Hi Everyone -
My family of four and our friends, another family or four, will be spending several days together in Paris around Christmas this year. We are going to be there beginning on Friday, December 23 until Monday, December 26. We have two boys, twins age 15, and our friends have two boys, age 15 and 13.
All of the kids are experienced travelers and enjoy good food. In the past, we have found that with the kids we have the best luck with places that serve great food but are more fast-paced and casual than a typical haute cuisine, three-star restaurant (we have frequently done well at places that serve small plates for example). Toward that end, we have booked a table at L'Atelier du Joel Robuchon Etoile for dinner on Christmas Day. All of the adults in the two families have been to other L'Ateliers in the past and loved them and we think this will work well with the kids.
However, I am struggling with where to book for Friday, December 23 and Saturday, December 24. We have multiple challenges -- a large party, the weekend and Christmas Eve. I have read quite a few of Chowhound posts on this topic and know that hotel restaurants are often a good bet at this time of year and, as to the smaller places, one needs to call in advance to find out whether they plan to be open around the holidays. Unfortunately, most of the best hotel restaurants tend to be more formal and elaborate and may not be a good match for our group with all of the boys. So I am focusing more on smaller bistros with great food. I am thinking that it would be fun to try a more traditonal bistro one night and then one with more creative cooking the other night (not wedded to this, however). The adults all love wine as well so a good wine list is important.
With apologies for that long introduction, the places I am considering for Friday and Saturday night are as follows:
-- Frenchie (I believe only open on Friday, not Saturday?)
-- Josephine Chez Dumonet (also only open on Friday?)
-- Les Papilles
-- Chez L'Ami Jean
I would really appreciate any thoughts on the above places given the size and composition of our group and the time of year. I'd also love any thoughts on any other places we should consider.
Thanks so much for all of your help.