Dining in Paris-Another question

Jan 15th, 2008, 02:28 PM
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Dining in Paris-Another question

Reading some posts regarding dining... I have two teens (14 and 15)and we are going to Paris this summer.
Other than the definite musts, pastries and pain d chocolate and crepes, what are some good meals that are not too exotic for my teens and us too?
We are not too adventurous, but we are willing to try some parisian specialties!
Any recommendations?
girlonthego is offline  
Jan 15th, 2008, 03:11 PM
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I have had some very good meat and potatoes kind of meals...chicken and garlic mash, sole meuniere with baby potatoes,etc..Nice homemade soups, above the top deserts, homemade pates,etc...

Or, I;ve also had Morrocan, Italian,etc..

I think there is a perception that french meals are all fancy and different. I prefer to think that they are fresh, made with pride, oftenhave interesting sauces, and are something I long for every time I go.

It's a great opportunity to slowly introduce them to some of the same food as home, but prepared differently.

As an example, last time I was there I went to Chez Clement in the 6th.

www.chezclement.com (see a menu in english there)

I had:
At beginning plate with two pieces of nice cured sausage, then

Terrine Maison (meat pate,very good)
˝ Vittel

1/4 poulet fermier de Loué (farmer's chicken from Loue region), red label with thyme, creamy potatoes (tasty)

No veggies, just potatoes (good)

Glace (ice cream) and fruits


Glass of Bordeaux wine

Imagine going to a restaurant at home where they label the region where the chicken comes from. In France, it is supposedly the area with the best chicken. Cool.

At the Brasserie de l'Ile St Louis I had lunch on their "patio":

Faux Fillet au poivre avec frites (pepper steak with thin fries) allumette, very tasty 16E

Glass of beaujolais nouveau (Duboeuf)

Café crème
˝ Badoit

3 glaces – vanille, coco, praline

Great food, something anyone could love.

Michel_Paris is offline  
Jan 15th, 2008, 03:16 PM
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Hi G,

>Other than the definite musts, pastries and pain d chocolate and crepes, what are some good meals ...

You let your kids make a meal of pastries and pain d chocolate and crepes?

My very picky sister liked pizza, Chinese and Thai food, magret de canard (duck breast), ham and cheese sandwiches, steak and fries, chicken, lamb and most sausages.

> not too exotic for my teens and us too?

Other than organ meats, I think that you will find French cooking not very different from that at home, just better.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Jan 15th, 2008, 03:22 PM
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Thanks guys! My mother is an excellent cook and cooked many dishes from around the world. Her favorite was simple french cooking. She always commented that the french have the same type of food, just better sauces/gravys.
I am not a wild eater. I like the basic foods with some flair. I will avoid organs. I bought a french book on how to say the different foods. I will try and say the foods properly to avoid the organ meals!
I will look up that restaurant. Thanks. Any more?
girlonthego is offline  
Jan 15th, 2008, 03:57 PM
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We go to Paris at least once a year, often twice. We always reserve ahead for our dinners. You can spend just as much for a bad meal in Paris as you can for an excellent meal. We love dining out in France.

Here are a few of the restaurants we love:

Pre Verre 8, rue Thenard 75005 01 43 54 59 47 Ask for upstairs, main floor seating Metro Maubert Mutualite 26,50€ Well regarded by many.

Louis Vins 9 rue Montagne Ste Genevieve 75005 26€ A varied menu, some items very French NO CC

L’Ami Jean dinner
27 rue Malar 75007 Menu at 29 € Phone +33 (0) 1 47 05 86 89
Without a reservation you'll never get a table here!

Les Papilles
30, rue Gay-Lussac 75005 Tel :01 43 25 20 79 28.50€ menu This is a wine bar which serves a set menu for dinner. You choose a bottle of wine from their shelves.

Les Fables de la Fontaine 131 St. Dominique, 7th Tel : 01 44 18 37 55 1* Excellent fish restaurant.
Metro La Tour Maubourg

Cinq Mars 51, rue de Verneuil 7th Metro Rue du Bac, closed Saturday lunch and Sundays. Perfect “new” bistro, old looking (scraped stairs, exposed beams, old chairs) but with new touches. Excellent.

