I'm very new to these boards, and trying to plan a trip to Europe with my husband. We are traveling this spring (Late April/Early May), and one of our stops is Paris for 4 days. We would like to find at least one excellent "fine dining" restaurant, and the other three to be good food at more reasonable prices (bistros, etc.) that are good value for $.
The most important thing to us is that we feel we get a good feel for what authentic French fare is - the best Paris has to offer. We really want to stay away from tourist traps/chain restaurants, if possible. We are looking for the recs that would start "When in Paris, you can't miss _____ restaurant" or "When I go to Paris, I always eat at _____ restaurant." Feel free to include statements of "Steer VERY clear from _______ restaurant - it's (bad service/bad food/ bad atmosphere/super touristy/no value for the $$$)." You know what I mean...
We are also comfortable with having our "main meal" as a lunch, and a lighter dinner, if that works out better for the restaurants recommended. Also, we would love some recs for places we can pick up some great baguettes and cheeses on the fly, and some great patisseries as well.
In addition to Paris, we will also be traveling to many cities in Italy, so we don't particularly need a recommendation for Italian (unless it is simply not to miss!)
Thanks so much in advance, for all of your help and knowledge! I should mention that this is our very first trip to Europe. We've been to almost every major city in the US without much problem, but for some reason, planning this trip overseas has thrown me for a loop!
I will be following up with questions for the other cities that we are visiting, on the appropriate boards, too (London, Florence, Siena, Venice, Rome), so any help you can give is greatly appreciated! I promise to come back and write a full report! :-)