Ok, apologies if this has been asked and answered. Is it frowned upon to share courses at Paris restaurants? If my wife and I want to split an entree of escargots or the desert, is that accepted (assuming, of course we are ordering a la carte) or will we be subjected to scorn and ridicule by the waiter, maitre d' and chef?
i am pretty confident it is the same as in other countries. Some restaurants will be fine others will be less accommodating.
At "Gaya" (great fish restaurant) my partner and I would always order the dishes to share, so we would split two entrees, two main, and two deserts, turning a traditional three course meal into a six course one. It worked very well, partly because the menu structure at Gaya is not traditional. I think the staff liked our approach as it enabled us to more fully explore the menu.
One irritating example - I usually order a desert and my partner doesn't - and they always bring two spoons - I am told this is good for my waistline :-(
So, no harm in asking - "on peut partager?" (can we share) or "on voudrais partager?" (we would like to share). Sorry about the spelling.
I'm not sure where you live, or what you are used to, but the portion sizes in France are much more "normal" than in a lot of US restaurants (unless you live in NY, LA or SF!) So you may not need to split the order.
As to sharing dessert...how often do you get to Paris? Are you sure you couldn't eat one each? And anyway, you'll walk it off. But if you must-you'll have no problem sharing at most places.
re: David W
I was thinking more of the size of my wallet than my waistline. If I wanted to save a few bucks here and there by ordering one app and/or desert rather than two. Of course I am much more inclined to order two desserts, but since the euro may be 2/1 by the time I get there, I'm trying to conserve.
I live in NC and yes, portions here are as big as everywhere else in the US(most places, anyway).
I think there's no problem about sharing the entrée (above all if both of you take another "plat principal"). I'm french and we often do that, most of the time because we feel guilty of being greedy :)
About the desert, if you go to the restaurant for lunch, you should stop at the plat principal and go in any boulangerie for the desert. It will be at least 3 times cheaper and then you could save money AND have 2 deserts !
Enjoy your stay !