I'm due a short trip to Paris sometime over Easter break with my partner. I used to live there about 4 years ago but things have changed a lot, and I need expert help to replace my local knowledge! My favourite place to eat and drink in Paris, Racines, in the Passage des panoramas, has sadly changed hands, so I'm looking for dinner recommendations.
Things we'd like:
Simple presentation, focus on great fresh produce rather than on complicated cooking techniques.
A bustling, exciting atmosphere with lots of good people-watching, if possible.
French cuisine of some denomination (it seems daft to go to Paris and not eat some French food, though I have plans to hit a pizza place and a Moroccan place at some point too), but it's ok if it's got outside influences too - I just mean not Chinese or Japanese or something!
Not mind-blowingly expensive - we're grad students - but it doesn't have to be too too cheap; this can be our 'splurge'. Maybe €60 a head for 2-3 courses without much wine (we don't usually drink more than a glass each, max).
Somewhere in a buzzy, youthful quartier so we can have a nice wander and a drink in the (relatively) immediate area before and after our meal.
Fave restaurants in our native London, if this helps, include pretty no-nonsense but nonetheless high-end restaurants like St John's, River Café, Anchor & Hope, Bocca di Lupo etc.
Things we don't want:
Very formal service or decor. Classic historic decor is great (I'm a sucker for traditional brasserie style) but I hate many modern 'posh' restaurants where it's all oatmeal colours, bland modern art and tasteful mood music.
Foams, drizzles, little towers of food or 'deconstructed' dishes.
A hushed atmosphere.
I'm not sure where we'll be staying yet so all arrondissements are open for consideration - if it looks good enough, we'll be more than happy to go out of our way on the métro.
Thanks in advance, and sorry if this is over-long/complicated - it's hard to explain what kind of ambiance makes you exactly happy, though...