Au Bascou 38, rue Reaumur Metro” Arts et Metiers 01 42 72 69 25 Excellent Basque food

P’tit Troquet 28, rue Exposition Metro Ecole Mititaire 01 47 05 80 39 closed sat.lunch, Sunday and Monday lunch.
Bib G. 27€

Le Clos Des Gourmets Bib G. 33E menu Pretty yellow dining room, tables close together Closed Sunday and Monday.
16, ave Rapp

La Maison du Jardin, 27 rue de Vaugirard 75006 tele: 01 45 48 22 31 very good

Ze Kitchen Galerie 4, rue des Grands-Augustins Metro St.Michel [email protected] 33€ EXCELLENT reviews

These prices are from the last year or two. Dinner usually begins around 8 p.m., 7:30 at the earliest. Do reserve about a week prior. Egullet France has the most up to date information on Paris you can find.

Have a great trip! We'll be back in Paris in March and choosing our dinners is one of our favorite things to do there!

Images2 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2008, 03:59 PM
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girlonthego--I was in Paris last summer with our DD who is 16. We too ate at Chez Clement and had a nice meal. I did a trip report in July when we got back, which has all the places we ate listed. Do a search on my name for it. The funny thing is, DD was more adventuresome than my mother was What area are you staying in?
mms is offline  
Jan 15th, 2008, 05:58 PM
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Hi All and thanks! I am bookmarking for Images2's recommendations.

MMS:I will look up your old posts.
I am wondering if you listed your DD's favorite things to see and do? I should have checked before I replied.
We are going in June. We will only be three nights, four days Paris, two nights Munich and 8 nights touring Austria. My DH's Austria cousin is picking us up in Munich and we begin his tour of his country. My MIL is also meeting us in Munich and she is touring with us and her nephew as well. She is Austrian born and moved to America in the early 1960's.
This is our first trip and we are all very excited. My DH hasn't been to visit the relatives since he was 18 (that was a long time ago )
I went to Paris when I was 15 on a Highschool tour. So, it is practically all new for me as well.
We are staying at the Hilton Arc D Triomphe. We are using points. That saves us quite a bit of money. We are not big shoppers, but maybe will look to pick up that unique french item. We will most likely go to Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, most likely one museum, maybe a river Seine cruise? Dining out will be an adventure we all look forward to. I admit that I am nervous that none of us speaks any french. I know only the pleasantries. My DD1 is in her third year of Spanish, and DD2 is in her first year of German. I told them to try and use their new languages as people in Europe tend to speak several.
Sorry to ramble on. I am excited already. We were hoping to get tickets for the European cup in the lottery, but it did not happen.
girlonthego is offline  
Jan 15th, 2008, 06:06 PM
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mms: found your trip report, bookmarked and will have to read tomorrow!
girlonthego is offline  
Jan 15th, 2008, 06:38 PM
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find my trip report from last spring -- we were there with smaller kids, but may help you get a sense of some fun things to do.
(A Magical Paris vacation.... )

The food does 'look' different - so even with a simple grilled cheese, it may be different. I wouldn't kill myself to get them to try new foods, since even simple things may be different. Let them experiment with what they are comfortable with! (Do they try foods now? Or stick with what they know?)

Our worst case scenario was always baguettes and fruit... they were life-savers for my 5yo (incredibly picky).

Think about the museum pass - we used it to bop in and out of museums and since it was a 'fixed' expense (paid for once with that decision), we didn't mind spending 20 min. inside a museum and then bailing. We visited more areas b/c of it -

ABSOLUTELY make them climb to the top of Notre Dame! Still one of my favorite things to do...

have fun!

(oh yeah, we loved Fat Tire Bike Tours - )
surfmom is offline  
Jan 15th, 2008, 10:06 PM
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We've now taken our son (now 12) to Paris twice; once when he was 10, and then again this Spring (at the end of a trip to Spain and southwestern France).

Granted, he's a VERY adventurous eater, but even when he was 10, he had no problems in French restaurants or with French food. French restaurants are required to post their menus in front of the restaurant, so you can all look at the menus before you enter, to make sure there's something you would like to eat. Memorize names of organ meats that you definitely would NOT eat, as well as the more common main course items (chicken, beef, etc.)

Almost every restaurant will have steak - we reassured our son of that, telling him if there wasn't anything else on a menu, there would be that. You'll often see "steak frites" on the menu - that's steak with French fries.

One of my son's favorite items, found at more casual restaurants and cafes, is a croque monsieur - a fancy, tastier version of a grilled cheese sandwich. Homemade bread, with a slice of cheese and ham inside, then fried. A croque madame is that same item, but with a fried egg on top. He often had this for lunch.

