Key phrases for dining out in French

Dining out in a French-speaking country can be a delightful experience, especially if you’re armed with the right phrases to navigate through a meal from start to finish. Here are some key phrases that will help you enjoy your gastronomic adventure:

Réservation (Reservation)
This is the term used to refer to a booking or reservation at a restaurant.
Avez-vous une table réservée sous le nom de Dupont?

Menu (Menu)
The list of available dishes in a restaurant is referred to as the “menu.”
Pourrions-nous jeter un œil au menu, s’il vous plaît?

Carte des vins (Wine list)
This is the list of wines available for selection.
Auriez-vous une carte des vins?

Commander (To order)
This verb is used when you’re ready to order your food from the menu.
Je suis prêt à commander maintenant.

Entrée (Appetizer/Starter)
The first course of a meal, usually smaller and lighter than the main dish.
En entrée, je prendrai la soupe à l’oignon, s’il vous plaît.

Plat principal (Main course)
The main dish of a meal, typically more substantial and filling.
Pour le plat principal, j’hésite entre le steak frites et le confit de canard.

Dessert (Dessert)
The sweet course that typically comes at the end of a meal.
Quel dessert me recommandez-vous?

L’addition (The check/bill)
The statement of what you owe for the meal.
Pourrions-nous avoir l’addition, s’il vous plaît?

Pourboire (Tip)
The amount of money left for the server as thanks for good service.
Est-ce que le pourboire est inclus dans l’addition?

Service compris (Service included)
This indicates that the service charge is included in the bill.
Le service est compris, n’est-ce pas?

Sans gluten (Gluten-free)
This is mentioned when one requires a meal that does not contain gluten.
Avez-vous des options sans gluten sur votre menu?

Végétarien (Vegetarian)
A menu item suitable for those who do not eat meat.
Quels sont vos plats végétariens?

À point (Medium cooked)
Describes meat cooked to a medium level.
Je voudrais mon steak à point, s’il vous plaît.

Bien cuit (Well done)
For meat that is thoroughly cooked.
Pourriez-vous faire cuire mon steak bien cuit?

Saignant (Rare)
When you want your meat cooked ‘rare,’ or mainly raw inside.
Je préfère mon steak saignant.

Chef (Chef)
The professional cook, typically the chief cook in a restaurant.
Le chef peut-il préparer quelque chose d’exclusif pour nous?

Using these phrases and vocabulary will not only enhance your dining experience but also show respect and appreciation to your hosts. It’s also a fantastic way to practice your French language skills in a real-world setting. Bon appétit!

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