Seeing as I have at least 2 meals on the horizon that are supposed to have great cheese courses, I need to know more about the etiquette that I should observe. I have had many cheese courses at many nice restaurants but they have all been at restaurants in the United States where the cheeses were already plated so portion control and choice is not an issue.
Is the cheese course typically plated for you in Parisian restaurants or is it more like a take what you want sort of deal? If I prefer a runny Epoisses to a firm goat cheese, is it acceptable to take more from one and less from the other? Do they normally put out a few and explain the progression? From what I have gathered, at Le Comptoir, you are given a large, communal plate of cheese from which you take what you want and pass it on, making sure to not be too greedy. Is that the same sort of deal at Le Grand Vefour, even though I know I would never handle the cheese plate? What about Le Cinq? I just don't want to do something embarrassing by not knowing the proper etiquette, especially at some of the nicer places where it feels like there are 50 sets of eyes watching your every move.