Often, restaurants will have omelettes on their menus; even a number of different kinds.

In terms of what our son enjoyed seeing and doing: the towers of Notre Dame, Musee d'Orsay (the one museum he asked to return to on our second trip); the Pantheon (he's a big fan of Victor Hugo and the Curies, all of whom are buried there); eating crepes and macarons; the Eiffel Tower. We all loved to watch the cars drive round and round the Arc de Triomphe! On our recent trip, he wanted to go to the Pompidou Center (modern art), which he LOVED (us grownups did not love it). The highlight (at least for me) of his first visit was a boat-ride on the Seine on our first evening in Paris - his first view of the Eiffel Tower was at night, all lit up, from the boat. We took the Vedettes du Pont Neuf, which departs from the Pont Neuf.

Something that our son didn't like on our first visit, but liked on our last trip, were the local markets. The one on Rue Mouffetard, I think, is fun. Food stalls up and down the street, and you could buy enough for a picnic lunch. There are also smaller markets, like the one on (near?) Rue de Buci in the 6th Arrondisement. Picnic lunches provide good variety from sitting in restaurants all the time.

A fun lunch (or dinner) restaurant, which is not really French but Belgian, is Leon de Bruxelles. It's a chain of restaurants that serve primarily mussels. Not fancy or upscale, but a nice lunch that is a little faster-paced than other French restaurants (but it isn't fast food).

Before his first trip, we prepared our son by taking him to a local casual French restaurant (that's probably where he had his first croque monseiur). We also took him to a quite-formal restaurant at home, describing how it was similar (or not) to what dinners would be like in France. We love to eat, and tend to go to pretty nice places. Our son even enjoyed the formal dinners in France!

Another way to prepare your kids, and yourself, is to look up French restaurants and their menus at their websites - many Paris restaurants these days have their own websites. You can see what the restaurants look like, and check out the menus.

Lexma90 is online now  
Jan 15th, 2008, 10:25 PM
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My 7 and 10 yr olds really liked visitng the (what we call where I live) farmers markets.
THere is a good small but thick guide book available on the markets around paris, it also lists yummy food shops.
We had a lot of fun picking a market to go to the next morning, getting up, getting on the metro, and being there just as the market was opening to have crepes and Galletes and other yummy things for breakfast. We also got the fresh fruit, some cheese and sausage and perhaps bread.
The vendors sere very patient, nice and helpful. Figuring out the numbers they are saying (cost after they weighed the produce) is challenging, but well worth it.
I'm sure your Spanish and German speakers will do fine.

So with teens, they may not wake up as early as you will, but you could always run that delightful solo morning errand and bring back something for them to much as they struggle to awaken.

Sure do miss those galettes! Sigh.
Have one for me!
suz12 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2008, 10:28 PM
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I really love dining in Paris.

But, also enjoy the casual food in cafes - tartines (open faced sandwiches - vegetables/cheese/meat combinations popped under the broiler), the beautiful composed salads (with simple dressings I wish I could duplicate at home), "pizza" with interesting toppings (you won't find at the pizzeria at home).

Just take a look at the food being enjoyed by folks sitting at outdoor tables as you wander by. If it smells good and looks good, find a table! Menus with prices are always posted.
djkbooks is offline  
Jan 16th, 2008, 12:14 AM
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Hi G,

> I will avoid organs.

Oh, be adventurous.

Try ris de veau (sweet breads), rognons (kidneys), andouillete (tripe sausage), gésiers de canard (duck gizzards)...

You might like it.

ira is offline  
Jan 16th, 2008, 03:01 AM
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Thanks everyone for your valuable information. Only at Fodors, real people with real kids.
My 15 year old is just recently wanting to try new things. She has decided plain turkey on bread is not as good as it used to be. I highly doubt she will venture for the organ meats. But I think I can get them to try some new stuff in general.
When we went to Puerto Rico last year, I insisted tha we all try Puerto Rican food one night.MY younger daughter said Puerto Rican food is pretty good as she ate her steak with rice, (the beans pushed off to the side....)I told her the beans are what makes it different from me cooking it!
I am sure we will do fine. How much is that Museum pass and can you buy it online ahead of time?
girlonthego is offline  
Jan 16th, 2008, 07:52 AM
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girlonthego--I'm glad you found my posts. My DD is a tennis player, so the Roland Garros tour was a huge hit for her. We took a river cruise one evening and loved it!!! Go near sunset...stunning! I think the absolute biggest hit with DD was taking the SLR with black and white film. When we packed, I was afraid that she would not want the weight of the camera with her and that it would sit in the hotel room. Wrong, lol! She hauled that thing with her every day, all day long. She was constantly taking pictures and really got some amazing shots. Much, much better than me with the digital, lol! She now has them displayed in her room.
mms is offline  
Jan 16th, 2008, 08:14 AM
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I was in Paris with a picky eater (not a kid, but close) and she stuck with croque monseiur for lunch and steak frites for dinner.

