Suppose you had just one night in Paris to have your Last Meal... you want something completely over the top, with the most delicious food imaginable, in the most unique and beautiful of settings, with service that is practically omniscient - where would you go? Cost is no concern. With only one night, how does one choose between Laserre, Paul Chene, Le Jules Verne, Le Cinq, etc...?
This will be my only dining experience in Paris, late September 2011, I appreciate your input.
DCM is right, but it seems to me that the question is not which is best, but which is most reliable, among the high levels restaurants -- if you only have one meal, I think it's unwise to l'Ambroisie or l'Arpège, which may be the best meals ever but may also be only expensive, and possibly annoying.
Which is why I'd say Le Cinq or Savoy -- they consistently deliver wonderful experiences, with the same variablity in food as others, but less impact on the overall experience.
For most delicious food, I'd say Ambroisie, Arpège, Ledoyen, Gagnaire are in the running. And also L'Ami Louis, quite frankly.
For unique and beautiful settings, I'd think of Les Ambassadeurs, Le Meurice, Lasserre, Ledoyen, Le Cinq, La Grande Cascade, Le Bristol. Meurice and Ambassadeurs being definitely in the over the top category. L'Ambroisie setting is also definitely unique and beautiful, but not in an over-the-top way.
For exceptional service, I'd say Le Meurice, Le Cinq, Savoy.
"Suppose you had just one night in Paris to have your Last Meal"
I would lease the best apartment available with a balcony and a view. I would ask my wife to supervise the meal and sit by my side while we enjoyed the best Paris had to offer, prepared on our own stoves. And it would be beyond the beyond!
That's this old man's wish...