We (husband, 8 yr old & I) arrive in Paris on Tuesday morning (YIPPEE!), staying in an apartment on the Place des Vosges. I'm hoping you'll tell me if I'm making any mistakes with my dinner list and maybe offer some lunch advice. Most of the dinners are with our son and I'm not sure where he'll be on the jet lagged/tired/cranky scale, so we're leaning generally towards restaurants near the apartment and with menus that let him get exposed to good French food while remaining accessible.
Restaurant dinners with our son: Chez Janou, Cafe des Musees, Bistro L'Oulette
Possible dinner just the two of us, going for something nice and where we're less inclined to take a child, but not super serious and high end as we already have reservations at Le Grande Cascade for one night: Restaurant L'Oulette or Violon de Ingres
We'll have a picnic in the apartment a couple of nights (our first night there and 12/24). My current plan is to take a walk up to Rue de Bretagne and go to Jouannault for cheese. I know there are lots of food stores on that street. Are there any traiteurs, charcuteries or other fromageries there or on the way up from Place des Vosges that you would particularly recommend?
Dinner on 12/25: I looked over John Talbott's list of places likely to be open Christmas day and based on previous research, the ones that jumped out are L'Ambassade d'Auvergne, Cafe Constant and Les Cocottes. I will make some calls once we get to Paris and see who is actually open on 12/25. I know that the last 2 restaurants don't take reservations. Any guess as to what the wait might be like on the early side for dinner on that day? I'm hoping that everyone would be home with their families, but there's always the possibility that there will be plenty of tourists and plenty of locals who have had enough time at home.
What do you think, given our constraints?
Lunch is a whole other problem. I've tried to do my research here and in guide books, but the recommendations seem to be for more serious meals than we're really looking for. What we really want is a cafe at or near whatever museum or site we'll be at. We're thinking more along the lines of sandwich, soup or omelet than anything more involved. Cosi or Le Pain Quotidien would the right sort of things if I didn't have one of each less than 10 minutes from home. So I'm thinking less international chain and more actual local cafe. But, of course, those can vary in quality just like anything else and we'd still like it to taste good. I realize that once we get to the heavily touristed areas this gets harder. That was a long introduction to the lunch problem. So, any thoughts on a quick, casual. low key lunch in or near any of the following: Musee d'Orsay, Louvre, Branly, Notre Dame, Cluny or the Grand Palais? How are the museum cafes? (If it helps, Cafe Marly appears to be too much. Ideally, we like to spend less on lunch. It certainly seems too chic. I don't want to have to make a reservation.)
How's the lunch food at Angelina? Or should we just stick to hot chocolate and pastries?