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A very specific challenge regarding ambiance for my dear parents - Paris


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A very specific challenge regarding ambiance for my dear parents - Paris

pastrychefy | Apr 26, 2013 08:24 PM

My parents (both in their late sixties) have charged me with the task of finding them places to eat while they are in Paris for five nights in September. They are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary and will be staying at the Park Hyatt Vendome. They are mobile but would prefer places within 10-15 minutes walk of a metro stop.

Here's where the challenge comes in. My parents are retired public school teachers who have devoted themselves to educating developmentally delayed children and are good, kind, and down to earth people. (I mention this to butter you up for what comes next.) That said, they get VERY nervous in new situations and feel easily slighted when someone is brusque with them. A weird look from a waiter can ruin their meal. (I wish they had thicker skins, but they are who they are. And I love them.) While it's been their dream to go to France, they are extremely worried about encountering "rude" people in Paris. Of course, I've told them that Parisians are some of the kindest, funniest, and most charming people in the world and as a whole no "ruder" than any other cross-section of a city, big or small. (I've even told them multiple times about how a pharmacist in Paris once spent 30 minutes trying to figure out why my husband's left ear hurt.) But they still insist on being anxious about the situation.

With that in mind, can Chowhounds please recommend places where the host is warm and inviting, the service friendly and gregarious, and the overall atmosphere convivial and welcoming? When my parents recall their favorite meals, they always mention things like the owner chatted us up and then came to our table! the waiter laughed at dad's jokes! the waiter flirted with mom! they asked us to come the next night! they gave us a free dessert! The actual food for them is secondary. So long as it's French, tasty, and hot, they'll be happy. It's ambiance that matters. (And, they are not into stuffy, fancy places at all, however solicitous the service might be.)

If you sense a lot of hand wringing in this post, you're right! My dad's health is not great and this might very well be their last trip abroad. I want them to have fond memories of their trip to Paris. I appreciate all of your help.

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