Life and travel in France, 3 years & counting

Where should I go next?…

plat

After the delicious entrée, we will continue with the second course, the “plat”.

I should probably state beforehand that French restaurant does not offer many vegetarian options (except if you count salad). But they do have plenty of choices on both meat and fish dishes.

6. Moules marinières

Moules marinieres

Mussels with fries (usually served on separate plates) is a very popular dish in France. Having said that, it is more of a casual dish and I doubt you can find it in a high-end restaurant.

The most classic preparation is moules marinières where mussels are cooked with white wine and onions. Moules à la crème (mussels in cream) is another common recipe.

Seiche a la plancha

On a side note, Seiche à la plancha (grilled squid) is one of my favorites. It is more of a Spanish dish but is often found in the South French as well.

5. Filet de daurade/ dorade

Filet de daurade

Another fish dish is the bream. The beam is found in the Mediterranean Sea and the eastern coast of the Atlantic Ocean so the fish is widely used in Mediterranean cooking.

In France, there are “daurade” and “dorade”. “Daurade” is a bit bigger but they almost have the same taste.

This fish is especially famous in France due to its rich flavor. The best preparation is to grill it and to eat with its skin.

2.fish_service

In some formal restaurants, they will provide you with fish fork and knife so there is no need to feel confused when you find yourself with a weird looking knife.

4. Brochette de Saint-Jacques

Brochette de st jacques

Scallop is an excellent choice for both the entrée as well as the main dish. However you have to bear in mind that it is an expensive ingredient and you will expect a much larger portion of side dish than the scallop itself.

The scallop can be fried, grilled as well as streamed for a very short time to keep its delicate texture. Frankly, who doesn’t enjoy the soft sweet flavor of scallops?

3. Tartare

Tartare

Tartare is the generalized name for raw meat or fish dish.

In France, the more common dishes are beef or salmon tartare. A beef tartare is often served with onions, mustard, seasonings and a raw egg yolk. It is more or less like Carpaccio so you may want to avoid ordering these two cold dishes at the same meal. You will want something hot in your stomach especially if it is winter.

Apart from the health concerns, it is still a much-loved French specialty.

2. Filet de boeuf

You can find steak in a lot of restaurants, it is just hard to find a perfect one.

“Filet” (fillet) is a small cut of beef from the back of the cattle. The French totally love this part because it is the most tender. Since it is considered as the best part of the beef, this small area is also the most expensive of all.

1

The green part is the fillet, while the red little triangle is the best of the best! (Image from the internet)

Pave de boeuf

If you order a streak in a restaurant, be prepared with the next question the waiter asks you: how you like your meat cooked (la cuisson).

The order is as follows: Bleu (very rare), saignant (rare), à point (medium) and bien cuit (well done). I would suggest you to go with rare or very rare for the fillet. The chef considers a well done fillet a total waste as it will lose its taste and become too hard.

1. Magret de canard

Magret de canard

I love “magret de canard” (duck breast)! Although it is very simple to cook at home, I often order this dish in restaurant.

For any “magret” you find in France, they should be cut in a square/ diamond pattern across the fat-side. And you won’t even need oil or butter as the fat will melt and fill the pan.

Like steak, you should not ask for a well done one, but rather one that is “rosé”.

While you are enjoying your yummy meal, how can you not order a bottle of wine at the same time?

Bon appétit 🙂

vin

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