Michelin Star Dining with Kids – Paris

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Michelin Star Dining with Kids - Paris

 

Food plays an important role in our family travels. Since our children were babies, we have strategized on how to enjoy a great restaurant experience with them by our sides (see post on Dining Out with Kids). On a recent trip to Paris, however, we wanted to raise the bar a little higher. We had our eyes fixed on a few fine dining establishments, and wondered if we might even be able to enjoy a Michelin-starred restaurant with our kids*. Surely, there had to be one or two in Paris that could cater to a family. I set my husband on the project, and he discovered that the Michelin 1 star restaurant Qui Plume La Lune, not far from our vacation rental apartment in Le Marais, actually had a kids’ menu *. We set out to give it a try.

Qui Plume La Lune is located in Paris’s 11th arrondissement. Along with a set 5 course dinner menu for adults (substitutions allowed for allergies), their modified menu enfant offers 3 simplified courses, and allows children a choice of main course (chicken strips are mini pizza are not an option). As in many fine dining restaurants, Qui Plume La Lune does not offer an à la carte menu. In recent years, many Michelin star restaurants have moved to a set menu in order to reduce food wastage and encourage guests to enjoy their complete culinary experience.

*Note:My kids are not babies anymore and at the time of this visit they were 8 and 11. I don’t think I would attempt this with a child under about 6. These are long meals (often 3 hours) and it seems rather like pushing the envelope too far (as well as a horrendous waste of money).

 

The Experience of Michelin-Starred Dining with Kids in Paris

 

The Michelin Star Rating System


Quite frankly, prior to this trip to Paris, I wasn’t entirely clear on how the Michelin star rating system worked. For the uninitiated (like me), here it is:

*  A one star Michelin rating means the restaurant has very good cooking in its category.

** A two star Michelin rating means the restaurant has excellent cooking, worth a detour.

*** A three star Michelin rating means the restaurant has exceptional cuisine, worthy of a special journey.

 

The Preparation

We had discussed this special meal with our kids at great length, explaining that there were many things we had done in Paris just for the them and that now it was our turn. They were well aware that this was going to be a long meal, so there was no expectation on their part that we would be rushing out of there. We also hyped the fact that this was going to be a unique experience for them and an opportunity to try new things. We did bring some back up — each child was allowed to bring a book to quietly read if things went on too long (even I get a little antsy in a 3 hour meal).

 

The Arrival

To our absolute delight, as we walked in the restaurant with a bit of trepidation, we noticed that there was another family of four with children slightly younger than ours. This french family looked very much at ease with Michelin star dining and I couldn’t help but notice that their kids ordered the full adult set menu, not the modified kids’ menu.

 

A Michelin Menu

The children’s menu included an amuse bouche, a first course of prawns and seared salmon and a main course of filet mignon with several sides. Along with those dishes, our 5 course meal included an oyster gyoza course, a fish course prepared several ways, and a duck foie gras course. My kids did very well, although as we moved into dining hour three, I could tell that their patience was thinning. It was perfect timing for the lovely trio of desserts, including house made cotton candy, which quite delighted them.

Throughout the meal, I glanced over at those perfectly behaved french children who seemed to relish every single bite of shellfish, cod and foie gras. I must admit, however, that I was almost relieved when the youngest finally made a small fuss and had to be taken outside for a little chat. I cannot blame him for the mini breakdown as it was getting quite late and he had noticed that my kids were allowed to read (something I’m sure he found quite unjust).

 

michelin-star-dining-with-kids-paris
Menu Enfant – Qui Plume La Lune 

 

How Much Does a Michelin Star Meal in Paris Cost?

As would be expected, this was not an inexpensive meal for us. The 3 course kids menu was 39€ (for children 10 years and under), and the full 5 course dinner set menu was 130€. Add to that the wine pairings and this became a very pricey affair (Honestly, do you think we would have attempted this without some liquid courage?). Alternatively, for a shorter and less expensive dining experience, consider visiting for lunch (see full menu options here).

 

The Best Part

As we left the restaurant, I had a quick chat with the Maître D’ to thank him and tell him that we were thrilled that our dining experiment had gone so well. I told him how encouraged we were when, upon entering the restaurant, we had noticed the other family of four. To my surprise he replied, “Oh my God! We all laughed so hard tonight when we saw that there were 2 families coming. Never, ever, ever, in the history of this restaurant have we had two families on the same night ! Usually, we get about 1 a month.”

 

Michelin Star and Fine Dining with Kids – Further Resources

What Happens When Second Graders Are Treated to a Seven-Course Tasting Meal? – The New York Times Magazine.

Nibble + Squeak – Fine Dining Club for Babies, Toddlers and Young Children (LA, MIA, NYC, BOS, DC, CHI, LON)

Claus Meyer’s Kid’s Table Events – NYC fine dining for children 7-14 years (no parents allowed)

 

You May Also Enjoy the Following Posts:

Tips on Dining Out with Kids

Private Family Tour of the Louvre, Paris

Picnic in Paris – 5 Perfect Places

5 Things to do with Kids in Provence

12 Baby Friendly Cafés in Paris

10 Fun Places for Kids in Paris

The Dordogne, France with Kids

6 Tips for Flying with Baby

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6 Responses

  1. Eric
    | Reply

    Great blog post …. very helpful. My wife and I are going to Paris with our daughters, ages 13 and 14. One is semi adventurous about food and one simply is not adventurous at all. However, she will eat filet mignon … so that may be our saving grace.

