My last dinner at Le Regelade St. Honore branch, started as it always does, with the lovely house course terrine of Pate and bread brought out to us to enjoy while we decided on our meal....
The terrine had about 1/2 it's contents in it, and of course it had visited another table before us (we assumed, please correct me if this is not so - it was 1/2 the terrine, and looked like it had been cooked in said vessel). We ate about 1/2 what was there, and I would think it would move on to another diner's table following us.
This is SO not possible to do in the United States, and I Think it is a shame... what a lovely example of welcoming hospitality that just sets the mood for the dinner your going to have.
I am hoping to open a resto in the next couple of years, and this is exactly the sort of thing I would love to offer.
HOW does the French food inspection system, and the proprietor's of establishments keep items non-contaminated (or at least within reason, as I am sure French germs can't be all that different than my American ones). Is it expectation of table ettiquette? An assumption on the part of health dept. in France this is a non- issue? How?
The Riz-de-Lait at several venerable chowhound Paris destinations is the same, served in a generous bowl ( and I am sure they don't throw out all the leftovers that come back from a table, but put it back into the pot to be shared out again?) or various other entree's I have experienced in France...
Read this sad current article on Sardi's shared cheddar cheese bowls having gone by the wayside to see the state of things in NY as an example of American 'health' principles: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/23/nyr....
Why is there such a difference in attitudes, and how could the US learn from France practices to be more frlendly to this type of service? Could it ever fly in the US?
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