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Gabrielle

Trip to Paris in 10 days w/9 yr. old: Restaurants?

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First Post here-great site! My husband, daughter and I will be going to Paris in 10 days for a week. My husband and I have been there twice without her so dining this time will be different-we'll definately be eating earlier 7:30, when possible.

She is out of her mind with excitement, is actually an amazingly good eater and well mannered so I'm not hestitant to take her too many places. She has liked all the "basic" French food she's encountered including escargots, crepes, moules, steak-frites, most cheese except for blues, and the myriad of desserts she has encountered. She'd love to try a souffle.

We will be meeting friends with family there who have family in the country for Saturday lunch and again in Paris for sightseeing on Tuesday. (They have 2 children.) We have lunch reservations at the incredibly touristy Altitude 95. I'm not expecting much of the food but we have a window table so the view should be good.

So I'm beating around the following ideas for Friday, Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. We are trying to eat well reasonably.

Friday- hot chocolate/tea pastry at Lauduree

Dinner-Fish (6)-thought it would be good, relaxing and able to get glasses of wine first night instead of committing to whole bottles.

Saturday-Day in country

Sunday-Lunch at Cap Vernet (8). Guy Savoy's BB's offer something special for children's lunch on weekends. Althought she doesn't need to do "children's"-might make her feel special. (Butte Chaillot (16) does something as well.)

Monday-Lunch at 404 (4) for Morrocan.

Dinner-La Cigale (7) Souffle Opportunity?

Tuesday-Altitude 195 for Lunch in the Eiffel Tower

Wednesday-Dinner at Au Bon Accueil (7), also considering La Rotisserie D'en Face and La Bastide Odeon (6)

We're staying on the Ile St. Louis.

Any suggestion or input is appreciated including good places for light food like salads, sandwiches and crepes. I don't want to miss any good food opportunity in Paris no matter how small.


Edited by Gabrielle (log)

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There are a number of creperies on Ile St Louis where you can have a light meal or snack. Mon Viel Ami, right on rue St Louis en L'Ile, has gotten great reviews here and from Patricia Wells, so if you're feeling tired one evening and don't feel like going far that would be a good option.

A few years ago friends went to Altitude 95 with their three children and had a wonderful time. The kids really enjoyed the view and the food was better than our friends had expected.

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Cosi (54 rue de Seine- 6th) is a good place for sandwiches. The roasted tomatoes are terrific.

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I had a really good lunch of Provencal style braised lamb shoulder at the Brasserie d'Ile St Louis. I don't see any reason it wouldn't be a suitable place for a 9-year old.

The choucroute garnie at the table next to me looked like it beat the heck out of what I'd had at Brasserie Bofinger the night before.

There's a fantastic chocolate shop on the main street on Ile St Louis that I'm sure your whole family would enjoy. Some really interesting flavors.


Edited by tighe (log)

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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One thing that you'll find dining with an enthusiastic well-behaved child is how welcoming good French restaurants are to families. Nor will the waiter try to fob her off with an up-market McD Happy Meal. :biggrin:


John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

Top Google/MSN hit for Paris Bistros

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Nor will the waiter try to fob her off with an up-market McD Happy Meal.  :biggrin:

Not always true, John. Many French restaurants, even better ones, will indeed try and fob you off, or at least pay lip service to a 'menu enfant' that includes some variation of steak hachée frites, etc, followed by a glace. Best bet almost always (in our experience of travelling extensively with two young children who LOVE food) is to avoid such menus like the plague and choose real food, either a simple menu or a la carte. That way your food loving daughter will also have a French food experience to remember. Sometimes our daughter (who is now 11) would choose just a starter and dessert. And for her, it's the desserts that she usually remembers! Have fun and happy travelling.

MP

PS For one of the simplest and best of all Parisian treats, don't forget to visit Maison Bertillon on the Ile-St-Louis for the best ice cream in town!


Edited by Marco_Polo (log)

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Although this may be a little fancier than what you are seeking, my husband and I had a wonderful evening dining at Le Carre des Feuillants with my stepdaughter when she was 11. While we were looking at the menu, she was interested in getting an appetizer of langoustines, but it came with foie gras, which she doesn't like. My husband and I reassured her that we would get rid of every bit of foie gras on her plate, and it wouldn't go to waste, and so she decided to get the dish. When it arrived, we realized that one of the waiters had overheard our conversation, and had accommodated her by giving her an extra langoustine and no foie gras. The entire meal was fabulous. As Maurice Chevalier said, "thank heaven for little girls." It was a very nice, subtle gesture that made a big impression.

