I have been reading and searching this board for a while now and have also been reading Alexander Lombrano's "Hungry for Paris" to help research restaurants to eat in when I will be in Paris this fall. We will be there for 4 days and one of those days will be our 10th Anniversary.
I have found a lot of ideas for dinners and lunches, however I am struggling to find just the right place for our anniversary dinner. We are comfortable spending around 300 E for the both of us for this special dinner.
From my research it seems that restaurants that have that special and unique ambiance (i.e. Le Cinq, Le Bristol, Le Meurice, Le Pre Catelan) are just way over that for dinner with wine. On the other end of the spectrum is restaurants that get rave reviews for food but just don't seem to have the atmosphere for a special romantic anniversary dinner. From what I have seen by Googling pictures of places like Aux Lyonnaise, D'Chez Eux, Ze Kitchen Galerie - they are either too modern for our tastes or the lighting in them is so bright it is like eating in a cafeteria. (Mind you the photos on the internet are usually taken in full light and never in the evening)
Am I missing something or is there no place where we would find a match between price, good food/value for the price and an ambiance that would lend itself to dropping 300 Euro on a meal for a special occasion?
Le Train Bleu was one of the first places I found and thought the atmosphere/grandure was amazing and someplace like no other. However not sure if in the evening it has the right atmosphere. Anyone eaten there in the evening? Also I was a bit turned off by the fact that apparently you can hear the calls for train departures - not sure if that will lend itself to an anniversary dinner.
While I would love to do 'grandure' since if you are going to go to a restaurant like that Paris would be the place to do it - but I just can't bring myself to drop twice as what we have budgeted. So I am leaning toward a nice cozy and romantic bistro where you aren't sitting right next to someone else, but where the lighting is dim and you can enjoy a gourmet meal.
La Regalade/La Regalade St. Honore - is on my list but I can't seem to find interior pictures. Any help there? Would that fit my criteria?
I would also probably lean toward traditional french cooking and any restaurants that serve a fantastic steak tartare (our favorite) would also be a bonus.
Thanks for your suggestions!
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