I am going with the family to Paris for Christmas. We will only be going to dinner 3 nights because the dollar is so f'd up. Fortunately we have a great apartment to cook in the other nights.
I have skimmed the other responses, but I am having a hard time telling what the barometer is for each poster.
We are looking for places to eat that are dynamic and exciting, with really great food. We've eaten at Taillevant and old bistros, this trip we want something fresh and new and great - but nothing trendy and shallow.
We are from San Francisco and Los Angeles. We think that places like Delphina, Zuni or Absinthe in SF would be good. In LA, I love Lucques, Osteria Angelini, Grace, BLD, Mozza, etc. (As much as we'd love to eat at places like Danko's, Michael Mina, etc. it will just be too expensive). We are looking for main course prices of 30 Euros or so. We'd like to eat with decent wine for $600 or so for five.
We are staying in the 6th, but we will go anywhere.