ma chambre de bonne, I walked through the surrounding neighborhood to ensure I'd be happy and comfortable here. My first concern was safety since I'd be living by myself in a studio apartment on the 7th floor of a large building. My second concern was convenience. I already knew I'd have Parc Monceau (and its metro stop) literally at my door step, but I had to check out the nearest café, laundromat, grocery store, and ideally, market street. The 17th arrondissement passed my test with flying colors.
So, the following day I made the move. I shared a taxi with a friend of mine who lives a few blocks away. I called my landlord and took the elevator up to his apartment. I listened as he explained which keys were which, and appreciated it when he (1) allowed me to go through his apartment to the back staircase (so I only had to bring my luggage up 3 flights as opposed to 6) and (2) helped me carry some "stuff" (eliminating one of the three trips I'd otherwise have to make). Finally I took a deep breath, locked my door for the first time, and went to meet my friend.
Now, finally, let me answer their question for you: dinner at L'Auberge Rouge. It was the second brasserie Amy and I stumbled upon that first night and it continues to be my absolute favorite. The service is warm and the environment, cozy-sophisticated. I can't remember my exact order, but I had a glass of Bordeaux with braised beef smothered in pesto, herbed carrots and potatoes, and a side salad. We also shared a basket of French bread. Sure, I was ridiculously hungry and pretty tipsy, but I am not kidding when I say this was the most delectable meal. Affordable, too! It cost us 20 euros each. Just come visit and I'll take you :) I'm dying to go back.