17 Course French Classical Menu with Description and Examples

1 - Hors-d oeuvre / Appetizer

Are of spicy in nature in order to stimulate the appetite for the dishes that are to follow in the course.

In recent years, hors d’oeuvres have gained popularity, and now appear on most of the menus in modest eating places.

Served from a rotating trolley or a tray a small amount of each variety being placed on the plate to make up a portion.

Examples Of Hors d oeuvres are :

Salads: Beet root, Potato Salad, Tomato Salad, Fish Mayonnaise, Russian Salad

Caviar : Roe of sturgeon fish

Shellfish cocktail : Prawns or shrimps on a bed of shredded lettuce  covered  with tomato flavoured mayonnaise.

Melon Frappe : Chilled Melon

Saumon Fume : Smoked Salmon

Pate maison : Goose or chicken liver, cooked , sieved  and well seasoned.

2 - Potage / Soup

Soup also act as an appetizer for the further courses to come. Soups like clear soup(consommé) and the other a thick soup (crème, veloute, puree) are served during this course. Although it must be noted that the clear soup is always placed first on the menu.

Examples of Potage : 

Consommé julienne : - clear soup garnished with strips of root vegetables

Consommé celestine : - clear soup garnished with strips of savoury pancakes.

Bisque d homard :-  thick lobster- flavored soup 

Green Bean Soup : - cream of Green Beans

Soup a l oignon : - clear onion soup

3 - Oeuf / Egg

Oeufs are the dishes made from egg. There are many styles of cooking and preparation of eggs such as boiled, en cocotte, poached or scrambled. This course is not included in the dinner menu. 

Examples of egg dishes are:

Omelette espagnole – Flat omelette with onions, peppers and tomatoes

Omelette aux tomates : - tomato omelette

Omlette aux champignons : - mushroom omelette

Oeuf poche florentine : - poached egg on a bed of spinach coated with cheese sauce & gratinated 

Oeuf brouille au lard : - scrambled egg with bacon. 

4 - Farinaceous / Farineaux / Pasta or Rice

This is Italy's contribution to the courses of the menu. It includes different kinds of rice and pasta. Pasta dishes are spaghetti, lasagne and gnocchi. There are more than 200 varieties of pasta. The ingredients, size, shape and colour determine the type of pasta. 

Examples of farinaceous dishes are: 

Spaghetti napolitine – spaghetti in a tomato- and garlic- flavoured sauce.

Ravioli : - noodle type pasta filled with a variety of stuffing, such as chicken, beef, and spinach

Cannelloni : - rolls of ravioli paste filled with stuffing as for ravioli.

Gnocchi romaine – semolina based.

Spaghetti bolognaise – spaghetti blended with minced lean beef with rich brown sauce.

5 - Poisson / Fish

Poisson are the dishes made from fish. Fish, being soft-fibred,prepares the palate for the heavier meats that follow. Ideal fish for dinner menu compilation are: Sole, Salmon, Halibut, Escallops, etc. Rarely seen on a menu for the evening meal are: Cod, Bass, Haddock, Brill, Hake, and Plaice. 

Examples of fish dishes are:

Sole meuniere : - Sole shallow fried in butter.

Sole colbert : - Sole, flour, egg and bread crumbed and deep fried. (fillets).

Sole cubat : - fillet of sole poached, dressed on a mushrooms puree and coated with a cheese sauce. 

Darne de saumon grillee, sauce bearnaise – salmon cutlet grilled with an egg- and butter based sauce flavoured with tarragon.

Homard Newburg : - Lobster served with thickened sauce of fish stock and cream flavoured with brandy and finished with butter.

6 - Entrée / Entree

The First in the meat course Entrées are generally small, well garnished dishes which come from the kitchen ready for service. They are always accompanied by very rich gravy or sauce when releve follow entrée then potatoes and vegetables are not served with the latter; if, however a releve does not follow the entrée they would be served with the dish.

Examples of this type of dish are : 

Poulet saute chasseur : - saute chicken in a rich brown sauce flavoured with tomatoes and mushroom.

Supreme de volaille sur cloche – breast and wing of chicken cooked under a cover in oven.

Steak Daine : - minute steak shallow fried and flavoured with onions and mushrooms finished with red wine or cream.

Chateaubriand : - double fillet steak grilled. 

7 - Sorbet / Sorbet

Because of the length of the French classical menu, this course is considered to be the rest between courses . It counteracts the previous dishes, and rejuvenates the appetite for those that are to follow. It is water and crushed ice slush flavoured as a rule with champagne and served in a glass.  

Examples of sorbet :

Lemon Sorbet

Champagne Sorbet

Calvados Sorbet

Peach Sorbet

Raspberry Sorbet

8 - Releve  / Joints 

This is the main meat course on the menu, Releves are normally larger than entrees and take the form of butcher’s joints which have to be carved. These joints are normally roasted. A sauce or a roast gravy with potatoes and green vegetables are always served with this course.

The Dish may contain any of the following:

Lamb (Agneau) Chicken (Poulet)

Beef (Boeuf) Duckling (Caneton)

Veal (Veau) Fowl (Poulard)

Ham (Jambon) Tongue (Langue)

Pork (Porc)

Some Examples of Releve:

Contrefilet de boeuf roti a l anglaise : - boned and roasted sirloin of beef.

Carre d agneau roti : - roast best end of lamb

Cuissot de porc roti puree de pommes : - roast legg of pork with apple sauce.

Gigot d agneau roti sauce menthe : - roast leg of lamb with mint sauce 

9 - Roti / Roast

At this stage the balance of the courses is gradually returning from heavy to light. Roast always contain roast of game or poultry: - chicken, turkey, duck, pheasant, quail. Each dish is accompanied by its own particular sauce and gravy, with a green salad served separately  on a cresent shaped dish.

Example of Roti:

Roast chicken

Braised duck

Roast quail

10 - Legumes / Vegetables

We now have a vegetable dish served only with its accompanying sauce.  These are vegetable dishes that can be served separately as an individual course or may be included along - with the entrée, relevé or roast courses. 

Examples of Legumes:

Pommes au four: - baked jacket potato

Champignons grilles : - grilled mushrooms

Choufleur mornay: - cauliflower with a cheese sauce.

Haricots verts au beurre: - French beans tossed in butter

11 - Salades / Salad

Various types of salads which are served during this course.

Examples of salades are:

Salade francaise : - lettuce, tomato, egg, & vinaigrette dressings.

Salade vert: - Lettuce, watercress, cucumber and green pepper.

12 - Buffet Froid / Cold Buffet 

In this course Chilled meat(small) pieces are served. 

Examples of cold buffet items are: 

Poulet roti : - Roast chicken

Ham in Parsley Aspic (Jambon Persillé)

Caneton Roti: - Roast Duck

Mayonnaise d hommard: - lobster mayonnaise

13 - Entremets / Sweets

Entremets on a menu refers to desserts. This could include hot or cold sweets, gateaux, soufflés or ice-cream. 

Examples of Entrements:

Crepe suzette : - pancakes in a rich fresh orange juice and  flamed with brandy.

Ananas Flambes au kirsch: - Pineapple flamed with cherry flavoured liquor.

Peche Melba: - Vanilla Ice cream topped with a peach coated with a raspberry jam sauce and decorated with cream.

Bombes : - various Ice cream sweets.

14 - Savoureux / Savory 

A dish of pungent taste, such as anchovies on toast orpickled fruit. They are seved hot on toast or as savoury soufflé.Welsh rarebit, Scotch woodcock, Canape diane are some of the examples. 

Welsh rarebit: - Cheese sauce Flavoured with ale on toast gratinated.

Canape Daine :- Chicken livers rolled in bacon and grilled, placed on a warm toast.

Champignons sur croute: - mushrooms on toast.

15 - Fromage / Cheese

Fromage is an alternative to the outdated savoury course, and may be served before or after the sweet course. It is usually served with butter, crackers and occasionally celery.Gouda, Camembert and Cheddar are some examples of cheese.All type of cheese may be offered together with appropriate accompaniments, the ideal cheese board will combine hard, semi-hard, soft or cream, blue and fresh cheese.

Cheese Type County
Cheddar Hard England
Edam Hard Holland
Brie Soft France
Demi-Sel Soft France
Ricotta Fresh Italy

16 - Dessert / Cut Fruits & Nuts

Dessert is a course that typically comes at the end of a meal. All forms of fresh fruit and nuts may be served in this course. Common desserts include cakes, cookies, fruits, pastries and candies.

All forms of Fresh Fruits Platter

All forms of Dry Fruits  nuts may be served accompanied by castor sugar and salt

17 - Boissons / Beverage

All types of hot or cold beverage,Tea,Coffee etc. are served. Always remember that while compiling menus beverages are not counted as a course.

Examples are:

Coffee: Cafetiere, Iced, Filter, Speciality, Decaffeinated.

Tea: Indian, Ceylon, Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Orange Pekoe


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