The wife and I will be in paris the last weekend of May (Thu - Mon). We plan to do one fancy dinner (likely Sunday night) and dinner with some friends on Friday night where will have reservations. I was wondering for Thursday and Saturday night are reservations essential for a good restaurant? We don't need to go anywhere with a name (that will be the other two nights) but still want good parisian food.
We are usually pretty good at judging a menu and ambiance so like being able to walk up to a place and see if it looks good and with the wealth of restaurants in paris picking them out ahead of time is a bit daunting. If this is possible on a weekend, what neighborhood/street would be our best for walking around and popping in somewhere - even if that means sitting at a bar.
If this is not possible (at least not without an hour wait) that is fine but would be good to know...For example if you were visiting me in San Francisco I would say this would not be a good idea ;)