french classical menu

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Do you ever get bored of eating the same food over and over? Do you crave something new and different to tickle your taste buds? If you’re looking for a delicious meal that will fill your belly with delight, try French classical cuisine!

French classical dishes are full of amazing flavors and aromas that make any evening enjoyable. With its long history rooted in centuries-old recipes, this menu offers a more unique experience for guests compared with other types of menu

Read on as we guide you through some essential French classics so you can make a truly satisfying meal at home.

History of Classical French Menu 

When it comes to classical French cuisine, its rich history is a key element of the experience. Traditional recipes have been adapted and improved to bring us the flavors we know and love today.

With influences from countries worldwide, these dishes are full of flavor and have become staples in many homes. From traditional starters like escargot to a savory Duck à l’Orange, classical French recipes offer something for everyone.

Whether you’re in the mood for a light summer salad or an indulgent winter feast, plenty of options exist. Moreover, each dish is prepared with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients to enhance the flavors and aromas.

French Classical Menus, like the Table d’Hote Menu, are a customary dining choice in French cuisine that provides a multi-course meal, as exemplified by the 17 courses menu explained below.

17 Course French Classical Menu with Description and Examples

It is one of the famous courses of the Classical French Menu. In this course on French Classical menu, we will give you a quick list and short description of 17 different dishes that you can find in the classical french menu.

17 Courses in French Classical Menu

1. Hors-d-oeuvre / Appetizer

Hors-d oeuvre, or starter courses, are typically light and bite-sized dishes. These dishes are served to stimulate the appetite before a more substantial meal. Hors-d oeuvre often has various flavors and textures, ranging from creamy and mild to spicy and savory.

Their taste is usually spicy, salty, and acidic. They are served in small portions and may be eaten with utensils or by hand.

Examples of Hors-d oeuvre / Appetizers

Canapes: Delicious open-faced sandwiches or toast with various fillings such as smoked salmon, herring caviar, caviar mousse, shrimp paste, or gourmet cheeses.

Tartar: A creamy salad made of diced and finely chopped raw fish such as salmon, mackerel, swordfish, or tuna.

Pates: Delicious savory spread in a pastry crust, usually made of ground pork and other seasonings.

Terrines: A traditional French meat-based dish made from finely chopped or ground meats, usually served cold.

Caviar: A salty and fishy delicacy made from the roe of sturgeon or salmon.

Melon Frappe:  Chilled melon puree with a hint of citrus.

Saumon Fume: Smoked salmon served on crackers or toast.

Salads: Crisp salads are often served as a palate cleanser after the appetizers. These salads range from simple garden greens to complex cold dishes with beetroot, tomatoes, cucumbers, and smoked fish.

2. Potage / Soup

Potage, or soup, is a classic French dish enjoyed for centuries. It’s typically made from slowly simmered vegetables, herbs, and other ingredients. The result is a thick and flavorful soup that’s both satisfying and nourishing. Potage can be served hot or cold, as a main course or as an appetizer depending on the recipe.

When it comes to taste and flavor, French Potage varies widely. From the traditional French Onion Soup to a vegetable-based Potage, many options are available for you to try out. Each soup has its unique flavor profile, so it’s important to find the one that best suits your taste buds.

When serving Potage, it’s best to serve it in soup bowls with a side of crusty bread for dipping. This way, you can enjoy all the delicious flavors in each spoonful! This will help to soak up all the delicious flavors, making each bite even more enjoyable.

Examples of Potage / Soup

Soup a l oignon: This is the classic French Onion Soup. It consists of onions, beef broth, and spices. The onions are slowly simmered in the broth until they become caramelized and sweet. This soup is usually served with a topping of melted cheese and croutons.

Green Bean Soup:  Green bean soup is a light and flavorful dish. It’s typically made with green beans, potatoes, celery, onions, and spices. It’s usually served with crusty bread or croutons to soak up all the exquisite flavors.

Consommé julienne:  This is a rich and flavorful soup made with beef broth, diced vegetables, and herbs. It’s garnished with shredded egg whites to give it that classic French flair. It’s usually served with croutons or crusty bread for dipping.

Consommé Celestine:   This is a light and flavorful soup typically made with chicken broth, celery, egg whites, and herbs. It’s usually served chilled as a light appetizer or side dish.

