Le Comptoir. Also known as thebestmeali'veeatenin2011sofar. Situated on the left bank in the 6th arrondissement, we heard about this spot from Anthony Bourdain's 100th episode of "No Reservations." Also heavily written about in GQ, NY Times, blahblahblah.
Expecting to either wait for hours or grab a sandwich at its deli next door, we were surprised to be seated within 15 minutes! Score.
Coffee Creme Brulee.
Eating in Paris was a challenge that we prepared for as much as we could. The 2 main obstacles when eating in Paris are 1) the chalkboard menus in tiny handwritten French, and 2) reservations. To overcome the language barrier, we memorized a long list of French foodie vocab, everything from paillard to veau. The reservations on the other hand, were quite another feat. We had a lofty list of dining destinations, and less than 2 weeks to go. If we were getting in anywhere, it wouldn't be through reservations; it would be through luck and persistence.
The back up strategy: Try to dine at the tail end of lunch or early dinner. And? It worked! We got into most of the restaurants we aimed for, except for Le Chateaubriand which was closed for renovations.
Hang on. More Paris food coming.