We arrived early (730) by mistake after taking the Metro over from the Marais where we were staying. It was drizzling mildly and we found a skinny, bearded man sitting on the steps to the restaurant (who later turned out to be the sommelier). He told us that they were not open until 815, so we walked over to the Eiffel Tower, (just across the river) for a drink.
We returned at 830 (our actual reservation time) and found we were only the 2nd party to arrive. We were nicely seated and the evening really began. I would say that the service is really excellent as would be expected from a 3 Michelin star establishment. At the same time, it is quite relaxed, friendly and you can really come in a nice shirt and pants. Only a couple of people other than the staff were in suits. The atmosphere was trendy and minimilist.
The food itself was on the whole quite good, but as others have said, some dishes missed the mark. Others were superb. Overall, it is quite adventuresome. I would say honestly, that there some might feel that the food at some other establishments such as L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon is better. However, it really is a wonderful overall experience. It depends on if you want a stunning experience or simply excellent food. Lastly, the price for the evening, including a pricey French Sancerre was still quite on budget. Alinea ( in my hometown of Chicago) is more adventuresome in my opinion, but that said, L'Astrance is quite interesting and many dishes did surprise.
Overall, the best experience we have had recently in Paris (including several other 2 star and one star establishments).
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