Totally memorable Paris lunch
Can someone suggest a really special place to go for a late lunch in Paris? We are visiting this December,but due to a mix-up with the Eurostar tickets we won't be getting into Gare Du Nord until 2.30pm. I was hoping to go for a no-holds-barred 3* blow-out, but have discovered that hardly any of the big guns open at weekends. Budget is flexible. I really to give my wife (it's her b'day) a stunningly romantic, top-drawer food, truly memorable experience. Ideally classic French cuisine. Due to our late arrival in Paris, though, we'd need somewhere that's open either all day, or at least has a lateish lunch sitting. Help!
Very good food in the middle of a saturday afternoon? I don't think so. Only big brasseries will serve you -- some are decent, none is stunningly romantic, top drawer food, truly memorable. On a weekday I would argue for Chez Denise, but while food is pretty good, it's not stunningly romantic and not much of a date place, unless maybe you too share an immoderate love for generous food.
A few "big guns" are open for sat dinner, e.g. Savoy, l'Ambroisie, La Grande Cascade, Lasserre. Le Cinq, le Bristol are open for every meal. Pierre Gagnaire is open on sunday night. (Of course my recommendation is le Cinq, but l'Ambroisie is quite often stunning and truly memorable -- all restaurants on this list are special). To chose something that work better for you, we'd need to know more about your (mostly her, really) taste and expectations.
OP asks for a really special place for a late lunch, then hopes for a 3*. I don't know about the 3* places. As for a really special place for a late lunch, I had a memorable one. Top of my very best culinary experiences was next to the Eiffel Tower on the grass with bread from a nearby shop (crusty on the outside/soft on the inside), cheese, veggies, (sister had some sliced meat), local wine and great company.
Why not snag a bottle of champagne and some lovely patisserie savories and hole up in your hotel until a blow out dinner? The way its going in Paris, it will probably be raining anyway. Sounds romantic to me.