PARIS - 4 days of uninterrupted bliss....with your help! Please and Thanks.
My husband and I are traveling to Paris from February 9-12 and staying at Georges V. We have not been to France in 20 years and we're HUNGRY! We are so overwhelmed with recommendations and would love some help sorting things out. We are former New Yorkers with a love of amazing food that isn't too fussy in a restaurant with a cool atmosphere. Wouldn't mind two or three casual/bisto dinners and one or two slightly more haute, though we're more into fun/chic/local than we are into the crisp white linens. Oh...and cheese is for me, food porn! We're thinking of the following schedule and would be grateful for experienced input. Also, will we be remiss if we include some of those listed below at the expense of not going to KGB, L'Astrance, Le Comptoir, Cafe Constant or Le Chateaubriand?
Dinner: Le Cinq (will be jet lagged so convenient)
Dinner: Chez L'Ami Jean
Dinner: Hotel Costes
Lunch: La Societe
Dinner: Relais de l'Entrecote
We very much appreciative of any guidance....
As we often advise: pacing pacing pacing. Overdoing is suffering, not enjoyment. :-(
No matter how much you want to eat 5 times a day for your limited time in Paris, do what is best for your enjoyment, which would be to limit yourself to one major meal a day.
Dinner: Le Cinq (will be jet lagged so convenient)"
Why not lunch at Le Cinq (great value and great experience), then rest early. I doubt you will be hungry in the evening.
Dinner: Chez L'Ami Jean"
1. I would not waste precious stomach space at L'Avenue before Chez L'Ami Jean.
2. Actually Chez L'Ami Jean has the same menu at lunch, a time when the resto and the chef sare much less stressed. I would again make the major meal a lunch, Chez L'Ami Jean. If you think after the tasting menu you will be hungry for dinner, which I doubt very much, why not a lowkey one-dish meal or a couple of tapas dishes in a wine bar, such as 7pm at Frenchie?
Again, I would forget trendoid Hotel Costes and just focus on Septîme as the major meal of the day.
Too bad Sunday is your last day. I believe one should go crescendo in eating. In your case, you have already scheduled Le Cinq, Chez l'Ami Jean, Septîme in the 1st 3 days. Le Relais de l'Entrecôte is nice and fun but is not in the same league as the others. And Sunday openings are slim pickings. I believe Saturne is open Sunday. Could other hounds confirm? Saturne would be more in league as the rest of your list.
Everything Parigi said plus read this thread on beef, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/819163. Good cheese courses are getting tough to find, even bad cheese courses are getting tough to find, great cheese shops are still easy. Buy a jar of good confiture, a great wine, chewy bread, and go to a good shop as Dubois, Chez Virginie, or many others and do the cheese as a picnic, your apartment, or your hotel. Selection, condition, and price will be far better this way. If you go to a place like Astier it will be at your risk.
If you are into chic, I'd keep La Société on your list. It's undeniably stylish and the grub, while not exactly unforgettable cuisine, is pleasing enough. The wait staff, waiting to be discovered by some modelling agent, are a bit irritating but such is often the price of voir et se faire voir. If you avoid the caviar and Château Pétrus Pomerol, you can quite happily eat here for 50 or 60 € without wine so not crushingly expensive despite the plutocratic clientele. The best peoplewatching scene is, however, after 10pm so maybe a wee bit too late for North American tourists. If a late-night nosh is not appealing, maybe just a look-see for breakfast or a snack (it's open 7 days a week from 8am to 1am).
But one Costes is enough for anybody. So delete l'Avenue and, unless it's during Fashion Week, Hotel Costes from your list.
I'd also consider the La Closerie des Lilas on the boulevard Montparnasse. It's once again "in" and a prime watering hole for the chattering classes. Piano Bar, brasserie and restaurant. And open on Sunday. Even if you don't eat here, an apéritif in the Piano Bar will give you the sort of Paris I think you are looking for.
The Relais chain is OK (better than the new unit in NYC, I am told), the price is right and with no reservations, you will be in and out quickly. But two Costes restaurants, that's a double yuck, IMO. There are a number of high-end, and expensive, restaurants near the Geo V; why not opt for these on the weekend? Good luck.
You mentioned Le Comptoir which I really love--and they have a wonderful cheese course. They set a beautiful platter with maybe 8-10 cheeses and confiture etc. at your table and you can sample any or all. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it! They only have their prix fixe menu on weeknights and you may be too late to get a reservation for Feb. but it's worth a try! I've attached a couple of photos (cheese & menu) from my visit last December--forgive my dreadful photography skills!