Hello again, CHers in France.
Long time lurker on the France board, and more active on the Manhattan one. You were all so helpful to me when I brought my mother on her 60th birthday trip to Paris a few years ago, and also when I was there on a solo trip - thank you so much! This time, I am returning with my husband-to-be, who has never been to France before. We will be there from April 12 - May 1 and will definitely be spending a large chunk of time in Paris, most likely 8 - 10 days. Either in the middle of the trip or at the end, we are planning to spend a few days in Bourgogne and perhaps even Lyon for a day or two.
2 Michelin Lunches
In Paris, I am planning on two Michelin lunches, almost definitely at Ledoyen and L'Arpege. I've been to Ledoyen for lunch and loved it. I went to Le Cinq twice, once to take my mother out for her 60th birthday and the other time to treat my sister for her 25th, so don't need to go back there. L'Arpege was a wish on all of my previous trips, but I never made it, so I think I will have to make it a "must", although if there are strong suggestions from all of you, I'll definitely consider them. The only other place I was seriously considering was Pierre Gagnaire, but I was worried that it might be too risky from some of the reports I've read.
As for the rest of the meals, I would like to separate them into four categories -
1) As we are huge pastry fans (for instance in NYC, one of our favorites is Dominique Ansel and we've probably tried every good bakery in the city), we will definitely make pastries and viennoiseries a priority in the morning and for light lunches. In the past, I loved Seurre, macarons and some croissants at Laduree, the millefeuille at Jacques Genin (which now seems is the only thing I can order there other than a surprise pastry of the day?), La Patisserie des Reves. I am curious to try Des Gateaux et du Pain, Marletti, Pichard, etc. Any other new and strong suggestions?
2) Quick, light, and hopefully (but not necessarily) cheap-ish meals. I'm thinking Le Pot o Lait or Breizh Cafe for buckwheat galettes. Picnics outside with cheese from Dubois, charcuterie from Verot, bread, fruit, a bottle of wine (I'm guessing it's legal to drink wine outside in France? I don't usually care, but my SO is a lawyer... :P). Cuisine de Bar? Rose Bakery? Any other thoughts?
3) Casual, sit-down places that are more on the cheap side - say 30E/person and just sharing one bottle of wine or maybe 3 glasses between the two of us. As I mostly didn't go out to eat on my solo trips, I am really at a loss here. I saw Les Papilles, Dans les Landes, etc. mentioned here. I don't remember if they were 30E/person or not, but I'm looking for things in whatever price range they are in. Any strong suggestions here? I really don't have any clue.
4) Casual to semi-casual places in the mid-range. Not Michelin prices, but don't have to be cheap. I want to return to Chez l'ami Jean. Last time I missed my reservation at Josephine Chez Dumonet due to a cancelled flight, so am thinking of going there, though I recall there being specific things to order that make the experience much more enjoyable and memorable and worth the price tag. I also saw many recs for Saturne. I'm interested in one very old school "French" meal, such as Michel Rostang (or many JCD fits this bill?), La Petrelle, Senderens. I am also interested in a few of the newer, more modern places like Saturne, La Bigarrade, Pierre Sang Boyer, La Table d'Aki, etc. Is it worth trying to go to Le Comptoir du Relais? What are your recommendations for old school and newer, more modern places?
I know that's a lot! We are first about the food above ambiance, but if we can get both, that's also great. We also don't mind traveling cross town or to a neighborhood a bit out of the way to get somewhere. We don't know where we are staying yet.
I will have a separate post for Bourgogne and Lyon, but I'll ask a preliminary question here as well. We arrive at noon on a Saturday (4/13) and leave in the late afternoon on a Wednesday (5/1). Where would you stick the Bourgogne days and Lyon days? As mentioned in the beginning, we are thinking of 3 - 4 in Bourgogne and maybe 1 - 2 in Lyon. Is that good or should we tweak the number of days? Should we go on a weekend or go during the week? In the middle of the trip and then return to Paris?
Thank you in advance for all your help and I promise to report back on our trip!