PARIS
FOODS AND RESTAURANTS

Moi, j'ai faim! Toi, aussi?  Où veux-tu dîner?
I'm hungry!  How about you?  Where do you to eat?

 

LA CUISINE FRANÇAISE:  UN ART

Dining in France is an art.  There is artistry in purchasing, preparing, presenting, and eating a meal.

PURCHASING


Great care is taken in selecting the food and ingredients to prepare a meal.  The French prefer to shop in the open air markets and small stores where produce is fresh, even if the price is somewhat higher than at a supermarket.  But it is not just quality that draws the French to its markets and small stores; it is also the personal contact with the merchant and the neighbors.  The outdoor market is lively, colorful, and friendly. 

PREPARATION


French cuisine is highly esteemed the world over.  It is perhaps most distinguished by its wine and cream sauces, as well as its subtle blend of herbs and spices.  Each region is characterized by its own style and specialties.  For example, Marseilles is noted for it bouillabaisse; Brittany , for it crêpes; Nice, for its salade niçoise; Périgord, for its foie gras.  The most accomplished chefs in France enjoy the celebrity of a sports hero in the United States.  The name of Paul Bocuse, for example, is revered.  People travel from all over France to dine in his restaurant 
near Lyon.

SERVICE

Food is served in relatively small portions and in courses.  A full meal may include an hors d'oeuvre, entrée (a prelude to the meal, which may be soup or fish), plat de résistance (main course), salad, cheese, fruit and/or dessert, coffee, and perhaps a liqueur at the end of the meal. Wine, champagne, or water are the beverages of choice.  Hot drinks are not served with the meal as they numb the palate, inhibiting taste.

THE MEAL

Dining is a social event in France.  The enjoyment of the meal is enhanced by good conversation and vice versa.  It is not uncommon for a meal to last 2 hours.  "Fast food" is appearing in France, but is resisted by most Frenchmen.  Meals are meant to be savored and the company leisurely enjoyed.  Bon appétit!

 

There is a restaurant, bistrot, or brasserie for every palate and every ethnic group in Paris.  Prices range from moderate to very expensive.  Tips are generally included in the price of the meal or are automatically included in the check (addition).

The most famous, and most expensive restaurant in Paris is the Tour d'Argent, which combines traditional elegance, exquisite menu, and outstanding service.  Visit this web site to check out the cuisine, atmosphere, and roof garden.  If you have any doubt about the importance of wine in France, be sure to visit the cellar/history of this site where you will find eloquent, poetic praises of the "nectar of the gods", including an excerpt from Les Fleurs du Mal, de Charles Baudelaire.

For another menu, check out this restaurant:    Bouclard
Stop in at some of Paris's most famous cafes:  Cafe de la Paix
                                                                                   Cafe des deux Magots
                                                                                   Le Fouquets
                                                                                    Cafe de Flore
 

TASTE OF EUROPE
ATHENS
FOODS
MADRID
FOODS