Despite reassurances to the contrary, I had a lot of trepidation about eating out in Paris with my children. Although we weren't in Paris long, I thought it might be helpful to other parents if I posted about a few of our experiences from a parent's perspective at a couple of popular Parisian restaurants.
L'Ami Jean - If I had a negative image of how Parisian restaurants would treat children, it was obliterated by our experience here. The staff couldn't have been more welcoming - the waiter joked with our kids, even briefly picked up some cards they were playing with and asked to be dealt in. They created absolutely delicious smaller chicken dinners for our children at very affordable cost; the mashed potatoes are the first version my daughter has ever enjoyed. When my daughter peered over to watch the chef work, he looked up at her and smiled. The food was outstanding - my husband still talks about the mackerel appetizer and the peppercorns in his braised beef. One of the most welcoming dining experiences with our kids in Europe. I would go back, and highly recommend it to other parents.
Pirouette - They didn't change the menu but made appropriate recommendations for the kids. They also seated us in an area away from other guests, which I appreciated. While the food was good, I have to admit I didn't enjoy my prix fixe lunch as much as my husband did.
Les Papilles - I was so excited to eat here, but it was a disappointment. The first course, a cream of celery soup, was fantastic, but none of us were wowed either by the main course or the very sweet dessert. I cannot remember what was served, and honestly neither course was very memorable. Also, parents should be aware that the restaurant makes no accommodations for kids - they had to order the same full menu we did. As a result, a fair amount of food was wasted and the total cost of our dinner was quite high. I understand given how small they are that they need to generate a certain amount of revenue, but as a result it is not a good value for families.