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Champagne by the glass (in Paris) - what is your strategy?

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Champagne by the glass (in Paris) - what is your strategy?

greatgatsby | Aug 4, 2010 02:51 AM

This (at least for me) is a tricky one: Is there a smart, polite and friendly way to figure out whether you should order a glass of champagne in a restaurant in Paris, or indeed anywhere in France? :)

This SHOULD not create a dilemma... but it DOES, because you almost never know how much the restaurant is actually planning to charge you for the pleasure. Let me give two examples that really got me thinking about this:

1) Dinner at Les Papilles, we have two glasses of an unnamed Champagne. It turns out to be very decent. When we get the bill it lists two glasses and they are complimentary. Result? Happiness, and if anything was needed to want me go back to this place even more - that was the final reason!

2) Lunch at Le Cinq, we have two glasses of excellent Champagne (forgot the name unfortunately). When we get the bill it lists two glasses at EUR 30 each. 30? Result: Although I know I should not, I feel that I am being taken advantage of, because of this high price. Of course, I COULD have asked, and then decided against it, so it is not the restaurant's fault. But still, but still - they KNOW I am not going to ask, right?

So my question for you is - how to solve this dilemma, without the waiter making you look cheap? I have little practice with this situation. I live in Italy and it is rare here to charge sky-high prices for aperitifs, even at the priciest restaurants you can be relatively sure that a glass of prosecco is going to be within your budget.

So how do you French folks solve this? Really curious about your thoughts, thanks!

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