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Posted by Monty
Virginia
77 posts

Generally, think of drinking cider where you would drink beer in America, so we usually drink it at lunch when we are in western France. I cannot remember an upscale restaurant that did not offer a cheese course. Sometimes a prix fixe meal will offer cheese as an alternative to a dessert.

Posted by Laura
Rick Steves' Europe
14336 posts

I also cannot remember an upscale restaurant that did not offer a cheese course. However, you may be making a distinction between a cheese platter/plateau with lots of choices over just one portion of camembert or another cheese that you choose from the menu.

Rick's book does mention La Rapiere offering a platter, as well as it's well reviewed. What's offered on a prix-fix, multi-course menu can vary, while their full a la carte menu includes prices for 3 Portions, 5 Portions, or A piece of every Cheese. With an extra dollar sign in Bayeux, http://www.langlesaintlaurent.com/restaurant-bayeux-cards has many local specialties but they offer a choice between only two local cheeses for that course.

Not all restaurants necessarily have as informative web sites as do those two. Case in point, if you'll be in Paris, one of the best restaurant cheese boards I've enjoyed was at the popular (reserve) Bistrot Paul Bert. The hour was late and staff left the board on my table for a dangerous amount of time!

Posted by Brad
Belmont Bay, VA
9949 posts

If you can find the others, every restaurant has a cheese plate as an after dinner choice. Set menus often give a choice of desert or cheese. Make sure you ask for camembert. It's a soft white cheese. Dining in Normandie doesn't automatically mean they'll serve camembert as part of a cheese plate. If you don't know, you should eat the rind of camembert. Most of the places I've been are pleased when you order their local specialties.

Posted by nicolefinkbeiner1 OP
2 posts

Thank you all so much for the advice! This really helps!

Is it traditional to order Calvados (apple brandy) during the meal? Or after? I saw that it is sometimes in the desserts, but not always.