Book Reviews,  Life in Paris & France

Dining Out in Paris – Book Review

Dining out Tom Reeves cover 01While on the plane, spend less than two hours scrolling through the pages of Tom Reeves’ helpful ebook, “Dining Out in Paris: What You Need to Know before You Get to the City of Light”. The delightful book is heavy with information, light to carry and easy to read “cover to cover”.

The purpose of the book is to initiate the first-time visitor and the once-in-a-while visitor to Paris and France with some of the customs of dining and food shopping. He sheds light on three big visitor questions: How do you want your meat cooked, how do I ask for plain water, and how much should I tip.

Written in easy to read, matter of fact style with cultural contrasts, the visitor learns how long to stay at the table and that your plates will be cleared when everyone is finished. Plan on staying awhile. As Tom says about French dining, “It is not something to be rushed through but savored.”

Tom, who has a Paris website, Discover Paris! of walks, tours and activities, gives advice and cultural contrasts clearly enough that his audience is encouraged to pull or push open the door and walk in to a restaurant or local shop. He begins with visiting shops, translations, cultural contrasts and market shopping advice.

I like and agree with Tom’s market advice: Watch to see what a local is doing when handling the fruits and vegetables (or not). I have noticed that the vendor attitudes have gone through quite a change since 2000. If they hand you a plastic bag, pick your own. One item they prefer you not touch is the salad. It damages easily if everyone picks one up and turns it over to check for freshness. Harder vegetables (zucchini, peppers, eggplant, cabbage, can usually be touched. But as Tom suggests, “watch to see if others are picking their own fruit and vegetables.”

Tom’s personalized restaurant selections are a French-influenced variety and a reminder of today’s varied French culinary and colonial culture. His book covers numerous arrondissements ensuring that the reader will leave the crowds behind and take the opportunity to see several Parisian neighborhoods. Updating an ebook quickly is a big guide book advantage.

The literary restaurant visits on one particular day, include the practical information, specialty tips, description of the interior, the menu choices that day, the prices, the cost and information about the owner. Some listings include vacation dates, others not. Tom continues to add helpful translation information with each restaurant perhaps not covered in his initial visitor orientation.

Since many restaurants are closed for lunch on a Saturday or all day Sunday, Monday, or vacation, Tom includes the open times. When he writes “Mon to Sun” you know the restaurant is open seven days a week.

I would have liked more information about what to see in the neighborhoods of the restaurants. Vacation time is limited for many and adding an attraction, a park, a monument, a second reason for seeing the neighborhood would ensure a restaurant visit.

An advantage of the “Dining Out in Paris” ebook is that updates can be easily made. Dates change, restaurants change management (“direction”), places close and turn into clothing stores, etc.

This was an opportunity for me to review my first ebook. The Kindle app is available to read “Dining Out” on Apple, Android devices and Windows phone.

Dining Out in Paris: What You Need to Know Before you Get to the City of Light
Author: Tom Reeves
Publisher: Discover Paris!

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This Web site and and its blog articles are for travelers to Paris who are looking for advice from someone who lives in Paris. These tips are "for Parisians at heart". Many people would like to visit, some can and some cannot - so I will help you enjoy a glimpse of the city and its surroundings. This project has been ongoing since 2002. Prior to living in Paris (since 1992) my European history began in the early 70s with three years in Wiesbaden, Germany. My next foray onto the Continent was in the mid-80s after graduation from the University of Florida (where I met Erik): traveling around Europe and UK with my friend, Margie, hitchhiking around and working in Ireland. After living and working as a journalist in Sweden for four years, traveling on boats, the Trans-Siberian Railway, local trains and planes took Erik and I around the world. I began working as a flight attendant in 1990 for American Airlines, based in Chicago. We moved to Paris, France in 1992 where I commuted between Paris and Chicago for my flight attendant/stewardess job. Finally my inner voice said "Stop!" and I left American Airlines six weeks shy of 20 years January 1, 2010. Now that is over and I am back working as a journalist and photographer full time on - My videos are posted on YouTube on the colleensparis youtube channel. and I am active in Toastmasters 75. Enjoy!