Dining & Drinking, Paris
First, a book with pictures explaining the various French dishes will definitely help in the restaurants. Second, restaurants are not open for dinner until after 7pm. Third, everyone orders a bottle of water with their wines for dinner (as we learned on our last day there). Fourth, no need to tip 15% in restaurants as the tip and tax are ALWAYS calculated into the price of the dishes.
A Restaurant Tip:
Non-French speaking patrons of French -- and especially Parisian -- restaurants need to be careful of the term 'entrée.' It means 'entrance', or maybe more accurately, 'entered', and applies to 'starters.' Unfortunately, my French is quite limited. Anyway, it does not mean 'main course' as it is interpreted in the U.S. This bit of info may well save you a few patronizing 'sniffs' from waiters.
On the third Thursday of November, tradition has it that everyone must taste the Nouveau Beaujolais wine. The inexpensive red wine usually does better abroad than at home, but on this day, folks throng to bars and cafes to drink long into the night. There's nothing more convivial than sharing a bottle with friends, and if you want to see some unbridled bacchanalianism, try the Marais neighborhood, or the Saint Germain des Pres and St Michel areas.
France known for its wine, champagne and cognac, but there is also some nice beers here, and on a hot summer days nothing is better then a cold Kronenbourg 1664 beer.
I think on your first morning in Paris be sure to step into any of the café’s around and take a cup of cappuccino and croissant
Paris has many local markets all around different neighbourhoods where you can find fresh fruits & vegetables as well as clothing and kitchen tools.
The bread. I've seen it in the most strange places..
And eating french-fries with every kind of dishes, doesn't it make you feel like in the USA?
This photo combines two local customs -- the blackboard menu and a good deal if you take your meal at the bar. All the choices look good!
I walked by this scene on the way to the metro one day. Sitting by the service entrance of this restaurant were these crates of fresh vegetables, waiting for the staff to arrive and take them in.
Get up early, have a coffee and a croissant in one of the many bars to see Paris awake.
Good hotels also offer French breakfast.