Will I get really strange looks if I request this? LOL, how naive am I being?!?!?
I realized after I sent this that I should add that I'm asking this because I've been talking with friends and told that meat mainly is prepared rare and I don't care for it that rare - I'm more a med-well person.
Unless you order filet mignon (often called tournedos), cuts of beef tend to be chewy and/or tough. To cook them past medium/medium rare makes them worse, unless they are braised.
If you have something in mind similar to a NY Strip or Delmonico, you probably won't find it in Paris. Even the steak served with "Steak Frites" tends to be very chewy.
You may ask for well done (bien cuit) and I doubt you will receive strange looks. I also doubt that you'll receive a steak cooked as much as you are expecting.
If indeed your steak is insufficiently cooked, I recommend you take a drink or two of wine then eat it as is. Sending things back to the kitchen is ill advised in a French restaurant.
If you need steak cooked this much to be able to enjoy it, I strongly suggest you order chicken.
Final point: do not ask for a doggy bag. You are guaranteed to receive "really strange looks" with such requests.
Medium is called : "à point" (ah pwah)
Well done is "bien cuit" (bee-en qwee)
There doesn't seem to be anything like "medium well" in the translation lexicon. If you ask for anything between rare and medium-rare, you're likely to encounter a blank stare.
You may get strange looks, as I have done occasionally. Are you bothered? After all you have to eat it, and you are paying!
If you make eye contact with the waiter/ess, give a smile, and most importantly order in french you shouldn't have a problem.
Steaks well done (bien cuit) in France generally equate to English med-well. Enjoy your meal.
Just an observation but 'well done' in England tends to be a lot more cooked than 'bien cuit' in France. The French say the English kill their meat twice: once in the slaughterhouse, then again in the kitchen!
They love us really, though!
Sorry it took me so long to check back, but THANK YOU for your responses!!
The official countdown begins....one month to go....