My wife and I will be spending four nights in Paris in January and would greatly appreciate some guidance on restaurants. We are thinking of going to one or two haute cuisine places, one or two more casual "chef bistros" (ala Camdeborde) and one or two classic bistros. While it's tough to generalize across this broad a range of restaurants, we tend to like places that have a simple elegance and that don't necessarily offer a ton of choices but where everything that is on the menu is done really well (sorry, I know that is probably so general it is almost meaningless). At the same time, some innovation is appreciated but probably not as much as Gagnaire. The places we are currently thinking about are the following:
--Haute Cuisine - L'Ambrosie and/or Le Meurice. I know that L'Ambrosie may fit the profile described above more than Le Meurice but I like what I have read about both of these and can't decide between them. From reading the many posts on these two, it sounds like L'Ambrosie is generally regarded as having the better food, but perhaps Le Meurice the better (or at least warmer) service. I am thinking of going to one for dinner and perhaps the other for lunch (not on same day, of course). Would love any of your thoughts on which might be better for lunch versus dinner.
-- Chef Bistros - Le Temp Au Temps, Le Comptoir du Relais (probably for lunch; assume I can't get a reservation for dinner), Le Pamphlet (not sure if it really falls into this category) and/or Le Chateaubriand. Of these, I am leaning toward Le Temp au Temps and Le Pamphlet for dinner and maybe trying to get into Le Comptoir for lunch. Le Chateaubriand seems interesting, but reading between the lines, I get the feeling it may be getting accolades more for its trendiness than its food.
-- Classic Bistros - Le Bistrot Paul Bert and/or Benoit. Thinking about Le Bistrot Paul Bert for dinner and perhaps Benoit for lunch. We went to Aux Lyonnais a few years ago and really liked it and thought it might be fun to give Benoit a try to see how it measures up.
I have really enjoyed reading all of the expert commentary on Chowhound in the past and would very much appreciate any ideas/thoughts anyone can give me on the above. Sorry for the length of this post.