Essential French 4

French Restaurant Basics

You’ve learned to ask for and understand directions in Essential French 3. Now, you’ve found the restaurant you were looking for.
These few phrases may be useful to you in a French restaurant.

The Next 14 Phrases

French Restaurant Customs…

We’ve found that restaurant customs in France vary some.
We remember that in a typical Parisian bistrot or brasserie, we could just go find a table we liked; in less casual restaurants, a maitre’d or hostess would suggest a table.
Recently in the Bordeaux area, we found that even in the more casual restaurants, we were expected to wait for the waiter to assign us a table.
Often the weather was warm enough so we could ask for a table “dehors”.
There are too many French dishes for us to list, and for you to remember and practice.
In the larger or more “touristy” cities, restaurant menus usually have an English translation. Or you simply get an English version, unless you say “en français, s’il vous plaît”.
In the countryside you often have to decipher the daily menu on a chalk board. And the daily menu may also list a “prix fixe” menu, which includes an hors d’oeuvre and a dessert. These typically are a good deal.

Author: Peter Rettig

Peter F. Rettig's interest in languages began while working in Switzerland, where he became fluent in French. In his third career, he started GamesforLanguage.com and - as a language lover and traveler later in life - Lingo-Late with his wife, Ulrike.

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