|World Europe France Paris restaurants|
Paris eating out
Information about restaurants in Paris
Paris has some of the best restaurants in the world. You can find anything you want to eat in Paris at almost any price you wish to pay.
Lunch is a two to three-hour affair involving several courses. The cheese is wonderful, hors d'oeuvres are usually superb, sauces are a national
specialty, pnte de fois gras is different from anything you've had in tins. Coffee is strong but can be ordered to approximate the American taste.
Try puree de marrons, chestnuts cooked with celery, spices and chicken consomme.
Chez Docrcet is a chain that is well known and one of the less expensive. Prunier and Mediterranee specialize in seafood. Pavillion d'Armenonville, Pre Catelan in the Bois de Boulogne have good food and delightful surroundings. Over on the left bank there are La Coupole and La Dome.Some of the noblest cooking in France is still served in the humblest of surroundings. French food is relatively expensive, because the raw ingredients are so, but, whereas Maxim's or Lasserre in Paris may well cost you 80 francs a head, in thousands of lesser French restaurants you can still get a good meal for a few eoro. On main roads, the routiers restaurants (carrying a prominent R sign), used by lorry-drivers, offer excellent, copious meals at only io francs or so.
French cooking is based on an unbroken tradition, and its hallmark is regionalism. The greatest regions, gastronomically, are the Lyonnais, Burgundy, Normandy, Perigord, and Provence. The Basque country, Brittany, the Loire, Alsace, and Savoy also have their own interesting dishes. Even in Paris, many of the best restaurants are run by provincials who get produce fresh every day from a farm at home. But in Paris a new, imported tradition is beginning to assert itself, with snack bars and cafeterias.
Lunch still tends to be a bigger meal for the French than dinner. Horsd'auvre is more usual than soup at lunch, soup is preferred at dinner. The French as a rule eat their vegetables separately from the main dish, especially if this has a rich sauce - they do not like the vegetables to muffle its taste. And they always eat cheese before the sweet or fruit course, not after.
A very short list of good dishes (common to many parts of France) would include moules marinieres, artichaux vinaigrette, salade de cruditis, pates, escargots, coq au vin, canard d l'orange, escalope a la creme, and, for sweets, profiteroles, diplomate, and souffles. The French cook richly, using plenty ofbutter, cream, and wine, and are not afraid of garlic and other herbs that add subtle flavours.
Table wine (vin ordinaire) varies in quality but is usually drinkable, red better than white, and cheap. In a wine-growing area, local vin du pays en carafe is always good value. The better bottled wines are little cheaper than in London, the best years are '53, '55, '57 (for Burgundies), '60, '6i, '62, and '63. Muscadet, from the Loire, is a fine light wine to go with shellfish, while Fleurie, Julienas, and Brouilly are Beaujolais with a more narrowly defined appellation, and therefore more to be trusted. Before or after meals, the French drink Scotch whisky, but never gin and rarely sherry, sweet red Cinzano, Dubonnet, Pernod, Pastis, and Ricard are popular aperitifs. French beer is sharp, without much body, but is served ice-cold. Diabolo menthe (lemonade and green pepperment syrup) is a good thirst-quencher. There is no substance in the myth that you cannot drink tap-water in France
|2007 travel guides|