<<"We are both over 70 and eat very little. Do they allow sharing a meal in restaurants? It would save us some embarassment if we know before hand and not even ask if we know it is not an acceptable practice.">>
Hi Ladynbrown -
Don't know from experience. At the generally friendly inns where I stay in the countryside, they appreciate the business enough that there would be no problem. Elsewhere, such as cafeterias at Migros or Coop, you can be flexible in what you order. As a general rule, the Swiss are welcoming to tourists, especially those who say "please" and will accommodate you.
At regular restaurants, the card (not a menu, which is a set-piece meal, such as a "Tagesmenu" - the day's special meal) will show some small portions. Some times labeled as "for the smaller appetites."
In German, "die Vorspeisen" - the "before foods." french may be "les hors d'oeuvre"
If you are from the USA, you may have developed the odd habit of calling the main course the "entree." On the face of it, that is illogical. Don't use the term in Europe. Ask for a "first course."
Which language regions will you travel in?
Oh, by the way, I tend toward earth tones in y clothing...brown or tan sports coat, slacks, sweaters. Sometimes, in Zürich, I think I am the only person, other than tourists, who is not wearing black or shades of grey. Mentioned that to my Swiss friends at dinner one time, and they said "Don't worry!" I said- "I'm not worried,,,,I think it is amusing." And, I do.