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Gabrielle - Are you back? I have a question. What non-food things (eg monuments, attractions, quartiers) did you find your 9 year old was most interested in? We have a friend bringing a 10 year old in June and it's been a while since we've hosted a girl in that age range. Thanks


John Talbott

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John we are indeed back :sad: . We had an absolutely fabulous time! :biggrin: We had absolutely glorious weather-sunny and the temp reached 60F (help celcius conversion?) daily. It only drizzled lightly one afternoon.

I'm going to write up more about my trip under the hostess gift question I had posed as soon as I get an opportunity. (What a fabulous Day that was!)

Anyway here is a list in response to what non food things my daughter enjoyed the most, in no particular order:

-The Opera Garnier (she takes ballet and has studied some of the Impressionists, Degas being one of them-so this was special to her.)

-which is probaby why the Orsay was her favorite museum-she got to see Degas's The Little Dancer in person. (Good picture book-Degas and the Little Dancer by Laurence Anholt-she got this several years ago and it is just a charming story) She also likes Monet and Van Gogh. Something I read, suggested when taking children to museums-allow them to go into the Museum gift shop first and select some postcards of artwork they like so they can find it in the museum. This has worked really well for us.

-she also wanted to see the Mona Lisa but thought it "strange" that people were running to get to it and ignoring other beautiful paintings along the way-(from the mouths of babes.)

-Here's a shock-she enjoyed the Eiffel Tower immensely, but she also enjoyed the view from the top of Notre Dame. The view is stunning, the gargoyles, "cool" and the approximately 300 stair climb, quite the adventure. (Have to admit this is also probably my favorite view-something romantic, almost intimate about it.

-She loved the Jardin du Luxembourg and was dissapointed we were in and out so quickly-this being the one afternoon it drizzled. -She also enjoyed walking around the 6th, looking in windows, seeing the Place Furstemberg which she thought was "so cute".

-She also really liked the Place des Vosges and thought it was really cool that she could understand the parents speaking to their little ones-she studies French once weekly at the Alliance Francaise-playing since they speak more slowly. She also liked being able to read some things on menus and order.

-She liked the 3rd and 4th quartiers. We stayed in the 4th right on the Ile St. Louis and began to think of this as her "neighborhood". (The nightly Berthillion ice cream didn't hurt either.) As above enjoyed the Place des Vosges, the Musee Carnavalet (sp?), (I know we aren't talking food but), the Moroccan lunch that day, the goings on outside the Pompidou including the "awesome sculpture fountain."

-The Ponts Vendettes which you take from the Pont Neuf were also a big hit-the views are fabulous and you get to see all the great bridges.

-The day out in the country which I'll write about later was also a big hit-not the least of which has to do with seeing her friend.

Overall, she loved Paris-though it was beautiful, full of awesome things to see and do, had great food-and get this-thinks it great to eat so slowly-why do we do this at home and school? (She's always been a slow eater-used to only get a third of her lunch finished at school until she learned the great American sport of speed eating).

It was a fabulous trip and we are all still having symptoms of withdraw.

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Sunday’s New York Times Travel Section had an article on visiting Paris with children. In addition to suggestions about Culture, Shopping, Hotels, etc., Jennifer Conlin recommended Le Café du Marche, Café Marly + Le Relais de l’Entrecote as places to eat respectively for their sidewalk setting, cheeseburgers and steak/frites.


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Hello -- Am about to go to Paris w/ my 6 yr old son (will be his 3rd trip), and was looking at the Paris w/ Kids thread for food ideas/advice. Wanted to add my thought that, esp in nice weather, nothing beats a picnic for young kids. Go to a market and buy whatever street food appeals to your kid (a simple jambon-fromage baguette ... or nems (Vietnamese spring rolls), which are to be found everywhere in Paris & most kids adore them). We got nems in the Rue Mouffetard, at a traiteur near the Jardin Luxembroug, all over the city! Eat them -- or whatever you choose -- on a bench in a park or on one of the ponts, in the Parc Monceau (one of the few parks where the pelousse isn't interdit!), on the Promenade Plantee (a joy to walk with a child, and if you happen to have a scooter or rollerskates with you, all the better).

I'm interested in the experience of those who went to Altitude 95 -- insanely expensive?

thanks,

Anne


Anne

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Resurrecting this thread...

