Do I feel like a sucker for having blown our 3-star wad at Lucas Carton in Paris, only to see the "pompous restaurant" close and refashion itself as the livelier, youthful, edgier, and lower-cost (yet hardly economical) Alain Senderens?
A little. I spent weeks agonizing over that decision. But once we were seated at Lucas Carton thoughts of Guy Savoy and L'Arpege vanished, and I wouldn't give up the memory of that lobster with vanilla sauce for anything. I didn't find Lucas Carton to be exceedingly stuffy; the service from Pierre et al. was amazingly attentive and not overly-meddling, and the fanciful art nouveau room – still intact, thankfully – struck a balance between formal and relaxed.
But I can't pause for too long to mourn the passing of yet another haute cuisine traditional stalwart. Some will always remain. And dripping chandeliers have never been my thing anyway.