Folks on this site were so thoughtful with suggestions, we thought we would write our experiences with a few restaurants during our recent trip. We took a lot of advice from the staff, especially around wine, and were rarely disappointed. We are not connoisseurs, but we certainly do know what we enjoy. Your advice was extraordinarily helpful.
First night - ate at L'Ardoise - not expecting much but was thoroughly impressed. Escargot brioche was super, roast veal with veggies as well, but the highlight of the night was the superb creme brulee with whole raspberries in it. Entire meal for two with wine (house - 75 ml) was 120 euros.
Second night ate at La Regalade on St. Honore - The appetizer can only be described as a Coquille St. Jacque served cerviche style (raw, marinated in citrus). Outstanding. Seared duck with foie gras was great as well. Gotta tell you, though, the Grand Marnier souffle was the absolute best we've ever been served - then or since. Light, fluffy and not too strongly flavored. Truly exceptional. $130 euro for two with house wine.
Next big night out was at Chez Denise, and we have to say this was the least favorite restaurant. Choucroute with halibut, salmon and mussels just didn't work, roasted short ribs with veggies was tough and not much flavor. Traditional escargot was good, house wine was fine. 125 euros for two with wine.
Then we hit our favorite meal at Chez Josephine Dumonet. Endive salad with blue cheese, walnuts and balsamic reduction was great, as was the boeuf bourguignon, but the veal chop simply fried and served with fond riche was spectacular. Long wait for the Grand Marnier souffle, which was good, but couldn't compete with the La Regalade souffle. We had a 95 euro bottle of wine which pushed the bill (for 2) to 225 euros.
Before we left we then visited Benoit. Escargot was very good, filet with bordelaise and mac and cheese was also very, very good. The cassoulet was heavenly - lots of great duck, sausage and pork. Dessert was a frozen Grand Marnier souffle that we didn't understand (or like) at all. Felt like it should have been on a stick to lick as we left. Again, spent more on wine (105 euros including two sauternes) for a total tab for two on 250 euros.
Also had some great oysters at a place that looked like they were selling a lot of them, and other great lunches and lighter meals.
Many, many thanks to all of you who helped us navigate the food in Paris. Very memorable trip.