Family of six in Paris
My family is going to Paris in late November. Our children are age 21 19,16, 13. They eat most things and are willing to try (almost) anything once--maybe offal is out, but they would eat/try sweetbreads, liver, and more. Having said that we aren't out to expose them to the most extreme food items. Rather to good quality ingredients. We rather not go to a meal which takes 3 hours in a very formal atmosphere. Price is not an issue. We have four days. We live in NYC, so have tried many of the interesting restaurants here. I have eaten at Frenchie, Bones, Saturne previously. I think they would really enjoy all three.
So far we have booked:
We will book when available:
Bones- lunch or dinner?
were thinking some other options:
Any suggestions welcome. Should we take them to Guy Savoy or Taillevent, or would that be a too long/formal a meal (or should they be so lucky to have such an opportunity they should be excited and enjoy it)
Given the age range of your kids, I'd include one or two options for sampling lifestyle rather than just cuisine. Les Docks aka La Cité de la Mode et du Design in the 13th is a very hip and very cool multi-arts complex that just happens to have fab eats at its two restaurants, Wanderlust and Nüba. Unfortunately, it's touted as a summer venue and I'm not sure what's going on in November. Les 104 in the 19th is another uber-cool arts centre with excellent restaurants (Les Grandes Tables and the Café Caché) but a little out of the way and needs coordination with the performance/ exhibition agenda to make it worthwhile.
All your other choices are excellent. I especially like La Gazzetta on the rue de Cotte. And, if lunch, gives you the excuse to browse the very flavourful Marché d'Aligre in the morning... the market slows down for a long lunch hiatus in the afternoon. Also a fan of Chatomat but the quartier, although relatively hip, is not exactly full of possibilities for before and after.
Parn, we love Chatomat. Every meal we've had there (4, I think) has been excellent. The kitchen is obviously inspired and dedicated. But the several different servers we have had over time have all lacked the electricity that we find in similar genre rooms, that conduit of excitement from kitchen to table that unites the house. The food has soul, but service has not, somehow diminishing one's appreciation of what the kitchen is trying to do. Your thoughts?
I've certainly encountered the sort of clueless service that you describe... but less frequently than you experienced. Part of the problem at Chatomat is simply a matter of language... some of the FOH staff don't speak French (or, I suppose, English) fluently. On one occasion, the Brazilian waiter apologized for his confusion over the menu and explained that he was prepped in Portuguese by one of the chefs (who had lived in Brazil) but that his French wasn't good enough to explain it to me. Maybe an eye-rolling moment but instinct obliged me to be sympathetic rather than hostile and, in no time, one of the chefs appeared for a quick but very electric report of what we were about to eat.
Like many hip places, the staff are amazingly informal (using tu rather than vous) and flirty. The familiar tone may get in the way of good service or create a certain indifference when the tone isn't reciprocated.
"Les Docks aka La Cité de la Mode et du Design in the 13th is a very hip and very cool multi-arts complex that just happens to have fab eats at its two restaurants, Wanderlust and Nüba" and not such great vegetarian stuff at M.O.B., a clone of its Brooklyn originasl, which you actually run into first.