Paris restaurants

Aug 12th, 2007, 09:33 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Paris restaurants

Good evening! I'm looking for a 'nice' restaurant for my husband et moi to enjoy without our children while we are in Paris. I've found plenty of good recommendations here and concern is: we don't want to order the set menu, most likely (both of us are quite picky eaters). We prefer to order a la carte. Is it unusual to go to a nice parisian restaurant and NOT order a starter? We are more concerned with the main course & maybe splitting a dessert. That way - more wine for me
octoberinparis is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 09:36 AM
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Hi O,

No Paris restaurant will force you to order the menu.

ira is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 09:41 AM
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Maybe you'd get a raised eyebrow doing that in a few "starred" high end places, but it certainly is not a problem in most restaurants. In fact, more than once I've ordered two different starters and no main (they're often much more interesting) and no one minds a bit. And sometimes we've even ordered a starter for one at the same time as a main for the other, then a main for one of us while the other gets a dessert. This would send most US restaurants into total confusion, but it seems to be readily accepted in Paris.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 09:51 AM
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That's great, thanks! The restaurants we're looking at are hardest are la Pomme or les Ombres...or about 10 other ones . Thanks again!
octoberinparis is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 12:17 PM
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My biggest reasons for not ordering à la carte are 1) it's usually more expensive for the one or two dishes than just getting the "menu" and I always like most of the choices and 2) the portions of the dish are more than I'm interested in eating.

I agree that you might get a raised eyebrow in a swanky place if you order only one dish, (Les Ombres is in this league, I would imagine) but you can redeem yourself and save your "reputation" if you order a quality wine instead. I find that seems to genuinely disconcert the upscale French places more...after all, they work so hard for just the right balance of colors, tastes, textures to not pair it with the right wine for the full effect (or so it's thought).

20 years ago it was inadmissable (mal élev&eacute to share, or even taste each others' food. But we've recently noted the French lightening up on this. Several times they've on their own initiative brought the dessert already 1/2 portioned on separate plates because they knew we were planning on sharing, or sometimes with an extra plate and fork and a big they know they surprised and pleased us.

As for one eating a main meal while another ate their dessert...too much of a mix of aromas etc to be appetizing IMO. We make it a dining experience and don't mind waiting for each course in it's due time. And I would imagine ça trouble les sensibilités des français gastronomes much more so. But hey, to each his own.

I don't think the wait staff cares one iota if you order à la carte or the set menu. The exception being if you order the cheapest little entree in the swankiest restaurant just so you can say you've been there, which is obviously not your case. Go have a great time and don't worry about it!
klondike is offline  
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