|Subject: Re: Looking for value, but yummy eating in Paris|
If you have an American Express Platinum Card or a Diners Club card, they both have concierge service that can make the calls to L'Astrance for your reservations. If not, maybe you could call your hotel concierge at yout Paris hotel and ask them to make the reservation for you? Lastly, call Astrance yourself and just keep trying. I had dinner there on my last trip to Paris and the efforts are well worth it!
I'm not familiar w/ L'Ouette but the Duck w/ Olives at Allard (6th) is a knock your socks off dish, IMHO.
I'm also not familiar w/ Le Maupertu, but made a note of it for my trip to Paris next week. Have you tried Le P'Tit Trouquet in the 7th? It's one of my fave's for the traditional, charming french cuisine.
I agree with you about Les Bookinistes - it's a great way to experience Guy Savoy's talents without having to spend huge bucks.
Just for fun, I tried a new place in Paris called New York in the 16th. Nice setting overlooking the Seine - but the decor was too California and the food was okay, but at the high prices should have been a lot better. So, skip it, imho.