Most budget and brasserie-type places are going to offer those kind of basic options. Frites are pretty universal, so even the pickiest kid should enjoy that.

And of course, mousse au chocolat for dessert.
cheryllj is offline  
Jan 16th, 2008, 09:17 AM
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Images 2, we like alot of the same places. We go back in May. New places that we are considering ar Carte Blanche, Spring, Le Comptoir (we got a reservation months ago), Chez Michel. didn't love Lous Vins or Pre Verre, both which we tried last time.Considering Ami Jean, but am really concerned about how tight the spacing is. Le Troquet and Le Pamphlet were our favorites last time, along w/ Chez Eux.
So which ones are you considering for March trip?
plambers is offline  
Jan 17th, 2008, 11:06 AM
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Hi Plambers,

We've dined at Carte Blanche and loved it! Very contemporary presentation.

We had reservations at Chez Michel last winter and arrived to a most unwelcoming attitude. Then we were seated in an obviously "tourist section" of the restaurant, while the Parisians were seated on the opposite side. The staff was so indifferent, plopping a menu in front of us with no greeting, then bringing over the blackboard and leaving with no comment. The situation wasn't that they were busy and had little time, it was just that we were tourists and didn't require even simple politness. I was so upset at the situation that I went to the restroom for a few minutes to calm down. We had never experienced this type of attitude before in Paris and I didn't appreciate it. The interesting food had a high price addition to the menu price, so we ended up leaving. I won't recommend Chez Michel to anyone.

Ami Jean's tables are tightly spaced, but we loved the place. The food was excellent, except the "fresh" cheese, which I didn't care for and requested a replacement course. They were very kind and gladly brought me another selection. The staff is very friendly, maybe the most friendly we've encountered. You do get to know your neighbors though.

We also had reservations at Le Troquet and on the way I severely twisted my ankle and couldn't continue on. It was our last evening so I was so disappointed. Do you think it would be a good place to bring an eleven year old for dinner? Our March trip includes our 11 yr. old grandson, his first trip to Europe, so I'm keeping him in mind in our planning.

We are going to Fish La Boissonnerie this time. It's open on Sunday evenings which is always a challenge to fill. We met Juan, the owner last year at his wine store. He's just delightful. While shopping in his store Patricia Wells came in to buy some wine, so we were able to meet her. That was a thrill!

I haven't decided on our other choices yet. We'll probably return to Pre Verre since we do like it and will be staying across the street at Hotel du College de France.

You'll have an excellent meal at Le Comptoir. We had lunch there last year, same menu, and it was excellent!

I'll have to look up Chez Eux. I haven't heard of that one.

Have a wonderful trip!
Images2 is offline  
Jan 17th, 2008, 11:20 AM
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Images, your experience at Chez Michel was very similiar to ours at Louis Vins adn I still smart at it!
We have eaten at Chez Eux all 3 trips. We love cassoulet and fois gras etc. It is a very comfortable and friendly place.
I had taken Ami Jean off our list but now may put it back on and take Chez Michel off.
Our standard Sun restaurant is La Ardoise, which we really like but I am contemplating Mediterean per Ira and Fish so do report back.
We ate at Le Troquet twice last time we liked it so much. Both times we did the chef's tasting menu (no choices) but everything was great. The only course that was slightly weak was dessert but since neither of us are huge dessert eaters that was fine w/ us.It was a very casual yet professional place. Le Pamphlet is another to put on your list. Great food, big comfy chairs, alot of space b/t tables and phenomnal service. That may be a better choice w/ your very fortunate son!
plambers is offline  
Jan 17th, 2008, 11:23 AM
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Images, another question. Which wine store (is it Juan Sanchez? forgot the name). We arent fluent in French-was that an issue when wine shopping?
plambers is offline  

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