3. Oeuf / Egg

Oeuf / Egg is an incredibly popular French classical dish for any occasion. This simple yet delicious recipe features hard-boiled eggs as the star ingredient. The eggs are usually served alongside other ingredients such as vegetables, herbs, cheese, and bacon.

The combination creates a delectable flavor profile that will tantalize your taste buds. Oeuf / Egg is served in various ways, including on top of a salad, alongside a baguette, or as an accompaniment to other dishes. It can also serve as an appetizer or a main course.

Examples of Oeuf / Egg

Omelette espagnole: This classic Spanish omelet has hard-boiled eggs, potatoes, peppers, and onions. It’s a hearty dish that’s sure to fill you up.

Oeuf Poche Florentine:  This dish features poached eggs served atop a bed of spinach and topped with cheese. The combination of flavors makes this recipe a winner.

Omelette aux Tomatoes:  This classic French dish consists of tomatoes and eggs cooked in a pan. The result is a flavorful and delicious meal that can be served as an entrée or side dish.

Oeuf Brille au: This dish features a poached egg atop mushrooms and bacon. The creamy yolk and crunchy bacon make this an unforgettable meal.

Omelette aux champignons:  This classic French omelet has mushrooms and herbs. It’s an incredibly flavorful dish serving as a side or a main course.

4. Farinaceous / Farineaux / Pasta or Rice

Farinaceous / Farineaux is an essential part of French classical cuisine. It’s a dish of grains, often wheat or corn, ground into flour. This can then be used to make pasta, rice dishes, and other items. Often, it’s served with sauces and vegetables to create a complete dish.

The taste of Farinaceous / Farineaux varies depending on the type of grains used, but it can range from mild to strong. It’s perfect for those who want a tasty meal with plenty of textures and flavors.

Farinaceous / Farineaux can be served in a variety of ways. It’s often used to accompany dishes, such as grilled or roasted meats and vegetables. It can also be used as the main component of a dish, such as in risotto or pasta dishes.

Examples of Farinaceous / Farineaux / Pasta or Rice

Spaghetti napolitine: This classic Italian dish consists of spaghetti, tomatoes, olives, capers, and anchovies.

Ravioli: Ravioli is a type of filled pasta, often square or round. It’s usually served with sauces and vegetables.

Cannelloni:  Cannelloni is a type of Italian pasta, usually filled with cheese and vegetables such as spinach or mushrooms.

Paella: Paella is a Spanish rice dish, usually made with saffron, vegetables, and meat or seafood.

Gnocchi romaine: Gnocchi is an Italian dumpling made from potatoes, usually served with tomato sauce and various vegetables.

Spaghetti bolognese: Spaghetti bolognese is a classic Italian dish with spaghetti, ground beef or pork, tomato sauce, and Parmesan cheese.

5. Poisson / Fish

Poisson (Fish) is a popular item on the French Classical menu. This dish is often made with fresh, sustainably-sourced, seasonal fish. Poisson is typically served in a creamy sauce with herbs and spices that bring out its flavors.

The dish can also be served with creamy mashed potatoes and vegetables for added nutrition. Poisson is a great way to enjoy the taste of the ocean deliciously and healthily. The light flavor of the fish is sure to satisfy any palate.

When cooking Poisson, it’s important to remember that the fish should be cooked quickly and to perfection. This ensures that its unique flavors are preserved without becoming overcooked or rubbery.

Add a splash of white wine or fresh lemon juice to your Poisson for an extra flavor touch. This will give it a delicious, zesty finish that will make your meal special!

Examples of Poisson / Fish

Sole meuniere:  Sole fish cooked with butter, lemon juice, parsley, and capers

Sole Colbert:  Sole fish served on a bed of mashed potatoes

Sole cubat:  Sole fish baked with a mixture of herbs, cheese, and white wine

Darne de saumon grillee, sauce bearnaise : Grilled salmon steak served with Béarnaise sauce

Homard Newburg:  Lobster cooked in a creamy sauce with brandy, sherry, and nutmeg

6. Entrée / Entree

Entrée (Entree) is a French Classical cuisine staple, typically served before the main course. This savory dish usually comprises protein-rich ingredients like meats, poultry, fish, and eggs. Entrée is typically served in small portions to balance the meal’s flavor and texture.

When served traditionally, entrée is cooked in various ways, including poaching, sautéing, and roasting. Different accompaniments, such as herbs, spices, and vegetables, enhance the dish’s flavor. The flavors are often rich and complex, providing an irresistible taste that will leave you wanting more.

Examples of Entrée / Entree

Poulete sauce chasseur: This entrée dish is made with pan-seared chicken breast cooked in a delicious combination of mushrooms, tomatoes, herbs, and red wine.

Supreme de volaille sur cloche:  This entrée dish is made with poached chicken breast served on a vegetable bed and topped with a flavorful cream sauce.

Steak Diane:  This entrée dish is made with a pan-fried steak cooked in a rich sauce of mushrooms, mustard, and brandy.

Chateaubriand:  This entrée dish is made with a grilled beef fillet served with a sauce of tarragon, white wine, and butter.

Kebab orientale:  This entrée dish is made with grilled lamb cubes in a fragrant sauce of almonds, dates, and raisins.

Emincee de volaille a la king:   This entrée dish is made with shredded chicken cooked in a creamy sauce of mushrooms and sherry.

Fillet/Rump steak grille:   This entrée dish is made with grilled steak served with butter, garlic, and parsley sauce.

7. Sorbet / Sorbet

Sorbet is a French classical menu staple enjoyed since the early 19th century. It is made from frozen syrup and fruit juice and is typically served as an appetizer or palate cleanser.

Sorbet has a light and refreshing taste that can be sweet or tart, depending on the recipe. It is usually served in a chilled glass or bowl, with an optional topping of fresh fruit or cream.

Examples of Sorbet / Sorbet

Lemon Sorbet: This classic sorbet blends fresh lemon juice, sugar, and water. It’s light and refreshing, with a tart flavor that pairs perfectly with desserts.

Champagne Sorbet: This bubbly delight is made with champagne and sugar. It has a light, slightly sweet taste that can be served as an elegant appetizer or palate cleanser.

Calvados Sorbet: This unique sorbet is made with Calvados, a type of apple brandy from France. It has a richer taste than other types of sorbet and can be served as a dessert or an after-dinner drink.

Peach Sorbet: This sorbet blends fresh peaches, sugar, and water. It has a sweet and fragrant taste that makes it perfect for hot summer days.

Raspberry Sorbet: This tart and sweet sorbet are made with raspberries, sugar, and water. It’s a flavorful dish that is sure to please any crowd.

8. Releve / Joints

Relevé / Joints is a classic main dish in French cuisine that dates back to the 18th century. The traditional recipe calls for beef, lamb, veal, or pork cooked in a lard-based sauce with vegetables and spices.

The meat is braised until it is fork-tender, then served with its cooking liquid. Alternatively, the meat can be cut into pieces and garnished with vegetables or sauces before being served.

Releve / Joints is a rich and flavorful dish that will tantalize your taste buds with its unique blend of herbs and spices. The combination of tender meat, flavorful sauce, and crunchy vegetables make this an irresistible dish that will leave your guests asking for seconds.

In addition to its delicious taste, Releve / Joints is a very versatile dish that can be served with various side dishes. Potatoes, rice, and vegetables are all popular choices accompanying this dish. Alternatively, you can serve it with a light salad or a traditional French baguette.

Examples of Releve / Joints

Contrefilet de boeuf roti a l anglaise: This dish is a classic French pork roast seasoned with garlic, rosemary, and thyme.

Carre d agneau roti:  This dish is a classic French lamb roast seasoned with paprika, garlic, and rosemary.

Cuissot de porc roti puree de pommes: This dish is a classic French pork roast with mashed apples.

Gigot d agneau roti sauce menthe:  This dish is a classic French lamb roast with a mint sauce.

Tom Kerridge’s braised ham hocks in Cumberland spices: This dish is a classic French pork roast served with Cumberland spices.

Mustard and Thyme Baron of Beef Au Jus: This dish is a classic French beef roast served with mustard and thyme au jus.

Herby stuffed saddle of lamb with crushed roasties: This dish is a classic French lamb roast stuffed with herbs and crushed potatoes.

