Dining Out in Paris – What You Need to Know Before You Get to the City of Light, is a terrific guide to own whether it’s your first visit or your 10th.
Paris is always on my mind. It’s a destination that captures the imagination and hearts of visitors. No matter how many times I return, I know there are endless fascinating nooks and crannies waiting to be savored. Author, Tom Reeves, apparently experienced this magnetic draw as he pulled up stakes in California in 1992 and moved to France permanently. A devote of the Paris restaurant scene, Tom’s dining guide shares all the little customs and quirks of dining in the city of light. Every traveler to Paris (first-time or not) should have this handy little guidebook in their pack.
Tom’s guide is far more than a list of top ten restaurants in the Latin Quarter, although that’s included as well. Tom’s unpretentious advice will allow you to enter eateries in Paris with confidence, whether it be a casual local brasserie or a Michelin star-rated fine dining restaurant. Here are just a few examples of the great dining insights that Tom shares with his readers:
- Do you the difference between a café, bistro, or brasserie?
- Did you know that an Entrée is actually the appetizer course in France. The main course is called the Plat Principal.
- Meats are typically cooked one degree rarer that U.S. travelers are accustomed to. If your choice is usually medium-rare, you should order medium while in Paris.
- A service charge is ALWAYS included in the bill, although you may wish to leave a bit more.
- Bread is offered free with meals, but butter is not.
- Waiters will offer mineral water that is Avec Gaz or Sans Gaz (bubbly or not). You will need to know the correct words for ordering plain tap water (which is free and fine to drink in Paris).
- Paris restaurants typically do not serve dinner until 7:30 or 8pm and many are closed on Sunday and Monday.
- Many restaurants have an English-language menu available if you know to ask.
- Knowing what “Fait Maison” means could improve your dining experience tremendously.
At just over 100 pages, this guide is the ideal size for taking it along on your trip. In addition to general dining tips, and lists of favorite restaurants, Tom shares locations of gourmet food shops, French food markets, and reveals how to dine like a local.
So by all means pick up a copy of Dining Out in Paris by Tom Reeves (in its 2nd edition, revised and expanded) before your next visit to Paris. And for more of Tom’s insightful tips on visiting France, visit his blog Paris Insights.