Fine Dining Menu Mysteries

Any fine dining menu worth its’ salt has a few mysteries up its’ sleeve. Few things give a restaurateur or chef as much joy as having guests inquire about the availability of a recipe for a certain dish. Off course, recipes that make it onto successful fine dining menus are normally kept a secret. The aim of any eating establishment is to lure the clients back with scrumptious, exclusive food. Thus, the recipe will remain a mystery.

The other mystery lingers with new-comers to the vocabulary on a fine dining menu. It can be intimidating to enter a fine dining establishment for the first time. All the cutlery and different glasses makes one wish you paid more attention to what your mom had to teach on etiquette. Then the grand-looking fine dining menu arrives and the mystery deepens. With words like foie gras, frammage, carpaccio and friandises a new-comer will grapple to find something that looks familiar. The following terms are likely to be used on a fine dining menu:

  • Foie gras is duck or goose liver.
  • Tartarre is finely chopped meat or fish, served with a sauce or seasoning
  • Frammage is cheese.
  • Carpaccio is thin slices of raw meat, normally beef but sometimes ostrich or salmon too. It is served with olive oil, parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar.
  • Ratotouille is stewed vegetables.
  • Friandisse is small sweets, preserved fruit mints or truffles that are served after dessert with coffee.
  • Truffles can be tricky. When mentioned under appetizers or main courses on a fine dining menu it is a mushroom-like fungus that grows in France or Italy. When mentioned under desserts it is balls of chocolate with a delicious filling in the middle.