17 Words You Need to Know When Dining in a French Restaurant

These ubiquitous terms show up on many bistro and fancy French restaurant menus. Now you are prepared. Bon appetit! (Which literally translates as "good appetite").

from The Cookery Year
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    1. À la carte: Bill of fare from which the diner selects individual dishes; also, means dishes cooked to order.

    2. à la: In the style of; for example, à la russe, which means 'in the Russian style'.

    3. Amandine: Cooking or coating with almonds.

    4. Cassoulet: Stew of mixed meats and goose or duck with haricot verts (green beans) and French sausage. Topped with browned crust of breadcrumbs.

    5. Crème fraîche: Cream that is cultured to give it a light tang.

    6. Croquettes: Small cylindrical or wedge-shaped patties coated in egg and crumbs, and deep-fried. The mixture inside is traditionally a thick sauce with fish, chicken or meat added, chilled until set and shaped. Creamed vegetables may also be shaped into croquettes.

    7. En croûte: Food encased in pastry.

    8. En papillote: Food wrapped, cooked, and often served in greased paper or foil.

    9. Fines herbes: Mixture of finely chopped fresh parsley, chervil, tarragon, and chives.

    10. Foie gras: The liver of a specially fattened goose or duck.

    11. Moules: Mussels.

    12. Marinière 1. Of mussels; cooked in white wine and herbs, and served in half shells. 2. Of fish; cooked in white wine and garnished with mussels.

    13. Meunière In the style of a miller's wife; fish cooked in butter, seasoned, and sprinkled with parsley and lemon juice. As in a classic sole meunière.

    14. Petits fours Miniature cakes, biscuits, and sweet items served at the end of a meal, including tiny iced sponge cakes, grapes and cherries coated in sugar, and marzipan colored and shaped to resemble miniature fruits.

    15. Petits pois: Tiny green peas

    16. Velouté: Basic white sauce made with chicken, veal or fish stock; also: soup of creamy consistency.

    17. Vol-au-vent: Light case of puff pastry.