Am I crazy to consider eating at the following places with a 3yr old and 5 month old?
We are going on our first "food" trip to Paris in 2 days and we are going with our 2 girls ages 3 and 5 months (plus my mom and father in law). After reading countless blogs about dining etiquette and dining with kids in Paris, I've made reservations for the following restaurants below.
Da Rosa, Les Papilles, La Regalade, Les Papilles, Aux Tonneus les Halles, Breizh Cafe, Pirouette Les Halles
Le Tastevin, Chez Dumonet,Au Petit Sud Quest, Au Bourguignon, Robert et Louise, L'ange 20
Let me set the context for the kids. My 3 year old is very mature and joins us regularly at fine dining restaurants. She has a very adventurous palate and loves fois gras, caviar, sashimi, and will eat anything that tastes good (including fish cheeks and even the eyes!). My 5 month old..well, she's 5 months old so all she really does is stare, grasp, feed, then sleep. Thus, my choices above none of which are Michelin* and too stuffy but overall, I think they are solid establishments with good reputations.
Am I crazy to think that I can have a gastronomically delightful dinner with the family or I am more likely to get stares of disdain from the waiters and/or patrons who do not welcome kids (even well behaved ones.)
Ps. We don't mind sitting at a back room by the kitchen/toilet, as long as it doesn't smell. :)
1. May I borrow your 5-year old ? :-)
2. How do you think your kids will fare sitting through a meal that lasts at least 1.5 hours, probably closer to 2 hours?
Do you take them out for a walk when they - rightly - become impatient ?
If you think your whole family is as restaurant-friendly as the restaurants are kid-friendly, then you will have a great time.
I saw a couple with a child around 5 years old, who quietly drew on her picture book all evening. They were delightful, and delighted with the evening. The staff was very nice to them. The kid was actually much quieter than many of the diners there.
L'ami Jean lunch or Dans Les Landes could do too. Dans Les Landes serves very good sud-ouest tapas, which means a series of small plates. Children, and adults, like that rijsttafel kind of setting. And even the pickiest child finds something to like in front of, say, 8 little dishes.
Les Papilles is a wine-focused place with copious dishes. Your call.
1. Just to show her tolerance for "sitting though things", she actually sat through the while 3 hours of the most recent Spiderman and Batman movies. Why she was watching such "adult" oriented movies? Well, that's another story!
2. I think my daughter will be ok sitting through 2 hour meals as she often does that and sometimes we take her to dinner with business clients. As long as she has something to write on or has a smart phone to tinker with, she will sit quietly and eat from my degustastion plate!
I do plan to take her and her sister out for some air if necessary. I have issues with parents who don't take responsibility for their kids.
Finally, we are practicing our Bonjour Monsieur/Madame, Merci Beaucoup, Au Revoir, and Sil vous plait constantly and I'm hoping she can charm her way into the restaurant.
As I've said here & elsewhere many times before, I've taken kids from 3 months to 87 years old and so long as there's space outside and crayons/stickers/paper/gameboys/ipads inside I've never had a problem anywhere.
There's another thread recently discussing placeswith squares or places to run.
Well behaved children in France are IMHO treated and welcomed far more than in the States. They always seem to add an extra delicious dimension to the meal and l look forward to eating with children here. Of your restaurant choices you list that l am familiar with, all look good to me.
Cannot remember being at Dumonet without a table or two having laughing children there.