

      Well in that case, we take our kids to non-starred restos (that are still QUITE good) with us whenever we go out. I would recommend going early, if possible (start of service perhaps)? Only because getting a table with elbow room (and therefore room to put a kid in your lap if necessary) is only really possible at the very beginning of service. I speak from experience :-)

      Perhaps Breizh Cafe (109 rue Vielle du Temple 3emme) for gallettes, or Chez Jenny (choucroute - 39 bd du Temple 3emme) - Jenny has a kids' menu for 7 eur. At that age it's probably too much food, but perhaps you're like us and consider whatever he doesn't eat as fair game for the adults :-) If you want to go Bistro, Chez Andre (12 rue Marbeuf).

      1. re: dsackton
        ChefJune Apr 27, 2012 07:50 AM

        You could surely go to Maceo. They have a wonderful vegetarian option that changes as often as does the regular menu. And you could go there for dinner as well as for lunch, your choice.

        You wouldn't NEED a babysitter for there, but Iw ould get one anyway. The adults will enjoy their "special" meal much more w/o the risk of a crying infant.

        1. re: ChefJune
          plafield Apr 27, 2012 03:23 PM

          I would NOT go to Jenny for great food. Yes, lovely old brasserie atmosphere, but we were not at all impressed with the food and don't recommend it. The food at Breizh is great for what it is (crepes) but it sounds like the OP is looking for something a little more upscale. I agree with the rec of Maceo. Elegant atmosphere, lovely food, and great for vegetarians and carnivores alike.

          1. re: plafield
            dsackton Apr 28, 2012 05:09 AM

            Maceo is the general idea of the kind of place we are looking for, except we ate there last time we were in Paris 4 years ago. I guess we could consider going back. Do they serve lunch?

      2. p
        phillamb168 Apr 27, 2012 02:22 AM

        +1 on informing the kitchen ahead of time (like, when you book) about dietary restrictions.

        Also, I personally have a rule: I do not take my kids (who are the same ages as yours, toddler and 3 months) to starred restaurants. Once they get older, oh you betcha, but I think of it like this: If they're not ready for sitting still and quiet for Opening Night at the Met, I won't take them somewhere equally as 'performance' driven.

        If you need a babysitter recommendation, I know a few people, feel free to contact me via PM (or whatever it is they use around here).

        Finally, food: L'Arpège - *** - would be absolutely perfect if you wanted a veg-suitable meal that would appeal to omnivores as well. I have the two Alain Passard 'cookbooks' and a few of those items are on our 'every now and then' weekend menus.

        For dinner, l'as du falafel. Just make sure you don't go on Friday/Saturday - shabbat shalom.

        1. j
          jock Apr 26, 2012 11:26 PM

          Two thoughts.

          ONE: Always tell the restaurant about the vegetarians when you make the reservation. The kitchen will be much better prepared.

          TWO: Baby sitter.

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