Practicing Creativity

What does a French gourmet meal really look like?

Last weekend my husband and I celebrated my father-in-law's birthday with lunch at La Renaissance, a cuisine gastronomique restaurant in Rive de Gier, France. I thought you might enjoy seeing what a true French gourmet meal is like. Here are each of the courses in the menu I took:

#1 the amuse-bouche—a tiny starter dish (this was maybe three bites) that's just a little something to tease your taste buds. Pretty isn't it? The three little dots remind me of my cards.

#2 the entrée—aka appetizer. Just an aside here, but why do Americans use entrée for the main dish when entrée means the entrance into something? Just to confuse everyone I suppose. Anyway, here's mine. This was a brochette of curried scallops with a carrot mousse.

#3 the main dish—fish—Dorade Royale braised with olive oil, served with a light sauce and a few veggies.

#4 the cheese cart—served right before the dessert.

#5 what I chose—goat and sheep cheeses with a bit of jam and you get a glimpse of the wine, a good Bordeaux.

#6 dessert—is this a work of art or what?! It was apple on a cake like bottom with chocolate sides and a little scoop of sorbet on top.

#7 mignardises—these little cakes and sweets come after dessert with your coffee. My husband and father-in-law attacked them—no sense of aesthetics these guys—before I had a chance to take the picture, originally they were arranged in rows, all nice and pretty, with three of each thing (one for each of us).

There you go, a true French gourmet meal!


  1. Whaou!! C'est très beau y j'imagine très bon aussi! Les restaurants gastronomiques sont vrai régal!

  2. Oooh la beautiful!! What was the first dish? It looks like layers of pate with some sort of filling, maybe cheese? And I suppose Americans call the main dish "entree" because it leads up to the all-important course, which is dessert of course. Haha! I'll certainly never see that word (entree) again without thinking of this delightful blog post! LOVED the pictures, you did a great job taking them and giving a "taste" of life in your world. Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. Ditto what Shea said! I dont understand why Americans say entree for main course either. Thank you for teaching us! What beautiful pics and yummy looking lunch!

  4. oh my word. I am on my way!!!!

  5. think i would skip right to the deserts!!! :)

  6. Yummy! The dessert is definitely a work of art.

  7. I always used to get confused in France when the entrée wasn't my main! LOL

    This looks like an amazing meal beautifully presented.



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