I am taking my almost eight-year-old daughter to Paris in mid-May for five days. Breakfast is taken care of, and we're thinking of foraging picnic lunches, but I would gratefully accept some dinner suggestions. We're staying the 7th, right around the corner from Rue Cler, and will most likely try to have our evening meal not too far away from the hotel.

Le Café du Marche is on my list, and Emma would like to eat at one of the places in the Eiffel Tower (probably Altitude 95, as I am not sure she's ready for Jules Verne) She's a quiet kid, very accustomed to eating in restaurants, and would prefer salad and fish to American-style "kid food."

ETA: this is the first trip to Paris for both of us. :smile:


Edited by hjshorter (log)

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Resurrecting this thread...

I am taking my almost eight-year-old daughter to Paris in mid-May for five days.  Breakfast is taken care of, and we're thinking of foraging picnic lunches, but I would gratefully accept some dinner suggestions.  We're staying the 7th, right around the corner from Rue Cler, and will most likely try to have our evening meal not too far away from the hotel.

Thank you for recyling rather than starting a new thread. You may already have checked, but we have several compendia of existing threads that may help, one on the 7th, one on eating with kids, one on picnics and our Index by Arr's with reviews since January 2006.
Le Café du Marche is on my list, and Emma would like to eat at one of the places in the Eiffel Tower (probably Altitude 95, as I am not sure she's ready for Jules Verne)  She's a quiet kid, very accustomed to eating in restaurants, and would prefer salad and fish to American-style "kid food."
I hope you'll report back on this because by then Ducasse et Cie should have taken over the Tower's food.
ETA:  this is the first trip to Paris for both of us.  :smile:

Well it's a great time of year and you'll have a ball - guaranteed.


John Talbott

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Thanks so much! I had found the threads on the 7th, and the other by arrondisement, but had missed the eating with kids compendium.

I will be faxing a reservation request to Alt 95. The Tower website is remarkably devoid of menus, reservation rules (30 days before?), etc. I will certainly report back, provided we get in. :smile:


Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Lucky parents.

My kids are picky even in the U.S., even though they're way older than 9. Thank goodness for steak frites and pizza au four du bois. Of course, they're also olf enough to leave at the hotel if I want to get all Escoffier on them with starched tablecloths and rare funguses. (And, they're getting better)

I popped my meager suggestions onto John's thread on the 7th.


I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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I'm popping this up because now the shoe is on the other foot; Colette and I are bringing our two 10 year olds over in 2 weeks and I'm not sure we've ever hosted kids in that age group before.

I've already thought of the Breizh Cafe + Le Souffle but I welcome others opinions. They are just getting adventuresome culinarywise and still are somewhat vegetarian/pasta/fruit/etc-oriented.

They've been here before but wherever we've been, chefs tend to go gaga and send out salami, chocolate mousse and so forth but they may be too old for such-like now.

By the way - no ethnic suggestions - pizzas, sushi, thai, curry, etc - not here - there's more than enough at home. (And frankly, better).


John Talbott

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You can take them to Guy Savoy for free :smile: I meant to save this and didn't, but I recently read a small blurb (maybe in metro) that children of a certain age will be treated like kings and eat for free at Guy Savoy. I will see if I can dig up what I read because the details are fuzzy now.


www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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You can take them to Guy Savoy for free  :smile:  I meant to save this and didn't, but I recently read a small blurb (maybe in metro) that children of a certain age will be treated like kings and eat for free at Guy Savoy.  I will see if I can dig up what I read because the details are fuzzy now.

Thanks. Did you mean the one that was March 3rd and is for 15-17 for the Mother Ship and 12-17 years for the "satelites," Chiberta, Bouquinistes + l'Atelier Maître Albert?

John Talbott

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John,

Pizza Chic, corner of Rue Mézières and Rue Cassette in the 6th. It's very pleasant with a wide variety of "gourmet" thin crust pizzas, salads, and decent wines by the glass.

Hugh

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John,

Pizza Chic, corner of Rue Mézières and Rue Cassette in the 6th. It's very pleasant with a wide variety of "gourmet" thin crust pizzas, salads, and decent wines by the glass.

Hugh

Thanks Hugh, but as I said above, they get enough "pizzas, sushi, thai, curry, etc" in the USA that we're trying to emphasize French French food.

Me too, by the way, which I why I rarely "digest" or report on non-French places here.


