Oh, help. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by all the information. I'm hoping that if I am specific and detailed, you can help me sort things out.
We will be in Paris for a 15th anniversary trip during Christmas week. I want to put on a pretty, dressy dress, get my husband to put on a suit and go somewhere very special. We honeymooned in Paris and went to Lucas Carton. 3 star restaurants have apparently crossed my personal threshhold for just too much money for a meal. The 2 star restaurants make me gasp, but not automatically refuse, so let's start there.
I know lunch is generally much more reasonable and serves the same food, but right now we're leaning strongly towards dinner, as we are more inclined to devote days to sightseeing with our 8 year old (he's not coming to dinner) and casual lunches.
We're looking, obviously, for delicious food and just generally a wonderful experience. I would somehow simultaneously like the fanciness and formality of fine Parisian dining, but without stiffness. A little romance would be nice. I've seen L'Ambroisie described as serious and solemn and that didn't appeal. We each like a wide range of things, but on the other hand, have pretty serious lists of dislikes, so a place like Helene Darroze didn't appeal just because the menu was so limited. With enough choices, we'll be very happy. I don't speak French and my husband speaks only the tiniest bit, so some place with a menu in English or waiters who are happy to translate and answer questions would be wonderful. Between our fussiness and the fact that we don't have matching fussiness (much of the stuff I don't like, he does and vice versa) I expect that we'll very likely be ordering a la carte. I love cheese and haven't paid it enough attention on past visits to Paris. It would be wonderful if the restaurant had a cheese course and waiters who would be happy to guide me if I need to make choices.
After going through Michelin's list and eliminating several for various reasons (some are closed while we're there, a couple have more or less gotten a thumbs down on here, I will not enjoy sitting on a stool) I have left:
L'Espadon - Menu looks delicious. Prices are what I've come to expect.
Les Ambassadeurs - I can't find a menu on the website. I have no idea what to expect.
Lasserre - none of the entrees on the menu really appeal to me, but I know this restaurant is spoken of highly here and a number of the plats look really delicious. No cheese?
Le Cinq - The menu looks good, but maybe a little limited. I know the menu on the website is a sample menu, so I'm wondering if the real menu has more choices. No prices. Are they in line with the others? Cheese? I know this is souphie's usual choice for a special meal.
Michel Rostang - This also looks wonderful and the prices seem to be generally in line with the others.
Le Table de JR - The menu has a very different feel from most of the others and the tapas-y sort of option at the top of the menu (if I'm understanding properly) seems fun and interesting and a chance to try several things and experiment a bit. It also looks very good, but in a different way. Cheese? Prices?
We had originally been planning our dinner for Saturday, 12/26 and the next two are closed on the weekends. We can certainly rething our schedule, but Saturday just worked well for us, so there would have to be a really, really good reason. And actually, a good question would be whether the day after Christmas is not a good day to be going out for this sort of meal. Will the best people in the kitchen have been given the weekend off?
Apicius - beautiful pictures of the building, but no menu, so I have no idea what to expect.
Taillevent - menu looks delicious. No prices. Are they in line with others?
I could just eliminate the 2 who don't post menus, purely as an easy way of narrowing the list a bit, but what if I'm missing something amazing?
I'm hoping you can help me sort through these. Thank you very, very much.
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