My girlfriend and I are travelling from New York City to Paris for the very first time. We are arriving early Thursday March 29th and depart on the following Tuesday. I have tried to do my due diligence in reviewing past threads here, Paris by Mouth, Hungry for Paris, Fodor's, Trip Advisor, etc. etc etc., in order to avoid a thread like this, but I just can't help it!
My reason for starting this thread is to gain some specific insight on how to best maximize the best that Paris has to offer in terms of ambiance and food quality (most important) relative to its location. Because it is our first time, i'd like to sync up nice areas for strolling, wandering, sight-seeing with where we eat, especially for lunch. We hope to see the Musee D'Orsay and Louvre museums, Montmarte, the catacombs perhaps, the Tour Eifell of course, and wherever else can be deemed a must-visit spot. Also, I'd like to get a somewhat varying sample of the restaurants Paris has to offer from small bistros and boulangeries to the Michelin-starred places. Also, I'd like a cross-section of classic French, provincial cuisine, and modern French, not too slanted one way or another.
We are adventurous eaters and we've saved up for this trip so the budget is a concern but should not be a deciding factor in choosing comparable places. We are staying in the 6th, near Brasserie Lipp (which I understand I should avoid!)
For now, here is what I've come up with. Please chime in with suggestions and comments:
Lunch - Play by ear, we will likely be tired from our overnight flight and I'd prefer not to have my first few hours of Paris be beholden to a lunch reservation. Maybe Laduree in the 6th for macaroons and the famous club sandwich.
Dinner - Currently, I have dinner at Le Gaigne reserved. Is that area of the Marais nice to walk around at night? Is this an especially romantic place? I'd like our first meal to be really special, quaint, romantic, "classic Paris." I also would like to avoid an extremely spendy place because our next meal is....
Lunch - Guy Savoy (110e internet special) I am very excited for this meall. Older reports indicate that the deal does not mean we will receive second class citzen status. Does that remain true? How is the area around Guy Savoy? Is there much to see or do nearby? Is this an especially filling meal? I am unsure whether to count on being full all day.
Friday Dinner - Currently open. I am unsure how hungry we will be after Guy Savoy. Some options I've looked at, that have availability, are Ze Kitchen Galerie, Benoit, Saturne, or Regis Hutierie. I have not looked into the availability of Josephine Chez Dumonet or Mon Ami Jean yet, fearing that I will not want such a rich meal after Guy Savoy. Anything else that I may be missing?
Saturday lunch - I would love to have a picnic. I will look for boulangeries and cheese shops near our hotel in other threads. What is considered the best area to picnic?
Saturday Dinner - Also open.
Sunday Lunch - Le Cinq If I have a panic attack about the money I am going to spend on meals on this trip, which would you cancel Le Cinq or Guy Savoy? Would doing both be overkill? I know the likely answer is only we could decide, but I just wanted to hear some insight. Are they similar at all? I have some concerns with spenidng 2 of our 5 daytimes indoors and not seeing the sights, but I couldn't decide between the two high-end places.
Sunday Dinner - Open (perhaps Fish,
Monday Lunch - Daytriip to Versaille.
Monday Dinner - Considering Josephine Chez Dumonet or Mon Ami Jean for here. Other thoughts, Gaya and/or
Other places I've looked at include Les Bistronomes, Chateaubriand (what is the best way to get a table?), L'Agape Substance (but I think I've ruled it out because backless chairs kill me), and Le39V.
Any help would be extremely appreciated. If my post is a little to meandering and rambling, please let me know. I have a lot of thoughts and concerns and I'm trying to piece this all together for an unforgettable trip.