9. Roti / Roast

Roti, also known as roast, is a dish of french classical menu that consists of roasted meat and vegetables cooked in a savory gravy. This classic dish is usually slow-cooked for hours to ensure all the flavors are released and combined.

It is typically served with potatoes, fennel, or rice, giving it a delicious crunch and extra flavor. The roasted vegetables also add an earthy sweetness to the dish, making it irresistible.

Roti is a delicious traditional French meal that will impress all your dinner guests. Whether you make it with beef, chicken, pork, or vegetables, it’s sure to be a hit.

Poulet Roti: This is a classic French chicken dish, which consists of roasting the bird with herbs, spices, and vegetables. The result is succulent and juicy, and the flavors of the herbs and spices make this dish truly unique. Poulet Roti makes a great main course for any French classical menu.

Dinde Roti: This is a simple yet delicious French turkey dish. The bird is roasted with herbs and vegetables, giving it an amazing flavor and texture. It’s great to make for Thanksgiving or any special occasion and will surely be a crowd-pleaser.

Canneton Roti: Another classic French roast dish, Canneton is a roasted pig stuffed with herbs and spices. It’s crunchy and succulent on the inside, making it a perfect main course for your classical French menu.

10. Legumes (Vegetables)

Legumes, or vegetables, are a staple in French classical cuisine. With an endless variety of options, you can choose from savory and sweet legume dishes, such as carrots in honey or steamed green beans with garlic.

Legumes are usually served as a side dish to compliment the main course and are meant to be enjoyed with a hearty helping of fresh bread. The taste of legumes is unique – sweet, earthy, and nutty.

Examples of Legumes (Vegetables)

Pommes au four: potatoes baked in butter and herbs

Champignons grilles: grilled mushrooms with garlic and parsley

Petits pois a la Francaise: small green peas cooked in butter and shallots

Celeries braises: braised celery in a rich sauce

Fondant de legumes: vegetable stew with onions, tomatoes, and herbs

Choufleur morney: cauliflower cooked in a creamy sauce

Epinards en branches:  spinach with garlic and white wine

Haricots verts au beurre: green beans cooked in butter

11. Salades (Salad)

Salades (salad) is a French classic dish made of leafy greens and other fresh ingredients. It can be enjoyed as a side or a main course and is often cooked with herbs and spices to bring out the vibrant flavors of the ingredients.

Salades can be served in numerous ways, such as tossed in a vinaigrette, with cheese, nuts, or fruit! There are two main types of Salads.

Plain salad: It involves elements such as fresh tomatoes, lettuce, onions, and other vegetables. This type of salad is usually served cold with a simple dressing like a vinaigrette.

Compound Salads: This type of salad is more complex and usually contains a combination of ingredients such as potatoes, meats, and cheese. It can also be served with different sauces and dressings.

Examples of salades

Salade vert: a simple green salad with lettuce, tomato, and herbs.

Salade franchise: a classic salad with butter lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and hard-boiled eggs.

Salade Nicoise: a popular salad with tuna, green beans, potatoes, and olives.

Pasta Salad: a delicious pasta salad with cooked macaroni, tomatoes, and olives.

Greek Salad: a classic Greek salad with feta, tomatoes, olives, and cucumbers.

Broccoli Salad: a delicious salad with broccoli, bacon, and cheese.

12. Buffet Froid / Cold Buffet 

Buffet Froid, or Cold Buffet, is a traditional French classic dish with various cold salads, meats, and cheeses. It is typically served as part of a larger meal, often as a first course or appetizer. The flavor of this dish comes from the combination of fresh ingredients and dressing.

The salad course typically consists of a variety of lettuces, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, olives, and other vegetables dressed with a vinaigrette. The meats may include charcuterie – smoked sausages, cured hams, cold cut meats, and pâtés – and seafood such as smoked salmon and marinated shrimp.

The cheese course typically includes brie, camembert, and goat cheese. The selection is usually accompanied by various condiments such as pickles, mustard and horseradish sauce.

