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  • Eye Prefer Paris is an ex-New Yorker's insider's guide to Paris. Richard Nahem writes his blog from his fabulous 18th century apartment in the fashionable Marais district of Paris

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April 03, 2013



Great post! I, too, like to focus on the positive for all things I write, but now and then it's worth warning readers away from such places.

I also hate to generalize, but your treatment seems rather typical to me. There's probably nothing the French hate to do more than to apologize.

I always say that 9 times out of 10, things go really well in French restaurants. But when they go bad, they go really, really bad—and no one ever tries to fix it.

Anyway, good for you for posting this.


you've got courage Richard. Agree with you; it was probably because in France NOBODY waits patiently so it was just assumed that it's alright to push forward for the next group and take over 'your' table... You can't blame the 'takers' but the owner. Hopefully there won't be many such alerts in the future (and btw; Ile St Louis has many lovely restos to go to)


Glad you posted this. And I have to agree that the French hate to apologize for anything. I'd add Café Marly to your list. I went in one day for a late lunch. I didn't have a reservation and I was told it would be an hour. Shortly after, a couple came in, no reservation and they were seated immediately. My only conclusion is that they didn't want a table for 2 to be wasted on just one person. I will never go there again.

Après New York Blog

Ha - god forbid the French ever apologize or take responsibility for anything! I love the "Rudness Alert" concept.

Mary Ann Nicoud

Love the "Rudeness Alert" idea. It will help me (others) figure out if we were alos victims or just ignorant of Parisian customs. . . like the time a waiter brought small bowls of liquid saying, "is for your fingers" and the entire kitchen was watching us from behind every nook. The liquid was deep brown, the color of broth so I told my husband, "don't put your fingers in that - I'm pretty sure it's consume and we're about to be the featured kitchen entertainment for the evening." Or the time I was served chocolate mouse in a 13" mixing bowl filled to the top with a soup spoon. Waiters be damned - I ate the mouse! ! ! :D

Great post and I've retweeted and also passed it onto my FB page.

I live 45km from Paris and people can be rude here. The simple one... saying "Bonjour" and people completely blanking you. It happens far too often.

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