b-day din at L'Atelier for two- sit at counter or table?!!
Personally I think you need to decide what "mood" you want to set. Not just here but at every high end counter my girlfriend and I have sat at we know before hand that the intent of the evening is food and not particulary "romance". If your husband, and you, are really into food and the meal is part of your gift to him then I would say the counter where you can interact with the chefs as opposed to a table where you will focus on each other.
I recently ate at the counter, which I liked, since the wait staff was that much more accessible and we could see much of the action. Romantic, it is not, but well, it is more about the food than anything. I skipped the tasting and the waitstaff helped us to sort of help us construct one of our our liking. We ended up with 6 apps and small plates, one entree and two desserts.
Things you must try:
Smoked eel and foie gras terrine with a carmelized crust.
Foie ravioli in consomme
The quail and truffled potatoes (Perfect to share as an entree)
Fried langoustine with basil leaf (I guess it's a signature dish)
Enjoy! You'll have a great time.
I will suggest a la carte, and if you search for Robuchon on the Mahanttan board, you will see several threads commenting on what's good on the menu.
As for seating, it depends. If you want to see the sous chefs prepare your food (real cooking happens in the back kitchen), then bar seating will be better. However, I actually prefer sitting at the table because I found the bar area a bit "ackward" when plating food and some of the table seatings have "softer" back (like a couch)