Dear Parisian CHers,
As part of a european holiday, we're travelling to paris for 5 nights (4 days). I've been to paris about half a dozen times, but this will be my wife's first trip, so we will be doing the usual touristy stuff -- the louvre, eiffel tower, boat trip etc, along with some nice walks in the marais and so on. We'll be there first week of May, so weather might be starting to warm up a bit.
We both love food and willing to try anything, albeit our budget is far more modest than our stomachs and eyes. Usually, when we travelled pre-daughter or when she was <1 year, we would have mostly very simple/modest food, and one or two more wonderful meals -- which would cost the same as eating mediocre food at every meal. But given she's now 21 mo, and far more feisty, long drawn out meals are not really feasible. She managed a two hour dinner yesterday evening in a mid-priced oyster/seafood place, but couldn't keep still the entire time -- which was fine given the environment, but may rule out more formal places.
Although I've been to paris a number of times -- it was mostly in my impecunious youth and also visiting some (expat) relatives -- so I'm not so familiar with the dining scene. My french 20 years ago was OKish, never even approaching fluency, but disuse over the years has meant I can read a menu, say a few pleasantries and that's about it. My wife cannot speak french, but we are happy to go to non-tourist hang-outs, if they'll have us!
Our hotel is centrally located in the 1er, we're happy to take the metro for a fine meal, but don't want to go to the other end of Paris just to eat on this occasion, since we will need to do some sightseeing, at a measured (toddler) pace. We'll only have a 2 or 3 dinners free, since we'll see my relatives aswell, but lunches are mostly likely to be free. We are teetotallers.
I've sorted out a few things, eating-wise e.g. ice-cream at Berthillon, caramels at genin, but they're mostly in the snack/sweet scale of things. Would appreciate some help in planning 2 or 3 decent lunches or dinners.
I would love to consider having lunch at the Cinq or something like that (the lunch price would be ceiling of our budget for any meal), but am worried with young daughter, that's not a good idea. Are there more casual spots (at commensurately lower price) that might suit us better, and nearish the tourist trail?
Your help is most kindly appreciated.