Part 2: A restaurant is only open for lunch and dinner (not breakfast) and is more formal in its offering. No sandwiches, no salads as main courses. They offer a selection of entrees (appetizers), plats (main course), and desserts. Lunch, in Paris, is generally between 12:00 and 1:30 and dinner starts at 8:00 – at the EARLIEST, and service goes till 11:00 or so. Restaurants generally offer also a “Menu Fixe” for a fixed price where you choose either an appetizer and main course, a main course and dessert, or all three for a set price. Don’t listen to people who say that eating in Paris always costs a fortune. It IS more expensive than it used to be, and I guess it depends on what you think of as expensive, but the restaurants we went to had menu fixe prices varying from 24 to 36 euros, which, for two or three courses, doesn’t seem outrageous to me. This time we went to Bistrot Paul Bert, in the 11th arrondisement, which I’d been wanting to try. The reviews say that the steak frites is one of the best- I haven’t eaten enough different ones to say THAT, but I did think it was very tasty! Their menu is on a chalkboard which they prop up at the end of the table. Fresh and local is key to places like this and when we were there, “cepes” mushrooms were in season so there was an omelet option or “poelee” which meant mushrooms sauteed in a pan with herbs and butter- delicious! The menu there, for 3 courses, was 36 euros, with the appetizer and dessert priced separately at 9 euros and the main course at 23 euros so the fixed price is a great deal!
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