John Talbott

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Eating with kids (at least 10 year olds)

The past week Colette and I hosted our two 10 year old grandkids and while they’ve both been to France a couple of times before, it’s always been with their parents. So we learned something about: (1) their tastes and (2) finding places near destinations.

The Breizh Café was our choice the first day because I thought it would break them into the French resto scene easily. Unfortunately, they were really jet-lagged and sleepy, having watched movies all night on the plane, so one had just a green salad (which portion was most generous but whose dressing had no character) and the other a crepe with Valhrona cocolate, which was quite good. Colette didn’t rave about her galette with Forme d’Ambert, pine nuts, grapes, honey and salad but I loved mine with raclette and pork poitrine and an egg. We finished with a crepe with caramel sauce and ice cream that was yummy. The bill with wine and coffee = 70 €.

Day 2 we went to Bofinger at the recommendation of an American in Paris who was dazzled by it when she first came. We hadn’t been in 20 years but it looked unchanged. It had a children’s menu, priced at 12.50, and a formula at 18.50 €. They shared a salmon plate which was cooked en papillote while Colette had OK mackerel in a pallid mustard sauce and I an OK onion soup followed by a gigantic pig’s foot (little protein, however) with fries. The girls ended up with two balls of vanilla ice cream while Colette had the café gourmand and I plain coffee; both of which were perhaps the worst of the century. Our bill was 71.20 €.

The third day (a third brilliantly sunny, warm one) we trekked out to Versailles and while I’ve eaten at the Trois Marches under Gerard Vie, the Veranda with Gordon Ramsay, l’Angelique and several of the fungible places sprawling along the Avenue de St Cloud, Colette didn’t want to take the time required to leave the grounds once we’d seen the Petit Trianon, which had recently reopened in time for the Sarkozy/Bruni marriage. Looking at the options within the grounds, I chose La Flotille by the Grand Canal. It has a lot, a lot, of covers and a huge menu and the kids quickly settled on and devoured all their chicken nuggets and some of their fries and salad. Colette meanwhile had a tolerable salade Nicoise with rice and I a not-terribly-interesting saucisse d’Auvergne, ditto fries and salad. The bill with wine and coffee was 77.20 €. A footnote. While Colette and the girls toured the palace I went for a coffee: just opposite the toilets, near the group entrance to the Chateau, is a café/tea salon/resto called the Café d’Orleans, where I plotzed for an hour. It’s not at all bad, uncrowded, good service and very bright.

Not far from the museum strip along the Avenue President Wilson is Noura, where we often get take-out desserts but haven’t eaten a real meal at in a few decades. Lately it’s been written up quite negatively and now I see why. While the welcome was welcoming, the olives and pepper amuse-bouches good and menu appealing, the dishes were uneven. The ladies started with what were called pizzas in both French and English, but consisted of a piece of pita cut in 4, with finely chopped meat and spices on top. One ate a 1/4th, the other 3/4ths but I finished them all and thought that they were the hit of the meal. Colette had three brochettes; one of lamb was perfectly undercooked, good product and terrific, the chicken one was OK and scarfed up by the girls but the beef brochette was terribly tough and unappealing to all. Likewise my beef schwarma was similar – just awful product, badly prepared with not enough spice to make it at all edible. We had no dessert there but still took some home for dinner (and they were terrific). With wine, 2 starters, 2 mains and 2 coffees our bill was 94.25 €, easily the worst price-quality ratio yet.

Sunday was our day for Lao Lane Xang 2 (which we’ve been frequenting lately). Like Ze Kitchen Galerie and Spring, I’m sure I’m getting a bit boring bragging about it. We reserved for 12h15 but were unexpectedly delayed and showed up at 13h50. There was a line inside and outside and I had a list of ten other “fall-backs” in the area and the Leon of Brussels nearby if I failed to plead my case successfully before the court. We entered; I pulled on my sparse forelock; “I’m a bit late, due to unforeseen circumstances” (in French; “Ahhh, je suis desolé…..ahhhh”), he “A bit late, I’d say very late” with a big smile, but here’s your table – past the legions of locals spilling out the door. Who says the French are rude, don’t stand up for old folk on the Metro, push in front in lines, and shove in front of you in watching videos?; not me. We ordered two brochettes of chicken for the kids (which we would never have ordered save for Christopher Haatuft, the Norwegian Chef, in January, who raved about them – he was right!) Also wonderful were: the pork caramel (not a true descriptor) with lemon grass; mussels with hot (not really by our standards) sauce, and lacquered duck with bok choy (also supposedly “hot”.) Colette liked her tapioca called coco and banana, the kids were fine with ices, but I thought my assortment of four Thai desserts was splendid. Bill (with wine and 2 coffees) 103.20 €.

Monday, now a cruel day for lunch restos in Paris, Le Soufflé was on our route in the 1st and a suggestion by two real Parisian critics for an ideal kids’ place. We entered to a bursting-full place and were treated like royalty. The kids and Colette had the Express Menu (25 €) that included wine or water and a starter and dessert soufflé as well as a very big, good salad. I ordered the Tout Soufflé menu for 31 €. All in all, we tried the salmon, Henri IV, forest, boar, apples with calva, chocolate, pistachio and raspberry ones. With two awful coffees, wine and a full bottle of Evian, our bill was 124 €. An extra point goes for the Beethoven Piano Concerto playing in the bathroom.

The last time we had the brood here, just before Colette and I arrived in Paris, they went to a Leon de Bruxelles and all loved it, so the Les Halles location was smack in the middle of our itinerary today and I took the two girls while Colette dealt with plumbing problems (as in tuyaux not urologie). We all three had the lunch menu with a nice mixed salad to begin. Then they had the mussels and penne and I had the fish (nice crisp cod I believe) and frites; we thus sampled pretty much the core of their offerings. The kids then had ice cream and sorbets and I the crème caramel, all of which were finished with pleasure. The bill with wine, soft-drinks and one coffee was 61.60 €.


John Talbott

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THE 9 YEAR OLD IS NOW 15 AND HAS A 7 1/2 YEAR OLD BROTHER...

John,

Imagine both my surprise and delight to find my original thread here along with yours added. It sounds as if you had a marvelous time with your grandkids...and I love your suggestions...especially Breizh Cafe (which I'd be interested with or without kids...) and Le Souffle.

After too many years...I will be returning to Paris towards the end of March with my husband, my now 15 year old daughter and will be 7 1/2 year old son in tow. We are renting an apartment for one week through Paris for Rent in the 3rd...Metro-Arts et Metiers, a bit to the north of the Pomipidou -5 minutes or so.

I am thrilled to have the kitchen...it will be great to be able to make coffee, get some bread and make tartines, etc. We'll probably eat some dinners in as well-purchasing from the markets...(which will not only be fun for me...but I think great for the kids to see...) but make lunch the main meal of the day usually.

I have copies of both Edible Adventures in Paris and Hungry for Paris sitting here in front of me...and I'm going to read your 2009 reviews.

My daughter will eat anything save offal and my son is really very good for a 7 1/2 year old...not only is he pleasant and somewhat mellow...he will happily eat a steak, a piece of fish, and so as long as we don't do anything terrifically exotic-although he likes couscous-I'd like to do Morrocan (he also like sushi but we can too easily do that at home)...he'll be good at most of the places I'd choose...(I'm not sure we can do Ze Kitchen Galerie-which I'd have love to have tried..we'll see-I'll have to look again...)

Anyhow while I'm looking up to make a short list of places I'd like us to try...obviously no three stars...I'd love it if someone might have some good suggestions for markets and bakeries in the 3rd-or relatively near we are staying...

Thanks so much,

Gabrielle


Edited by Gabrielle (log)

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As usual, I come to threads about a century late.

For all visitors who are in Paris with children now, here are 3 fun things to do:

- the skating rink in front of the city hall (Hotel de Ville),

- the "equestrian ballet" performance at the breathtaking Grandes Ecuries in Chantilly. Oops, the performance ends on Jan 3. Remember next year.

- get a galette des rois from a good bakery. Eat it heated. Whoever bites into the "fève" gets to wear the colorful paper crown that comes with the galette. This is a January tradition which Parisians, young or less young, look forward to all year.

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I know I should respond with resto suggestions but I take my lead from John.

I am surprised no one mentioned the Jardin d'Acclamation in the Bois de Boulogne. Metro Sablons or take the "little" train from/to Porte Maillot.

This is a great amusement park with nostalgic rides, pony rides and a little zoo too!

Great for kids. There are other interesting things in the Bois as well.

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Sail a mini sail boat in the Jardin du Luxembourg pond. I do it every time and I'm an adult. The kids (and the adults) look at me like I'm mad. But I love it. My favorite part is giving some young child my stick to push the boat, when their parents haven't chosen to allow them to rent the boat for a half hour. They are thrilled, and it gives me a big thrill to see their enjoyment!


Philly Francophiles

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