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Restaurant ordering

Oregon coast
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Restaurant ordering

What are the correct French words to use for rare, medium rare and medium when ordering meat in a restaurant?

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1. Re: Restaurant ordering

Saignant is rare, a point is medium/medium rare. Waiters will understand the English words too.

Be aware that steaks will be cooked much less than you are used to, a French medium will be very rare still.

Generally steaks are mediocre and a bit on the chewy side

Paris
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2. Re: Restaurant ordering

French steak is best eaten almost raw; otherwise it becomes like shoe leather.

Paris 4th Arr
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3. Re: Restaurant ordering

Completely disagree with FatChris and Frenchtwinkie's sweeping assessment of beef in France.

Here are the terms as we know them:

"Bleue" [bluh] - flash in the pan - nearly raw

"Saignant" [sin-yont] - rare

"Rosé" [roze-eh] - medium rare

"A Point" [ah-pwah] - medium

"Cuit" [qwee] - medium well

"Bien Cuit" [bee-en qwee] - well done

"brûlé" [brew-lay] - burnt - only used jokingly with a waiter who knows you

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Restaurant ordering

My mum used to say "bien, bien cuit" They always laughed, but obliged.

I don't remember a lot of my schoolgirl French, but was able to expostulate "C'est ne pas a point, c'est bien cuit" when an overdone steak was brought to the table. They fixed it.

Paris, France
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5. Re: Restaurant ordering

Definitely with metromole on this one! French beef is not chewy, it has texture, matter, flavour, something to bite on (and thanks God no hormones!!). I like my buttery Kobe beef from time to time, but still, beef has to feel like animal muscle, not a pound of watery butter.

A lot of it also has to do with the way beefs cuts are done in France, completely different from what people know in the US (or anywhere else for that matter). People in the know look for "araignee" (spider) or "poire" (pear) though the butchers very often keep these for themselves. Some Bourdain thoughts on this: …nytimes.com/library/…071200french-steak.html

Back to OP, yes, restaurants tend to leave more blood than in the US for a given level of cooking. As a matter of fact, lots of good and proud chefs will refuse to serve beef which has been ordered "well cooked" / "bien cuit".

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Kobe
Kobe
Hyogo Prefecture, Japan
PARIS
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6. Re: Restaurant ordering

I'm split on this one. Steak in France can be hit and miss.

As for cooking, how you like your steak done is a choice. I have many French friends who like steak well done (I'm a saignant man myself).

Do see why this should psoe a problem for a chef.

But anyway.....

London, United...
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7. Re: Restaurant ordering

Having lived in france for most of my life and eaten many, many steaks I am confident in my statement that most diners, particularly from North America will be dissapointed more often than not..

I too am a saignant man, anything more and the chewiness can become inedible.

I have neve heard someone ask for their steak rose, in my experience this is for ordering lamb or duck.

Cardiff, United...
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8. Re: Restaurant ordering

Like anywhere you can get good and bad. I had an god awful steak in a restaurant on rue de Maine last week.. my jaws are still throbbing. However having had many a steak (from excellent to rubber) in France and a fair few in the US I would agree that N.American travellers might experience more of a miss then a hit in Paris.

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Maine
Maine
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9. Re: Restaurant ordering

have neve heard someone ask for their steak rose, in my experience this is for ordering lamb or duck.

True

Paris, France
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10. Re: Restaurant ordering

From Sarastro’s 13 lucky rules for dining in Paris

7. Meats are generally cooked much less than the degree to which you may be accustomed. It might be difficult to convince a chef to cook all of the pink out of the center of a steak. Requests for well done stakes might be completely ignored by a serious chef. Generally (and admittedly subjectively) your cooking choices are from basically raw to medium:

bleu

saignant

a point

bien cuit

http://lejeudeboules.com/2009/05/04/19/

_____

I don´t believe that bien cuit or even brûlé will give those from North America the results they might expect. If medium to well done is what you typically order, you may be happier with the chicken or fish.