Never again be too embarrassed to order off a French restaurant menu. This crash course in pronunciation is genial!
Step 1: Have an appetizer or salad Enjoy a traditional appetizer like pate de campagne -- French country pate -- or foie gras -- duck or goose liver. Or have a salad: If you just want greens, order a salade verte; if you like goat cheese, order a salade de chevre.
Step 2: Get a ham and cheese For a tasty lunch, order a croque monsieur -- a toasted ham and cheese sandwich covered with cheese sauce. If you'd like a fried egg on it, ask for a croque madame.
Step 3: Savor some seafood If you're in the mood for seafood, consider the bouillabaisse, a fish stew; moules frites, mussels with French fries; or sole meuniere -- fish dredged in flour, pan-fried in butter, and served with lemon.
Step 4: Munch on meat and potatoes Munch on meat and potatoes, like steak frites, served with mounds of French fries. If you like lamb, look for agneau on the menu.
Step 5: Have something hearty If you want a hearty entree, consider cassoulet -- a stew made with white beans and duck or goose confit, and pork; pot-au-feu, a meat and vegetable dish whose broth is sometimes served with croutons as a first course; or coq au vin, the classic stewed chicken dish made with bacon, mushrooms, pearl onions, and red wine.
TIP: Confit is meat -- usually goose, duck, or pork -- that's been cooked and preserved in its own fat.
Step 6: Splurge on dessert Splurge on dessert: Try clafoutis, a cross between a custard and cake, usually made with cherries; or tarte tatin, a caramelized apple tart baked with apples on the bottom and pastry on top, and then inverted for serving. Finish off with an after-dinner drink like Cognac or a sweet wine like Sauternes.
FACT: The average French citizen eats half a pound of cheese each week.