What a joy to introduce the kids to Paris and its food. We wanted them to try a range of places--Alsation brasserie, Bretagne creperie, haute cuisine, classic bistro... Almost everything went beautifully--
Jules Verne: this was our major splurge. We had lunch there, which is a good deal less expensive than dinner, though still quite pricey. Still, for an introduction to haute cuisine, it was exactly as we had hoped. Patricia Wells describes the place as "celebratory" and this captures it. It's on the second stage of the Eiffel Tower (it has its own private elevator), and we sat by the window. The room is sleek and minimalist, but still feels warm and welcoming. The service made us feel positively pampered. The kids loved all the rituals--the simultaneous lifting of the silver domes, the cheese course, the petit fours, etc. The food was really divine.
La Regalade (14th): This was a more challenging experience for the kids, but well worth it. There were several Parisian children there that night, all of whom did just fine, but the place isn't what I'd call "kid friendly." Nevertheless, the food was sensational, and the boys not only tried but loved the pate de campagne, the boudin with mashed potatoes, and other foods beyond their normal ambit, as well as lamb, beef stew, creme caramel and other more familiar items.
La Ferme St Hubert (21 Rue Vignon, 8th--near Place de Madeleine) A delightful "all fromage" experience. A tiny, cozy place with raclette, gorgonzola souffle, feuilletes with goat cheese (to die for), potatoes with reblechon and bacon, fondue, and even a couple of non cheese items like sausage, salad and steak.
Rotisserie du Beaujolais (5th, across from Tour d'Argent, with same chef) A really fun place, with lots of good classic food--escargot, veal stew, steak frites. Only disappointment was the rotisserie chicken, which was a pretty big disappointment!
Le Timgad--21 Rue Brunel, 17th. This Morrocan place was a return trip for me, and although the place was as magical looking as I remembered (carved ivory walls, lots of nice little tableside rituals) the tagine simply wasn't as good as I'd remembered. Perhaps that is why the place is not in the most recent version of Patricia Wells.
Brasserie de Li'lle St Louis--Great location, and a wonderful cafe sitting experience. The food was just fine, but nothing at all out of the ordinary, and most of the people sitting nearby were Americans.
Other pleasures--Berthillon, of course. I thought the chocolate with pieces of bitter orange was the best of all. Angelina--the hot chocolate really is incredible--made from melted chocolate bars. And crepes everywhere, but we loved a little Bretagne crepe place on Rue Montparnesse called Jocelyn, where the charming proprieter served delicious buckwheat crepes accompanied by a traditional Bretagne hard cider.