Staying near Eiffel Tower/Invalides (specific questions)
My wife and I are making our first trip to Paris in November, staying in the Rue Cler neighborhood just west of the Invalides. I have read multiple threads from first-time visitors asking for dining recommendations, and many get requests for more specific questions, so here goes.
We have three nights (Thurs, Fri and Sat) and respectfully request recommendations for dinner for each night. Restaurants within walking distance of Rue Cler would be nice, but we are happy to ride Metro or cab if necessary.
Our preferences would be two dinners in a bistro/brasserie type restaurant frequented by locals which has good food and genuine sense of place (we can eat Thai anywhere), and one extraordinary dining experience in a Michelin-starred restaurant, one in which I assume I will need to make reservations several weeks in advance of our trip.
We are two adults (no kids). Our languages are English and German, with only guidebook French (at best), so please do not recommend restaurants where fluency in French is a prerequisite for a good experience.
There are tons of places near Rue Cler; mostly on St-Dominque St. (thoumieux, the different Constant restaurants, other café and bistrots.)
For a star or near star experience, I could suggest Gagnaire's Gaia Rive Gauche (no star) or maybe L'Atelier Joel Robuchon (no reservation except for the "first seating") .. .
Other than that, read a little bit the different thread around here.
As for reservation, yep, find a couple of places and call most higher-end restos will be able to answer in english; depending on where you are from, calling can be a real PITA, since most places do not have answering machine, weird hours for reservation or no internet reservation.
"Gagnaire's Gaia Rive Gauche" or as it more precisely "Gaya Rive Gauche par Pierre Gagnaire" does have a Michelin star and has had one for quite a few years but if the OP wants "one extraordinary dining experience in a Michelin-starred restaurant" I would highly recommend a lunch at one of the palaces like Le Cinq or other much discussed places. Whilst I loved Gaya it isn't as spectacular as a Palace, although if they can't do lunch then a Michelin starred place like Gaya or Constant's Le Violon d'Ingres or his recently sold Les Fables de La Fontaine will be better value than ALC at a Palace (the latter two are the closest to rue Cler).
For reasonable I would go over to Au Dernier Metro. For a star I'd go to Jules Verne because the setting is just fantastic (try for a window seat reservation) and you will have lots to rave about with friends and family (it is, after all, on the Eiffel Tower!). And, I'd go to Chez l' Ami Jean. All are within walking distance. All are FUN!!!! (The other posters have good ideas for you, too, but I'd go to these three. We have rented apartments close to where you are and love the area.
Have a great trip!