10 Things Not to Do in Paris

10 Things Not to Do in Paris - #2

Get Starstruck At Mealtimes
Home to 66 Michelin-starred restaurants, Paris is a gourmet's paradise. But a lot of pomp and circumstance—not to mention sky-high prices—accompany most of these traditional fine-dining establishments. (The prix fixe dinner at three-star L'Arpège, for example, will set you back a staggering $480. And that's before wine!) Does the idea of half a dozen waiters hovering buzzardlike around your table sound appealing? Or how about spending as much on dinner as you did on your plane ticket? No, we didn't think so.
Have Your Dinner À La Mode
Recently, several Michelin-starred chefs have abandoned the rigid confines of haute-cuisine restaurants to open convivial bistros that serve up simpler (yet still outstanding) meals. And the locals are just crazy about them. Yves Camdeborde's pioneering Le Comptoir du Relais, in the sixth arrondissement, is so popular that it can be hard to get a table. But once you're tucking into Camdeborde's famous foie gras terrine for a fraction of what you'd pay elsewhere (the weekday dinner prix fixe is about $68), you'll understand why the place is booked months in advance. If you can't get in at dinner, try arriving by 11:45 am for lunch (reservations are not accepted, so it's first come, first serve). Christian Constant's charming Café Constant, in the seventh, is another popular option that serves impeccably prepared favorites, such as roast chicken, for a mere $20. Still hell-bent on a Michelin-star meal? Try booking at lunchtime, when many restaurants offer excellent-value prix fixe menus.
My thoughts - I agree.  My rule when traveling in Europe is that if a restaurant has a menu posted outside in English or they advertise an "American" menu they are expecting tourists and I usually move on.  I especially like dining at ethnic restaurants while in Europe.  One positive influence from the old colonial days is that you can usually find the cuisine of the colonies in the country you are visiting.  England = Indian, The Netherlands = Indonesian, France = Moroccan, Italy = Ethiopian are some good examples.
Number 3 on Wednesday.

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