I'm heading to Paris in May for at least a week, maybe more, and I am about to make some reservations. I've been to Paris quite a few times and I love L'Astrance (possibly my favorite restaurant in the world) and Pierre Gagnaire (though last time he was not there, and I wasn't as blown away, or maybe the novelty is wearing off a bit?). I plan on returning to both of these for lunch (assuming I can get in to L'Astrance). I am probably traveling solo, and I actually prefer the lunch experience when I am alone, both in terms of value and experience.
I would appreciate advice on choosing my third 2 or 3 star. I like Le Cinq a lot, and think their lunch is an extraordinary value, but I have never been to Arpege or to Le Meurice. What types of prix-fixe experiences do these two offer for lunch compared to say Le Cinq or Guy Savoy or Ledoyen (which I thoroughly enjoyed, though I generally prefer a little more contemporary setting and feel)? I have avoided Arpege before due to all the talk of vegetarianism, which is not my thing at all; though I understand this is not accurate?
On a more general philosophical note, I wonder if I need to return to L'Astrance and Gagnaire; I love them, but I have been many times to each, most recently 6 months ago to L'Astrance. Maybe I should drop one or both of them in order to enjoy a completely new experience?
Thanks for the help.