FRENCH FRIDAY #26 "Entrée, Hors-d'oeuvre & Amuse-bouche"

This Weeks French Words assist with the menu in French Restaurants
La Tasse de Cafe | French Vocabulary by Mademoiselle Love













Entrée 
Pronounced: (ahn-tray)
Translation: appetizer, starter, entrance

Hors-d'oeuvre 
Pronounced: (or-duhvruh)
Translation: appetizer, starter (usually self-serve)

Amuse-bouche 
Pronounced: (ah-myooz boosh)
Translation: small hors-d'oeuvre

This past weekend, I went on an action-packed road trip to Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Toronto. While hotel and gas station coffee is nothing to write home about, I have to admit that I kind of love all of those single serve International Delight packs in soooo many different flavors. I stole a few everywhere we went, which made me happy... :)
While in Toronto, we had a fabulous 4 course meal at Ruby Watchco, and I was reminded of some French words that we Anglophones seem to be a bit confused about...

In French, an entrée is a starter rather than a main course. It literally means entrance, so think of it like the entrance to the meal! Hors-d'oeuvre is another word for appetizer and literally means "outside of the masterpiece", as in outside of the main course. But this is usually the kind that everyone shares.
And an amuse-bouche is one of those tiny hors-d'oeuvre that you get before a meal or between courses at super fancy restaurants. It literally means "entertain the mouth".
Let's see if any Lynn and Simone can provide some enlightenment...

Simone: I'm so excited to be eating at Ruby Watchco. But OMG, I can't believe they have not offered us an amuse-bouche!

Amy Lynn: Like, what in the hell is an amuse-bouche?

Simone: You would never understand. I doubt such a thing exists in Louisiana restaurants!

Amy Lynn: Simone, one day when you go to Louisiana, you'll understand what real cuisine is!

Simone: Yeah, that's not happening... OMG, like, when will they bring our entrées? I'm hungry!

Amy Lynn: Our entrées? What about our appetizers?

Simone: OMG! In French, an entrée is  an appetizer, you moron!

Amy Lynn: OMG, you're such a...

I'm not so sure how the rest of that dinner went, but when traveling in Francophone countries, don't mistake entrées for plats principaux!

Merci Beaucoup,
Mademoiselle Love
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Jenée here: 
I'm so thankful to Mlle Love for setting everyone straight on that one.  I shudder at the thought of making that mistake. Now here are some very simple "jenee sais quoi" tips while dining. 1) When you don't know which red wine to choose, go with the Bordeaux. Unless the wine menu is extensive there is usually only one. I promise, it's always delicious. 2) If there is no bread plate, it's OK to place bread directly on the table. How fun is that!! 3) When dinner is over and dancing is over and it's time for a late night snack at French Restaurant Pastis in the Meat Packing Dist. (or any pub, in any district in any town) keep it classy with French Fries dipped in Mayo and a glass of French White Sancerre (or available Sauvignon Blanc). It's completely satisfying and looks beautiful.  Now you are ready for le weekend.  Enjoy darlings.

For more fun, I wanted to share with you the first time I heard of Mayo and Fries brought to me via Quentin Tarantino. This movie was revolutionary for a 14 year old like moi.


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The Origin of "La Tasse de Café", French for "the cup of coffee"
is a morning radio show out of Ville Platte, Louisiana on KVPI-FM
My dad listens to it regularly to keep up with his Cajun French as he now doesn't have much opportunity to speak it in Louisiana where the language is disappearing. 
Since I'm from Cajun land in Louisiana, with a serious interest in fashion and Mademoiselle Love, a Louisiana girl too, who is head over heels in love with everything French and everything coffee, it was only fitting we pay tribute to our roots and our new found loves.
Tune in to KVPI every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at 8:45AM (NY time) for your Cajun French lesson and come back to the blog every Friday for more French lessons from Mademoiselle Love. We will discuss useful French  words or expressions for the fashionable girl. To make it even more enjoyable, we will do it over a very fashionable cup of coffee.