Salut! This is my first time posting, so I apologize in advance for any chowhound mishaps. My husband and I will be in Paris for four days in February (Friday, Feb 13 - Tues, Feb 17) to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. I have been reading the Paris restaurant postings for days, and I am still having some trouble deciding. I love food, and my husband does love it but is mostly along for the ride. To give you a sense of me, here is some info: I love amazing food - it need not have trapezoids or be blatantly simple (but I am okay with either end of the spectrum as long as the food creates that 'aha' moment). I have lived in France as a starving student and then a starving 20-something, and have since visited for work and play with a larger budget - and I've had wonderful meals at all price ranges. I have been to three 3-stars in France and a number of 2-stars - I thought Taillevant, while perfectly lovely and flawless did not excite me; Pierre Gagnaire, while inventive and delicious, did not inspire a revelatory experience as I expected; and Bernard Loiseau (when he was still around and greeting people for breakfast) was simply amazingly perfectly wonderful - by far my favorite of the three. I have really enjoyed meals at L'Angle du Faubourg, l'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, and le Comptoir. This time in Paris, I am looking to not kill our budget and to not kill our stomachs - so I'm trying to avoid very expensive 3-star dinners and also very heavy food at every single meal. I am also sometimes less excited to see a menu that is trying too hard - whether it's too fusion-y or too many savory things mixed in with my chocolate (it's all good, but I'm tired of it! For instance, I have never had and still have no desire to try Ze Kitchen Gallerie, though I'm sure it's great).
Here is what I have come up with so far - please help! Thank you! Be as harsh as you like, and I don't mind changing reservations.
Importantly, where are some amazing croissants and pains au chocolat for breakfast? I've had great ones and always forget to write down the spots. Staying in the 1er, but will travel for food. Poujauran maybe?
Friday lunch - we'll have arrived that morning, so we'll just play it by ear
Friday dinner - ??? Maybe l'escalier du bistrot. (I thought Bistrot Paul Bert was great fun a few years ago). Maybe not?
Saturday lunch - either cooking class or La Table de JR (maybe too much like l'Atelier?, though we both enjoyed l'Atelier). Or maybe le Comptoir (i've never been able to get a reservation at le Comptoir as my Paris trips are never planned 6 mos in advance, so this would be my second time having a weekend meal there). No reservations yet.
Saturday dinner - l'Ami Jean - I have reservations.
Sunday lunch - reservations at le Cinq
Sunday dinner - reservations at Sederens. I think this is too much for one day and too much before a big Monday lunch. And I'm beginning to think that Sederens might not be my favorite kind of place anyway.
Monday lunch - l'arpege. I have reservations. What's this I hear about Passard not being there on Mondays? Do you think that, given my above-stated tastes, this is a good choice? I'm honestly never crazy about eating in a Four Seasons, but pompous decor has never stopped me before.
Monday dinner - ??? something light in central Paris (think 1er,4e,6e, etc.) - need to recover before Tuesday morning flight. Can play it be ear if you have no recommendations.
Missing from my list and places I'd also like to try are Guy Savoy and Le Bristol.
Thank you very much!