Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dining in Paris

An excellent meal near Gare de l'Est
So, I wanted to say a short word on dining in Paris.

We've eaten a lot of picnics and dinners in our apartment and so have been able to afford more dinners out than expected. We've also found that sticking close to home (the 10th) is more convenient and less expensive. It's also less touristy, in general. We've had three excellent dinners withing a 10 min walk of our apartment, tonight being no exception.

Although we searched our four guides for recommendations, we ended up doing our favorite thing - walking until we found something that looked good.

Tonight we headed up Blvd. Magenta in the direction of Gare de l'Est. And we found a cute little bistro where the waiter was friendly to us as we checked out the menu. So yes, he "caught us in his net" and we were very happy he did.

Jean - Marc, one of my favorite waiters in Paris
Jean-Marc was one of those professional waiters. He knew how to engage the people walking by and handle the entire place himself with the help of the proprietor. We were in the early dinner crowd, it being only 7:15 pm. The sun was still warm on the tables along the busy street next to a bus station. But it was lively, warm, and the food looked typically French. We weren't out for "cuisine," just yummy food.

Right away, Jean-Marc tried engaging us in English, but being shy about his language skills and understanding my French better, we struck up a wonderfully, friendly conversation in French. We were American? From Chicago? New York? In the end, he was fascinated with all the details of Maine and it's coastal culture since he himself was from Brittany.

The meal was good, the owner checked on us and was very happy that we were happy and the whole dinner was "genial."

This is my normal experience with Paris. I have yet to have anyone be rude or anything but fall-all-over-me friendly. Granted, I speak French fairly well (be assured, their expectations are pretty low for Americans) and I engage and smile and ask questions. But, I am NOT eating at some fancy place like Les Deux Magots (definitely worth a coffee if you can spare the Euros) or some other super snobby touristy places. We are dining in "our" neighborhood!

So, I write this with a stomach full of confit de cunnard (duck), a demi-carafe of good house wine and a mousse au chocolate, topped with friendly Parisian service. Life is great in Paris!!

For more information about planning a great time in Paris, visit ParisMadeSimple!

No comments: