French restaurants are known for their fine dining and exquisite palette, but did you know there are some French phrases or words that everyone should know when planning on visiting a French restaurant? Many people instantly notice the menu and can’t make heads or tails of any of it.
Well, there’s hope. No, you don’t have to go through years of French classes, immersing yourself in the finer details of this language in order to be able to determine what you want to eat. Simply pay attention to this list and you should be in a better position to help yourself, and maybe your date, when dining out at a wonderful French restaurant.
Je vais prendre …
This simple phrase means ‘I will have’ or ‘I’ll have.’ This is good to know when you’re about to place your order because it lets the waiter know you’re ready to order, rather than asking questions. Of course, depending on where you live (and where this French restaurant is located) the wait staff might very well speak your native tongue. Still, it’s good to know, isn’t it?
Combien coute …?
If you get a menu that doesn’t list any prices, and you have a limited budget, you certainly want to make sure you’re not mortgaging your children’s future (even if you don’t have kids yet). You can certainly ask questions about cost, which may help you figure out what’s within your budget at this time.
When ordering steak, you’re usually asked how you would like that cooked. You can order yours very rare, or bleu or saignant.
A la carte.
You’ve probably heard this French phrase before, but maybe you didn’t quite know what it meant. This is basically something on the side rather than something that comes with the main entrée. When you order something a la carte, it’s going to be served on the side and it will also be added to your bill at the end of the night.
La carte de vins.
A meal is not complete when you’re at a French restaurant unless you have some wine. La carte de vins is the wine menu. If the waiter or matre’d asks you if you’d like to look over la carte de vins, and you’d like wine, say ‘Oui’ (pronounced ‘Wee’).
Les cruises de grenouille.
While this might sound appetizing, it might not be for you and your date. This is a French delicacy known as frog legs. Yes, that’s what I thought. Now, aren’t you glad you learned this phrase before ordering it?
While certainly not as off-putting as frog legs for many Americans and other westerners, liver may not appeal to everyone, though it’s an important component of some dishes.
Le tete de veau.
This is another one of those French menu items that sounds a lot better than it looks. After all, who really wants to have a veal head sitting on their dinner table?
This is a bit-sized hors d’oeuvre that is generally compliments of the chef. If you hear this from your waiter, nod and say Oui.
Written by G. T. Hedlund