Picture this: You’re walking along the streets of Paris, the trees dusted in just the right amount of snow. Bundled in your most fashionable jumper and jacket, taking in the sights, you can’t help but notice the most delightful smell coming from a nearby establishment.
You enter, naturally, because you’re in France and you must satisfy not only your hunger, but your desire to experience a traditional French meal. Walking inside, you’re amazed by the bistro classic appeal: rich woods, leather booths, mood lighting. You’re wine needs satisfied as you slip into a seat. It’s not just the meal you’re about to experience, but the atmosphere and adventure.
Are you drooling? We certainly are. And we haven’t even reached the first course. What makes a traditional French meal such an exquisite experience? Pull up a seat and grab a glass. You’re in for a treat.
While American’s call appetizers the start of a formal meal, in France the first course is called L’Apéritif. This course is more so a nibble and drink to get the evening started. Not exactly full appetizers, snacks and alcoholic drinks served here are meant to stimulate your senses.
Traditional foods include olives, peanuts, or a small piece of toast with a topping.
The meal begins with what Americans would more so consider appetizers. Here, the seasonality of foods becomes important.
The dishes served during this course are a little heavier and filling. Want to try a dish yourself? Check out Martha Stewart’s Pears and Camembert.
Le Plat Principal
Feeling hungry? Le Plat Principal is the third and main course of the traditional French meal. Traditional dishes will feature meat, poultry, or fish and a variety of sides. Examples include the delicious bœuf à la Bourguignonne.
At Le Manhattan Bistro, we have our own Beef Bourguignon dish, served in red wine, slab bacon, and yukon gold mashed potatoes.
Cheese, please! This course signals that the meal is coming to an end sometime soon. But not before guests can enjoy each other’s company without the interruption of changing dishes. Here, cheese boards with local cheeses, fruits, and breads would be served.
Thinking of incorporating French elements into your holiday meal? Check out this holiday inspired goat cheese spread.
Mmm. Dessert. No translation needed here. As guests have just worked through four courses, dessert is typically on the lighter side.
This classic crème brûlée recipe will have you saying au revoir to your typical desserts.
At this point in the meal, guests are relaxed, company being enjoyed. Coffee can be served any way your guests prefer but make sure to include a square of chocolate!
Hours have passed, your guests are full. On to after dinner drinks. Typically, those who wish to partake will enjoy a nice brandy at the end of their meal with a cigar.
Ready to experience a French meal yourself?
On Thursday, December 5, grab a seat at Le Manhattan Bistro for an incredible tasting menu paired perfectly with French wines at our French Wine Dinner event. Check out the full menu here. Seats are available for $97 per person + tax and gratuity. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. Call 570-901-4040 for reservations!
It’s Christmas Time at Le Manhattan Bistro!
Give the gift of fine dining. Be sure to purchase gift cards for your loved ones today!
We look forward to serving you at all of our fine establishments: