1. Hotel. Following is a (non-exhaustive) list of hotels offering good rates--any of them particularly good or bad? The things we're looking for in a hotel include (no particular order)--English (sad but true). clean, reasonably comfortable bed, non-American-chain feel, a bar, reasonably quiet (though we've stayed on the Puerta del Sol, so not that big a deal), a bar, near center of town, near Metro (safe late-night walk from Metro). Very few of these are listed in Michelin.:
Comfort Inn Mouffetard
Relais de Paris Porte de Versailles
Relais de Paris Opera Drouot
New Hotel Candide
Comfort Inn Paris Massena
Rel de Paris Gare de Lyon
K Paris Expo
Campanile Porte d'Italie
Tulip Inn Eiffel Capitol
Bel Air Beaubourg
A La Villa St. Martin
2. Restaurants. We're probably looking for two lunches and one dinner (or so) at Temples during the trip (nine-day trip, never been before). What we're looking for (no particular order): good value wine list (in the โ-์ range, lots of half-bottles or pairings), long, varied surprise tasting menus (are these available at lunch anywhere), engaging service (we may be a wide-eyed young couple in Paris for the first time and smiling all the time, but we really like talking about food--what's the best way to "suggest" this so our server picks up on it), cutting-edge cooking and concepts, and English (which doesn't seem to be a problem anywhere). From reading accounts, it seems Gagnaire and Savoy are the obvious ones, but I'd like more input.
3. Is Wells the definitive book for finding all those "glorious 4-course 145FF menu" bistros people seem to find all over town? If not, is there another book, or should I just print out every Paris conversation on this august Forum :-)?
4. Are there any everything-shuts-down national holidays in January, February or March?
Thanks so much for your help!
(Edited by jparrott at 7:41 am on Oct. 28, 2001)