In a break from tradition (sort of), I’m not going to devote this blog posting to an exhaustive review of each dish that we recently enjoyed at an excellent lunch. Instead, in the interests of giving readers a quick taste of French cuisine, I’ll break down the lunch into a few sections, starting with today’s “Dish du jour,” which was an unusual entrée.
Educational moment: First, let’s deal with the word entrée. In French, it means “entry ” or “entrance.” In other words, it’s how you enter a meal. So the right English translation would be “appetizer.” It is not, despite all the people who say otherwise (including most Americans, many chefs and even the Food Network), a main course. That would be a plat principal (in French) or main course or “main” in English. So, please, people, try to get this right.
Now on to the unusual entrée which was part of our Sunday lunch in Bergerac with friends Elisabeth and Gerhard. They were heading back to England in the later afternoon, so the timing was perfect for a lunch at L’Imparfait, in the heart of Vieux Bergerac. We ate outside the restaurant, in a little laneway, and this will give you an idea of our whereabouts:
The entrée or appetizer that was chosen by Elisabeth, Gerhard and me was — are you ready? — fish and chips! Usually it’s considered a main course, as you know, but in this case the portion was right-sized (as an appetizer), and it was served with a delicious little cup of velouté of peas, in place of mushy peas. Here’s my plate:
A few wedges of deep-fried potato, a couple of sticks of nicely breaded fish (crispy, perfectly cooked), and the rich soup. A nice start to an enjoyable meal.