I found an apartment in the 8th Arrondisement that suits our requirements. That isn't one of the neighborhoods recommended in Rick Steves' France. Do you think that neighborhood is OK? The apartment building is near the Opera Metro stop and has a 24 hour doorman. Does anybody have any favorite restaurants in that Arrondisement?
It's a pretty ritzy neighborhood. Closer to Tuileries garden, I've enjoyed nice lunch menus (3 courses for €28) on two occasions at L'Ardoise (the blackboard). It's small, so reserve or go early.
That's a really upmarket neighbourhood. If the apartment is at all cheap, I'd suspect fraud and be very cautious about sending money in advance to the landlord.
It sounds great, yes it's a good area. There are lots of good areas and sights that RS does not address, it doesn't mean they're not good, he just focuses (by necessity I think) on limited areas that most people want to see.
You are fairly close (1 km) to Le Pantruche on rue Victor Masse in the 9th, a standout imo for lunch or dinner-reserve ahead. A bit closer to you is Caillebotte, on rue Hippolyte Lebas, we had a very good dinner there. Named in honor of the impressionist painter Gustave Caillebotte, who used to live in the area.
I lived close to this area during my study abroad semester. It's one of the safest neighborhoods in central Paris.
Make sure you check out Parc Monceau - it's really is beautiful for a picnic, and was one of my favourite places to go jogging.
If you're close to Opera, you might wanna check out Rue Sainte-Anne, which has some awesome and quite affordable Japanese restaurants. I can recommend Higuma (http://higuma.fr/) but all are pretty great.
There's also a great crepe place on rue de Hanovre called Creperie Traditionnelle (http://www.yelp.com/biz/cr%C3%AAperie-traditionnelle-paris-4)
Hope that helps!