I love going out to eat! It’s fun. When I was little, Daddy took us every week at least once. Sometimes more. There weren’t a lot of places to go. During those year, Gainesville, Georgia was a small Southern town. 25,000 – 30,000 people, maybe. We would go to the Dixie Hunt Hotel on Sundays after church. Or, we would go to the Mayflower Cafe on Main Street for Jimmy Carras’ steak and onion rings. Most of the time, we went to the Elks Club for a steak and baked potato. Daddy could go downstairs for a Jack Daniels and water while Mother and I watched for the food. (No comment!)
Did I say – I love going out to eat! Now, good food is important, but also the ambiance, the table, the placement of the table, the view from my seat, the flowers, where I sit, the acoustics, the presentation. Drove Steve crazy. Good food was it for him! For me, not so much. At some point, he would ask me before sitting down if the table were all right, or did I want to move. I have been known to leave a restaurant if I did not like where I was sitting. All he needed was good food. I know, I know. (sigh).
Nice is an entirely different story. I tried to change my table a couple of times and realized right away – don’t do that! I tried to sit at a booth upstairs at Boccaccio, a four-star Mediterranean restaurant, and got punished for the rest of the meal. Oops. Well…., the food was good, but my experience was not so hot. Now, I sit where they put me. Most of the time, I am lucky if I get a seat, especially if I have not made a reservation. I used to hate banquet seating. I feel like I am on a train or something, talking to the people on my right or my left. Here, most restaurants have banquet seating. Now, I love banquet seating (sigh). No problem with talking. Read my phone. I can’t understand what those people are saying anyway (even though I try while looking at my phone).
The best thing to order is the plat du jour (written in handwriting on a blackboard – sometimes out front). A friend here said to do that. Chefs (ALL ARE EXCELLENT!) prepare something special for that day. If I order off the menu, chances are that it will have been frozen. It is very important to eat fresh food. ???? Don’t ask. I now have a system. I check the blackboards – inside and out – before going into the restaurant. I ask for a “wipe” for my hands (don’t know what it is called in French) because a basket of delicious French bread is always a starter. I find a table outside. I even have an Italian cotton hat in my purse for those sunny tables. I don’t mind going alone anymore. No matter. I read my phone.
The food is good. The wine is excellent. The waiters are outstanding. What’s not to like?
The French love to dine. Time out for breakfast, morning coffee, two-hour lunch, afternoon Rosé, dinner. Why are they not all fat? Apparently, they know how to order. I don’t see a lot of hamburgers and French fries. Maybe there are fast food restaurants. Even MacDonald’s has a cappuccino machine.
My favorite French breakfast is a fresh croissant (ordered before they give out), fresh-squeezed orange juice (available most places), and café Americain (4 sips instead of two). For lunch (available between 12:00 p.m – 2:00 p.m.), I usually go to one of my favorites – Di Piu, Boccaccio, Le Séjour Café, Le Bistro Gourmand, Pastry Plaisirs, Le Bistro d’Antoine, Bar des Oiseaux, Deli Bo, La Voglia, Peixes, Auberge de Theo, among others. Dinner is at home – a bottle of French Cabernet with a salad or fish or chicken. Soon, I plan to venture out for dinner, or early supper. Not yet. Favorite photos from various restaurants – a lot of which are Michelin Restaurants. Easy to do! Hey, it’s France!!!