We'll be in Paris in December with our 8 year old. We very, very rarely eat in the sort of chain restaurants that people often think of when they think family friendly. We take him to everything from very casual to pretty nice restaurants. Not the fanciest, but the sort of place where adults put on something nicer than jeans to have a nice meal. (If by any chance someone is from the Westchester Cnty area, we wouldn't take him to X2O, but have taken him successfully to Le Provencal in Mamaroneck and Barcelona in Greenwich.)
We make it work by:
-going on the early side, somewhere around 6 PM, give or take
-ordering off the children's menu, not ordering him a separate dish and just giving him some of what we're eating or, worst comes to worst, getting him a plain plate of pasta and asking for some olive oil and salt to put on it, because he'll always eat that
-having raised a child who knows how to behave in a nice restaurant
That has all worked out just fine for us here in the NYC suburbs, in NYC and on vacation in various places around the US and in Toronto.
We won't eat out with him every night. Some nights we'll all stay in and some nights we'll get a babysitter, but it would be nice to take him out for dinner a few times. So. Paris, where I'm under the vague (and perhaps incorrect) impression that kids don't go out to dinner in restaurants all that much.
We'll be staying in the Marais and thinking way back to our honeymoon 15 years ago, I think Chez Janou is the sort of place we'd want to take him: good food, fairly casual, IIRC.
I know the restaurants don't really open until 7. That's ok, we'll put him on a schedule that allows for 7 PM restaurant meals.
How does a restaurant about Chez Janou feel about seeing a young child at dinner? Is everyone going to be happier if we take him to a different sort of restaurant or just don't take him out to dinner? If a Chez Janou type place doesn't work, what does?
I understand that we're not likely to find children's menus and that's not a problem at all. Any objections to just giving us a plate and letting us give him some of what we're eating? Or to just ordering an entree for him? Assuming there's pasta on the menu, would we give offense if we ask for a plain plate of pasta, a little olive oil and some salt?
Any other tips?