Ever see a restaurant in a movie and immediately decide that you *have* to eat there some day?

That’s exactly what Will and I have always thought about Le Grand Colbert from the Diane Keaton-Jack Nicholson rom-com Something’s Gotta Give.

Call it effective product placement, genius marketing or blindly trusting a tastemaker like Nancy Meyers, the film’s director, but it totally worked on us. And the good news is, it was one of our favorite dining experiences during our time in Paris. Yes, the food, not to mention the ambiance, was that good.

While it’s certainly not the place to wear your ratty sneakers and favorite sports jersey, Le Grand Colbert isn’t this over-the-top fancy place either. It’s approachable and charming, perfect for a date night, and they serve really incredible French bistro classics. As was tradition for most of our Parisian meals, Will and I both started with the French onion soup, which you know, is basically just a tasty vehicle for two tons of gooey Gruyére. Let’s just say this bowl didn’t disappoint thanks to a thick and pleasantly crusty cap of cheese to tear into before reaching the caramelized onions and savory broth.

After the soup, the frog legs arrived next. Since I’ve never been too fond of eating many of God’s furry little creatures, or in this case, God’s once-leaping amphibians, I opted not to try them even if I was informed they “tasted just like chicken.” What I did love, however, was the buttery, herb-y, garlicky broth pooled around the frog legs, so I dipped the crusty bread in and was very, very happy indeed.

While we were pretty full by the time the main courses arrived, a simple roasted chicken and veal piccata for the record, they were absolutely spot-on and oh-so-comforting as well. And to end this exquisite meal, I needed a little something sweet, of course, and opted for a true classic, Crème Brulee, that was flambeed tableside. Just in case you were wondering, yes, it was out of this world, and with cappuccino, it was even better.

Aside from our dinner at Le Grand Colbert, there were no shortage of good eats in Paris. We loved visiting one of the Barefoot Contessa’s favorite haunts, Café de Flore. It was a Friday night, and we’d just arrived from Amsterdam by train, so naturally we were pretty hungry. What we weren’t prepared for was just how busy this place was. They aren’t afraid to cram everyone in at Café de Flore, and you’re pretty lucky, really, if you can find a place to sit at all. Ten minutes and a short walk around the block later, we were fortunate enough to spot a couple leaving and wasted no time settling in. After ordering a couple of fizzy drinks, we were rewarded with the world’s best tasting potato chips and olives for a pre-dinner snack.

It’s amazing how the simplest of things can taste so good, whether it was the chips we gobbled up at record speed or the croque monsieur and croque madame we ordered for dinner. Our sandwiches were served with the freshest of salads on the side (I’m a big fan of the mustard-y vinaigrette that’s featured pretty much everywhere in Paris) and were a total hit.

Naturally with it being our first night and all, we didn’t want to leave without dessert, so we shared a slice of chocolate pie that was simply adorned with a tiny dollop of whipped cream and a plump raspberry. The pie was so chocolate-y and rich that it reminded me a really great Christmas fudge but with a thick graham cracker crust—yum, yum, yum!

When we weren’t indulging in carbs aplenty, the mussels were always a fantastic choice. I loved that they’re served with the humble frites (hands down, the best French fries ever), and I’m pretty sure this combination works the best in Paris. In the States, it’s just missing that certain something whenever I’ve ordered it.

But as outstanding as mussels and frites are, it’s my sweet tooth that always reigns supreme in Paris. Who can resist the artfully presented desserts of the local patisseries? Whether it’s a sublime apple tart or a trio of pistachio macarons or a banana chocolate crepe dusted with powdered sugar, resistance is basically futile. At least we walked quite a bit every day, right? Or that’s what I told myself every time I felt the slightest bit guilty. I’m proud to report the rationalization worked like a charm again and again, so be sure to keep that in mind when you visit, and you’ll feel much, much better.