Just some preliminary reporting in (more or less) real time...I'll try to keep running updates over the course of the trip.
Tonight was the best meal I've ever had in Paris. A half-empty type would say it was the worst mean I've ever had in Paris, which would be technically true but would grossly misrepresent the enjoyment derived therefrom.
I had figured we wouldn't be up for anything too involved, fancy, or distant, so around six we went to Les Pipos (thanks to Parnassien for the recommendation) for a glass of wine (pouilly fume, didn't catch the label), with the notion that we would probably stick around and have a bit to eat. Which we did: with a couple more glasses of wine, some bleu d'Auvergne, and terrine de campagne...and finally we split a pave de rumssteak with frites and had a glass each of the vin du jour, a bourgueuil from Catherine & Pierre Breton.
The pouilly fume was very nice, the cheese was wonderful, the terrine was nice but not necessarily my thing. I loved the bourgueuil. I asked for the steak bleu (the waiter raised his eyebrows), and it was--perfectly done, and while I've heard French steaks in general are tougher than we're used to you couldn't prove it by my experience. The whole thing set us back 67.50 E, which seems quite reasonable to me. Lovely atmosphere--while Les Pipos has its tourist clientele (but fewer of them than a lot of places in the neighborhood, I would guess), there seemed to be a lot of local regulars. Everyone was very nice and very patient with our halting attempts at French, and I was actually able to make myself understood some of the time. Over all, just a perfect first-night meal.
(And of course the thing about first-night meals, the first time in Paris, is that by definition one has no perspective on them. So discount for that if you will, and I may revise this myself after having had more experience. At any rate, we had a lovely evening.)