Eating Out in Paris
A tremendous range of food is available in Paris, from the rich meat dishes to the light, flaky for which France is famous. 1. French cuisine is a still evolving art. Traditional French cooking is butter-based and centres on meat, poultry and fish. Today, however, the chefs of many Parisian restaurants are becoming more interested in regional food and in simple, home-style fare which relies on fresh, seasonal ingredients.
French cooking tends not to be highly spiced, although fresh herbs like chives and parsley are essential ingredients in the sauces that accompany most savoury dishes. 2. One of the most enjoyable aspects of Paris is the diversity of places to eat. Bistros are small, often moderately-priced, restaurants with a limited selection of dishes. Brasseries are larger, bustling eateries with immense menus, and most serve food throughout the day and are open late. Cafes (and some wine bars) open early and the majority close by 9 pm.
They serve drinks and food all day long from a short meny of salads, sandwiches and eggs. At lunch most offer a small choice of hot daily specials. 3. The waiter usually takes your choice of entree (first course), then the plat (mail course). Dessert is ordered after you have finished your main course unless there are some hot desserts which have to be ordered at the start of the meal. In most restaurants you will be asked if you would like a drink before ordering food. In most restaurants you will be asked if you would like a drink before ordering food.
A typical aperitif is kir (white wine with a blackcurrant liqueur). Spirits are not generally drunk before a meal in France. 4. The first course generally includes a choice of salads or vegetables or pate. Small fish dishes like smoked salmon, grilled sardines, herring, shellfish or oysters are also on offer. Main dishes usually include a selection of meat, poultry or fish served with french fries and vegetables. Highly recommended are moules marinieres (mussels steamed in wine) and chevre tiede sur un lit de salade (grilled goats cheese with a mixed-leaf salad). . Prices vary from extremely economical to astronomical. Many places offer a formule or fixed-price menu, especially at lunch, and this will almost always offer the best value. If you want a greater choice of dishes, go for the a la carte menu. Remember that a bottle of wine will increase the size of your bill significantly and that coffee usually carries an extra charge. Prices usually include service. Although you do not have to leave a tip, it is common to do so and is based on 5-10% of the total.