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The Food Lover's Guide to Paris
ISBN 0761114793 / 9780761114796 / 0-7611-1479-3
Publisher Workman Publishing Company
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Let's face it. Finding the best of the fabled cuisine in Paris can be difficult for us Americans. We're thrown off by the language, the numerous terms for eateries, and the French themselves, who love to pretend they don't speak English.
That's why Patricia Wells's updated guide, now in its fourth edition, is a hit. With detailed information on 450 restaurants, Wells takes readers by the hand and demystifies the culture so well known for its luscious food and demanding gourmands. Sidebars abound: she dissects breads, foie gras, and oysters--and even gives the cultural background on why the French may drink wine in the morning (to kill worms, of course), as well as discussing the pros and cons of eating the rinds of cheeses. Also listed are the best bakeries, cafés, and specialty shops, as well as 50 recipes to try at home.
If there is a criticism to be made of this sturdy and informative book, it's of the writing of this International Herald Tribune critic, which is sometimes riddled with stock descriptions and clichés. Yet readers are likely to forgive her this occasional foible, as Wells's interesting details and enthusiasm are enough to send devout Italophiles, even, to Paris--where they can sink their teeth into those crusty baguettes. --Melissa Rossi [via]