Entertaining & Etiquette

France Chicken

Etiquette question: if your chicken is not hot and not wholly cooked, what do you do?

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Entertaining & Etiquette 40

Etiquette question: if your chicken is not hot and not wholly cooked, what do you do?

syb | Nov 22, 2011 01:51 PM

I had this experience tonight and would love feedback on what I should have done.

I should preface this by saying it was in a restaurant run by a local darling chef. Dinner for 2 was 105 euros.

My chicken arrived lukewarm and questionably cooked. It sat before me for a minute before my husband's fish arrived piping hot. When I cut into my chicken it was pink inside. When I put it in my mouth, it was tepid. The combination of temperature (I like hot food to be hot) and underdone poultry made the dish unappetizing to me. I couldn't keep eating it to be polite, I would have just left the chicken untouched. Not knowing the etiquette in Paris, I debated saying something. But then I decided to do what I would have done at home in NYC.

When the waiter walked by, I politely mentioned my food was tepid and that if possible, I'd like it to be warmed and cooked a bit more. He gave me a look as though I'd insulted his mother, took the plate to the kitchen without a word.

A few minutes later, the chef personally returned the plate to me with apologies and a smile. The chicken was piping hot, cooked through, and all was well. Or so I thought. The waiter (who was pleasant and engaging for the first half of the meal) refused to talk or look at me for the rest of the meal.

My questions to you:

- Are dishes ever sent back in Paris or did I violate French etiquette?

- What would you have done?

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