Eating in a French restaurant doesn’t have to be intimidating

French service

An American’s guide to French restaurants

When you imagine dining in a French restaurant, do you picture a fancy place with expensive, difficult-to-pronounce food, served by snooty waiters who judge you? Anyone who’s traveled to France can tell you that the experience of eating in a French restaurant in the U.S. is very different from dining in a genuine restaurant in France. Here we will offer you a few tips to help American travelers feel more at home when enjoying an authentic French dining experience:

They’re not ignoring you

One of the most common complaints American travelers have about French restaurants is the slowness of the service. Even though it may seem like your server is deliberately not paying attention to you, not bringing water or menus to your table, or not clearing the plates away quickly, there’s a simple explanation: the French take food very seriously, and meals are a time to relax and enjoy the company of others. Your servers are actually being polite by not rushing you through your meal and allowing you plenty of time to savor the food and conversation.

It helps to learn certain signals that are expected in French restaurants: when you are ready to order, turn your menu face-down on the table. When you are ready to have your plate removed, place the sliver face up close together on the plate. Ask politely for the bill when you are ready for it, and place your cash or credit card on top of the bill and wait for your server to pick it up.

Maison Parisienne combines a relaxing French atmosphere with American speed and service. We invite you to relax in a classically cozy atmosphere and spend an afternoon chatting with friends while you enjoy authentic French pastries, sandwiches and more. We know you’re in a hurry sometimes, too – that’s why we also offer carryout.

Copyright: Jean-François Gornet

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