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Lunch With Children in Paris - 3 1/2 & 6


Shaya
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We are travelling to France with our two small children, ages 3 1/2 and 6. We leave this coming Friday.

I would appreciate your input regarding our lunchtime meals. We are staying with friends who live in Clamart, so I imagine lunches will be at restaurants in the city, and dinners back home with our friends.

Therefore lunch will be my one opportunity to experience the wonderful food of the city. At the same time we have the constraint of having small children. We do not frequent "family" style restaurants or chains, so they are accustomed to eating out at decent restaurants; that said, I wouldn't want to put them in an uncomfortable situation where the place is hushed and filled with businessmen.

I have read through the many threads on the forum, and am aware of which restos are highly recommended - but am still somewhat left with the question of..."but would they be open to children". So I'm seeking more insight and wisdom from you experts! I'm looking for traditional French food, one modern French would be nice, and defintely not fusion.

Here are the areas where we plan to be:

(1) 8th /1st - Rue de Rivoli, around the Tuileries/Louvre

Chez Flottes has come up on other threads but overall seems pricey and mediocre; is this still the case?

(2) 4th - Pompidou in the morning, then Ile de la Cite in the afternoon

While it would be convenient to eat on l'Ile de la Cite, the restaurants there (eg.. Mon Vieil Ami) sound touristy and mediocre; is there a great lunch spot in between the two places?

(3) 6th/7th - Jardin du Luxembourg; plan to go to Pierre Herme for dessert, so lunch in the area would be ideal

Le Timbre looks great - but is it too small to go with children?

Le Comptoir also looks good, but how likely are we to get a table?

(4) 7th - Morning at Musee Rodin, Michael Chaudun for dessert; Rue Cler

Au Petit Tonneau looks like a good pick for us

Cafe Constant also looks like a good pick

Chez L'Ami Jean?

Cafe du Marche if we head straight to Rue Cler for lunch

(5) As a bonus my husband and I may get out for one dinner alone. Any ideas for an adult dinner near Clamart?

Le Troquet and Le Beurre Noisette seem within reasonable distance?

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We had a fantastic lunch at L'Astrance with our then 6yo who loved it. Unless your younger one is unusually well-behaved for the age, I'm not sure how comfortable you would be though. In any event, wherever you choose, if it is an elegant restaurant I would suggest go very early or very late when it is less busy.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Chez Flottes is cheap (relative to the area, that is, and we have never had a poor meal there....try the croque sandwiches; they are superb!) we usually eat in the bar area with the locals. Just across the street from the Concorde metro and English bookstore....very convenient. And try the Aligot....if the kids like mashed potatoes, this is the very best side dish, albeit sinfull. The web site should set your mind to ease re pricing.

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Mon Vieil Ami is quite a nice restaurant, and although there will be other Americans there, I would not call it touristy. It's more a casual fine dining place. I suspect they'll welcome your kids.

Le Timbre is tiny tiny tiny. A kid couldn't get up from their seat on the banquette unless someone pulled the table out as there's at most an inch between small tables.

Cafe du Marche on Le Cler is a typical casual cafe with a menu ranging from salads to risotto and great sandwiches. It might be a great place for kids especially if the weather is good because you can eat outside and sonce Rue Cler is a pedestrian street, the kids can wander around a bit near your table without worry. The food is good but definitely not on the fine dining side.

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We are travelling to France with our two small children, ages 3 1/2 and 6.  We leave this coming Friday.

I have read through the many threads on the forum, and am aware of which restos are highly recommended - but am still somewhat left with the question of..."but would they be open to children". 

Although I rarely see children in restaurants in Paris in the evening, I think most most places are pretty open to children for lunch and wouldn't think twice about any of the places you mentionned.

www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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Thanks for your comments, Hugh and OAKGLEN. I would say le Timbre is out.

Felice, that's good to hear.

John, yes, thatnks to all your wonderful indexes I was able to research many different places come up with the places I have listed here.

Doc, I love the idea of taking the kids to a fine dining place; at an off-time, of course. I will have to see how everyone handles the jet-lag when we get there; it could make for short fuses for everyone!

What would be your number one pick for an adult dinner near Clamart?

Is there no other suggestion for the Louvre or Pompidou areas?

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I spent a week in Paris this time last year with my two children. They're older than yours, but I wouldn't have felt the least bit uncomfortable with well-behaved younger children at any of the restaurants listed in the thread I've linked to above. Eating your "big" meal in the middle of the day is a great option with kids.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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If the weather is good, there's nothing better than going to some great charcuterie, a boulangerie, and a wine store, and buying a gourmet lunch to eat sitting on chairs in the Tuleries Garden in front of the Louvre while the kids grab a bite, run around, and maybe sail a rented boat.

Edited by hughw (log)
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Carlsbad, thanks for the recommendation. I wasn't sure about the place when I first read about it, but it looks like a definite one to put on the list.

Therese, thanks for all the reporting you did on your trip. I made good use of it, and will read it again to see what I might have missed.

SuzySushi Dame Tartine looks like a good option for when I'm not in the mood for a big lunch.

Hugh, I really hope the weather is so good that we can picnic, but looking at the weather in Paris lately, it doesn't look likely...

Question, for you all, do you think Le Comptoir is too cramped and slow in service for the kids? I think I could use another idea for the area around the Jardin du Luxembourg, if anyone has one. Thanks.

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Angelinas near the jardins tuilieres is great for coffee and they do the best hot chocolate (literally melted chocolate and cream) in town. If you are going to Les Halles then try au pied du cochon, we went there en famille and the younger ones although slightly wary at first of the specailaity (pigs trotters stuffed with foie gras) loved it and the staff were very charming too. Real bustling bistro so kids would be fine there.

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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Thanks, Nikkib, Au Pied de Cochon looks really good. I would love a huge platter of seafood. My father would always order these gleaming ice platters when we were in Paris. They always mesmerized me. Is a reservation necessary for lunch, do you know?

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Thanks for your comments, Hugh and OAKGLEN.  I would say le Timbre is out. 

Felice, that's good to hear.

Is there no other suggestion for the Louvre or Pompidou areas?

I second Felice's comment about the infrequency of seeing kids at dinner, but seems to be no problem at lunch. Every Saturday I meet a friend with her 14 month old for lunch and there never seems to be a problem with them rearranging tables, chairs etc, to move the stroller in and make space for the little guy.

For eating around the Pompidou, what about walking towards the 4th for falafel? Some place like Chez Marianne 2, Rue des Hospitalières-Saint Gervais, or any of the little restaurants around there. (maybe someone else has another recommendation for a good falafel place in the area? I'd be interested to hear what others think!) It's not high-end, but I really enjoy it and usually recommend it to friends for lunch who are visiting the Pompidou. Plus, that's just a fun area to walk around and check out all the cafes, shops, bars, etc.

Edited by Forest (log)

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@52martinis

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Thanks, Nikkib, Au Pied de Cochon looks really good.  I would love a huge platter of seafood.  My father would always order these gleaming ice platters when we were in Paris.  They always mesmerized me.  Is a reservation necessary for lunch, do you know?

Might be a good idea just to be on the safe side but it is quite a large restaurant and can't see them being completely full - i have been in before without a reservation but that was midweek. They also have a vegetarian menu is you ask for it that might be quite child friendly, and the crepes suzette are made table side which is quite a show! Have a great time, i'm very jealous now :smile:

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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Thanks to all of you I've refined my plans and narrowed down my list of places to eat. :smile:

Can anyone tell me something about Fish La Boissonnerie? Would it be a place to take the kids? And if so, is anyone aware of the menu - is it all fish and seafood or does it have something that would appeal to my little guy (who is not a fish eater)?

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I didn't want to duplicate what I've posted already but I've eaten with kids, grandkids, neighbor's kids etc from 3 months old to 46 yo in Paris for 40+ years. My rules are to: go where you want to, eat what you want to, expect adult behavior of adults, waitstaff and kids, bring lots of crayons, stickers, jump-ropes, game boys, text messagers, depending on ages and levels of ADD/ADHD, and have fun. French waitfolk are much maligned for many reasons; to the contrary, I've found them to be terrific with kids, bringing over lots of salami (not on any menu), ice cream (ditto) and charm.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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I didn't want to duplicate what I've posted already but I've eaten with kids, grandkids, neighbor's kids etc from 3 months old to 46 yo in Paris for 40+ years.  My rules are to: go where you want to, eat what you want to, expect adult behavior of adults, waitstaff and kids, bring lots of crayons, stickers, jump-ropes, game boys, text messagers, depending on ages and levels of ADD/ADHD, and have fun.  French waitfolk are much maligned for many reasons; to the contrary, I've found them to be terrific with kids, bringing over lots of salami (not on any menu), ice cream (ditto) and charm.

amen to all of that

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I didn't want to duplicate what I've posted already but I've eaten with kids, grandkids, neighbor's kids etc from 3 months old to 46 yo in Paris for 40+ years.  My rules are to: go where you want to, eat what you want to, expect adult behavior of adults, waitstaff and kids, bring lots of crayons, stickers, jump-ropes, game boys, text messagers, depending on ages and levels of ADD/ADHD, and have fun.  French waitfolk are much maligned for many reasons; to the contrary, I've found them to be terrific with kids, bringing over lots of salami (not on any menu), ice cream (ditto) and charm.

Thank you John. My shoulders have just droppped about 6 inches!

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Can anyone tell me something about Fish La Boissonnerie?  Would it be a place to take the kids?  And if so, is anyone aware of the menu - is it all fish and seafood or does it have something that would appeal to my little guy (who is not a fish eater)?

Fish is definitely very welcoming of kids and will even make something special if you ask (I used to work there so I know :smile: ). The menu is mostly fish but they always have several choices that are non-fish including a pasta dish. They have a two and three-course menu and do not serve à la carte.

www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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