I normally expect to pay for whatevery I get at a restaurant, but whenever I've gone to a very expensive place and got offered something little before the meal starts it's always been free. To be fair, I've only ever had this maybe 4 times ever so "always" may not be meaningful.
I just had a very nice meal in a top-rated place (in the city where I live and hadn't been to in a while) where we were offered (and accepted) an amuse-bouche (although it was an Italian place and they used a different word). We ordered apps, pasta course and entrees, so it wasn't like we needed the extra food. It was a couple of tiny meatballs with a sauce and quite delicious. I thought it was offered as a bonus, although we were asked if we wanted it and we said sure, I'm pretty sure that previous times the amuse-bouche just came out without asking if we wanted it.
When the bill came we were charged $7 each for them. Everything was just great and the $14 wasn't worth talking about (given the size of the bill) so I didn't bring it up. I'm not upset at all, just curious whether it's common nowadays to charge for an amuse-bouche in high-end restaurants.
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