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Sending something back in Paris

Il Duomo | Jun 26, 2012 08:07 PM

At a Parisian bistro, my wife asked our server for his impressions on the following two main courses that were tearing her in two directions: beef tartar (the dish that she loves) and pork loin (the dish that was tempting her). He recommended the pork, and she accepted his advice. But when the pork loin arrived, she found it tough and not to her liking, and she immediately regretted that she hadn’t picked the other. She told our server that she wasn’t happy, and she asked for a second main course of beef tartar. Our server was incredulous. It was as if we had thrown a glass of red wine on his crisp, white shirt. I have two questions: 1. When is it acceptable to send something back? Can one send something back if they simply don’t like it? Or must it be over-cooked, over-salted, etc.? 2. If one sends something back in Paris, how should one expect the restaurant to handle the bill? This particular Parisian bistro charged us for both items. Thanks for your thoughts.

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