    I am bound and determined that we eat top end French cuisine at least once while in Paris. Did this restaurant also have an a la carte menu? I think that might be more workable for my “not eating that at all” daughter. Thoughts?

    • Tara Cannon
      | Reply

      Hi Eric ! I am very envious as I would love to return to Paris ! The restaurant menu changes daily, and therefore it might be hard to predict what will be served. Perhaps you could call them to discuss it? (the Maitre’D spoke english). Please note, however, that their menu states that the “Menu D’Enfant” is for children 10 years and under (although my son was 11 when we visited). I’m not sure how strict they would be with that age criteria — it was certainly enough food for an older child in my opinion. Have a lovely trip!

      • Eric
        | Reply

        I definitely plan to call the restaurant and discuss …. We’ve been planning this trip for a couple years and feel like the girls are at the age where they can appreciate Paris … we are REALLY looking forward to this. I am, especially. I traveled extensively in Europe from 1985-1995 as a young man …. and then married, “settled down”, had a family …. and traveled in Europe for business (which is not the same).

        Now I have the money, the time, and my kids are old enough, that I can take my family to Paris and southern France …. and I want to do it right 🙂

        One other question for you …. well, maybe more …. but one about this restaurant …. did they cook the steak to the doneness that your children liked?

        PS we are taking a day trip to Reims to go to several Champagne houses and we told our daughters the same thing you told your children …. Most of this trip is planned to be fun for you girls. This day in Champagne is for mom and dad!

        • Tara Cannon
          | Reply

          Eric, I just stumbled across something else. Apparently L’Epicure in the Bristol Hotel may also make exceptions for children. See this article : https://parismuse.com/2016/05/tips-for-eating-with-kids-in-paris/ In my personal experience, restaurants in hotels seem to do a better job accommodating families because they have to be prepared to cater to all of their guests.

          I can’t remember if our waiter at Qui Plume La Lune asked us how the kids wanted their filet, but I will say that he was very accommodating. I can’t imagine that it would have been an issue if we had wanted the filet cooked more thoroughly.

          How lovely that you are going to enjoy some gorgeous champagne ! We had some really long lunches in Provence, but just made sure that the kids had plenty to keep them amused. I suppose at 13 and 14 years it is probably primarily technology, right? 🙂

          I just have one more thing to mention. The other fancier meal we had out with the kids in Paris was on a boat called Le Calife. While normally I find these things a little gimmicky, I chose this particular Seine boat cruise because of the great reviews that it received for its food. Definitely NOT Michelin star quality, but it was nice, and much easier for the kids. The bonus was that we also enjoyed a really nice view of the city at night. You can see it in this post: https://pintsizepilot.com/things-to-do-in-paris-with-kids/ .

  2. Eric
    | Reply

    Tara, where did you travel in Provence? We are going from Paris to Marseille, by TGV, and spending 5 days there. Our daughters have planned those 5 days …. very well, I think. One day is a bike tour of Marseille, another day is snorkeling in the Calanques national park, a day in Nice, a day on the beach, and a day to shop and explore in the Old Port.

    As far as keeping the girls entertained, it’s totally technology. They love their iPhones, of course. But they also are aware that they are limited with those because of the cost of cellular data access since we are AT&T subscribers.

    I read that article you wrote on the boat tour and dinner. That sounds like something we may do on the day we spend at the Eiffel Tower and Quai D’Orsay. We are doing a similar thing in Amsterdam …. our last 2 days before flying home are in Amsterdam …. the first day we get there we are doing a Pizza Canal Cruise …. Seems like a total blast.

    I plan to blog some of this ….. although normally my blog is a professionally focused blog. But a bit of creative writing is good for me at times.

    Anyhow, I’ve been enjoying reading about you traveling with children and making it work for everybody. Also greatly appreciate the input on restaurants.

    The other thing I’ve found …. Guy Savoy has offers for families at his restaurants. At his michelin starred restaurant, children from 15-17 eat free with their parents and at his bistro’s children from 12-15 eat free with their parents. This is an amazing deal and I think we are going to try out one of the bistro’s.

    • Tara Cannon
      | Reply

      What a trip this is going to be ! Your girls sound like great planners!

      We took the TGV to Avignon and then rented a car to explore the area. We stayed in a tiny hilltop village called Goult, which is not far from Gourdes. If you happen to be around Chateaux des Baux (castle), there is a really cool art exhibition space nearby called Carrières de Lumières (a 30 minute stop). While we typically do not spend a ton of time in art galleries, this space is really fantastic (master works are projected on to the walls of an old quarry along to classical music). Not far from there is a wonderful restaurant that is perfect for a long lunch called Le Bistro du Paradou. Of course there are many wonderful restaurants in Provence (hard to go wrong), but this one was our favourites (requires reservations).

      We flew out of Nice, after spending a day on the beach in Cannes (we bought a day pass at a beach club). It was such a nice way to relax after what had been a very busy couple of weeks. Great plan !

      Thank you so much for the tip about the Guy Savoy restaurants. What valuable information for me and my readers !

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