A close friend of mine, my husband and I are coming to Paris from 12/22-1/1. We are staying in the 14th in an apartment that has been given to us for that period. I'm really psyched to have a "live-in-Paris" experience.
Besides going to museums and some touristy spots, I want to wander around, shop the markets, and prepare some dinners in the apartment notably on Christmas Day and New Years eve when I think finding places to eat out will be difficult.
I've read through loads of the posts here regarding eating in Paris -- bearing in mind that I was last in Paris in about 1998 and before that in 1994. (I will check out mnaughton's posts as per another poster below.) During previous visits we've eaten at Taillevent, Tour D'Argent, Guy Savoy our friend's pockets are not so deep and the changing value of the dollar is having a big impact on us. We've pretty well given up having a meal at that level since none us is willing to pay the $200 pp freight that would be incurred.
That said, where do you recommend we go for the most exceptional meals/wine experience. We are open to go to different areas of the city - no need to stay in our own neighborhood at all. I would like to find choices where 30-50 euros total cost (food,wine,tip)would suffice. To your knowledge would your recommendations be open during that period? How necessary are reservations? How far in advance? My French is pretty rusty and phone conversations are the most difficult but if need be I will make the calls and hope that the people answering are indulgent!
Lastly, and perhaps a little off topic, what might we expect Paris to be like at that time of year? I've only been there in Fall and Spring. Any recommendations for activities Christmas Eve, Day, New Year's Eve (other than eating out I mean)? Any places in the city we should really try to explore?
Thanks in advance for the help. I do love this site. If I can ever be of help to those visiting metro NY just drop a line!