Le Petit Gourmet

Children welcome at this Michelin-starred restaurant

Joigny, France—Probably no other Michelin-starred restaurant in France welcomes children as warmly as La Côte Saint-Jacques in northern Burgundy, about an hour from Paris. A year-long construction project moved the restaurant across the street from its hotel setting and reduced the longtime three-star kitchen to two in this year's guide, a situation chefs Jean-Michel Lorain and his father, Michel, hope to reverse in the next couple of years. But the project also created new hotel rooms with views of the Yonne River and a playroom for children with computers, games, and their own dining room. Whether eating there or downstairs with their parents, children can find no better introduction to French cuisine. A recent lunch included duck foie gras with a red-beet vinaigrette, salt-crusted turbot with a purée of baby peas and leeks, and veal chop in a coffee-flavored veal jus with truffled Jerusalem artichokes. It proved that the Lorains excel at fusing classical technique with modern tastes. Every dish combined deep, complex flavors with contrasting textures and colors. It's worth going out of your way for a meal here. Or plan an extended stay: Each spring and autumn, Jean-Michel conducts three-day cooking classes in English. $150-$395. 14 Faubourg de Paris; 33-3-86-62-09-70; www.integra.fr/relaischateaux/lorain.