Re: French restaurants: Ordering without looking like a dolt
I can not speak french, I know next to nothing about French cuisine . . . What should one know before one goes?
A crucial and helpful bit of knowledge is that in America, nine out of ten waiters/waitresses in French restaurants are not native speakers of French, butcher the language appallingly, and have the insufferable habit of correcting the pronunciation of their guests, even those who are
native speakers. I have an advantage--when confronted by such twits, i simply stop speaking English, speak to them only in French, and correct their pronunciation. They usually hang out the white flag pretty quickly.
(Nota Bene: I am not a native speaker of French, i am just insufferably arrogant, and more fluent in the language than the staff of most French restaurants in this country.)