My family will be in Paris for a week in mid-June, followed by a week in Brittany and two final days in Paris before returning to the U.S. I've pored over old posts, read John Talbott's blog zealously, and created a giant document containing past suggestions -- and I'm feeling less and less certain about where to eat. I wanted to share some details of our trip and see if any of you have thoughts you're willing to share, whether about specific restaurants or guiding principles.
My husband and I have been to Paris together before (ten years ago, when we were on grad student/starving artist budgets), and we will certainly visit again. For this trip, our nearly-8-year-old daughter will be with us. Since my husband and I have seen most of the tourist sites on past visits, our plan is to slow things down, revisiting museums we love and doing activities we think our daughter will enjoy. So we'll be returning to the Louvre (a greatly condensed visit), Musée d'Orsay, and Musée Delacroix, but also taking a Seine cruise, seeing the Eiffel Tower, and spending more time in parks and playgrounds than we would otherwise. Oh, and we are staying very much in the tourist bubble (an apartment on the Île Saint-Louis, plus two nights in a hotel in the 3rd).
Also worth noting: for the past six years, we have lived in a rural town that's essentially a food desert. Our daughter is comfortable and well-behaved in restaurants because she's often with us when we travel, and we're desperate for good food when we travel. To give you a sense of our tastes, three of our favorite restaurants in the U.S. are Jose Andres' Bazaar Mar in Miami (playful, inventive seafood), Gunshow in Atlanta (playful and inventive, with dishes brought out by the chef who conceived and made them), and Craft in NYC (this is our daughter's favorite). We are also very happy munching on good bread and charcuterie. We prefer warmer, unfussy service.
One thing I'm trying to figure out is how *many* formal meals to book versus wine bars/cheese and charcuterie/simple meals at our apartment. (Our daughter is well-behaved, but she's still seven and a half.) I'm thinking our larger/more formal meals will be best at lunch. I would love to do a tasting menu, but that may be pushing my luck.
Here are a few of the many appealing restaurants I've collected in my notes:
L’Arcane and Condesa (these both sound incredible, but I’m not sure if they’d be good choices given our young diner)
Ze Kitchen Galerie (the chef's other restaurants interest me as well)
Tomy Gousette's restaurants
L'Oiseau Blanc (based on Parnassien ‘s recommendations; the lunch menu may be more money than I’d like to spend, but the photos of the view are wowing me)
Cafe de la Nouvelle Mairie near the Pantheon (rec from a friend who lived nearby)
Lunch near Louvre:
Baltard au Louvre
La Bourse et La Vie
Chez la Vieille
Lunch near Eiffel Tower:
Café Constant (the website says no reservations, but there is a button to reserve online on TripAdvisor--has the policy changed?)
Wine Bars/Small Plates
La Mary Celeste
Do any of these seem like particularly good or bad bets for us, given that we'll be traveling with our daughter?
Thank you for any insights you're willing to share!
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