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Appropriate cocktail in Paris

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When I was younger, and in Paris, I remember someone telling me not to order a cocktail, as I would in North America, b/c it would be outrageous and not very good.

So what does one order for a before dinner drink in Paris? Whether in a bistro or finer dining establishment?

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  1. here are some suggestions from another post:
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/434148

    I normally have champagne, a kir, or a glass of white wine...

    1. I always ask if there is a special house aperitif (there usually is). If it sounds appealing I will have it, otherwise I order a kir.