Examples of Buffet Froid / Cold Buffet 

  • Chicken galantine
  • Poulet roti
  • Mayonnaise d hommard
  • Canetoni Roti
  • Curied Lobster
  • Chicken Salad

13. Entremets (Sweets)

Entremets is a type of French classical course served at the end of a meal. They include pastries, cakes, mousses, custards, and other sweet treats. These desserts are often decorated with edible flowers or meringue and can be served cold or hot.

General types of entremets

General Entremets: These are desserts that can be served as part of a meal, like the classic mille-feuille.

Plated Entremets: These are individual desserts served to each guest. Examples of plated entremets include crème brûlée and tarts.

Verrine Entremets: This entremets often involve layers of different ingredients (e.g., fruit, mousse, and ganache) that can be served in small glasses.

Gâteaux Entremets: These are layer cakes with French flavors, like raspberry genoise or chocolate mousse cake.

Examples of Entremets

Ananas Flambes au kirsch: This classic French dessert is made of pineapple flambéed with kirsch.

Bombes: These are meringue shells filled with custard, fruit, and cream.

Crêpes Suzette: Thin pancakes topped with orange sauce and brandy.

Mille-Feuilles: This iconic French dessert comprises three puff pastry and two custard layers.

Peche Melba: This is a classic French dessert of peaches, custard, and raspberry sauce.

14. Savoureux / Savory 

Savoureux, also known as savory, is a French cuisine style that combines flavors and aromas to create a delicious, balanced meal. These dishes have been created over centuries and continue to evolve today.

Savoureux dishes are traditionally prepared with spices, herbs, and vegetables to give them unique flavor. These ingredients are usually cooked slowly over low heat so that the flavors can blend perfectly.

Typical components of savoureux recipes include garlic, onions, mushrooms, carrots, celery, and sometimes tomato paste.

Types of savory

  • Meat Savory
  • Fish Savory
  • Cheese Savory

Examples of Savoureux / Savory 

Welsh rarebit: Grilled cheese on toasted bread, often with beer or ale.

Croque-monsieur: Grilled ham and cheese sandwich.

Ratatouille: Vegetable stew with eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, and onions.

Beef bourguignon: Braised beef stew in red wine with mushrooms and onions.

Canape Daine: Open-faced sandwich with pate or another savory topping.

15. Fromage / Cheese

Fromage (French for cheese) is a staple of French cuisine. There are hundreds of varieties of French cheese, including soft ripened cheeses like Brie and Camembert, pungent washed rind cheeses such as Pont-l’Évêque and hard cheeses like Comté and Beaufort.

A classic cheese plate will offer 3-4 contrasting cheeses, often served with nuts, dried fruit, and crusty bread.

Examples of Fromage / Cheese

  • Gouda
  • Cheddar
  • Red Cheshire
  • Brie
  • Ricotta
  • Demi-sel
  • Gorgonzola
  • Danish blue

16. Dessert / Cut Fruits & Nuts

Dessert is an opportunity to finish your meal on a sweet note. Some classic French desserts include crème brûlée, mousse au chocolat, and tarte tatin. However, a simple yet elegant option is a platter of fresh fruits and nuts.

Select 2-3 fruits in season, such as berries, stone fruits, or citrus. Wash, peel if needed, and slice the fruit into bite-sized pieces. Arrange them artfully on a platter and sprinkle them with nuts like almonds or walnuts. The contrast between sweet fruit and savory nuts is a perfect palate cleanser to end your French feast.

17. Boissons / Beverage

There are some traditional French drinks to accompany the meal served during this course of the french classical menu. These include:

Wine (red, white, rosé): France is renowned for its wines, often served chilled or at room temperature in a wine glass.

Champagne: For special occasions, serve champagne in a flute glass. The bubbles and crisp, light flavor are perfect for appetizers or desserts.

Mineral water: Both still and sparkling water are popular in France. Serve in a glass with or without ice.

Coffee and tea: These hot beverages are typically served after the meal, but espresso or café au lait are also common breakfast drinks.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a typical French Classical Menu?

A typical French Classical Menu is comprised of delicious dishes that are rooted in centuries-old recipes. These meals typically include appetizers, soups, meats, pasta, and desserts.

What are some tips for creating a classic French dining experience?

When creating a classic French dining experience, using quality ingredients and paying special attention to presentation are important. It would be best to consider incorporating unique servings such as cheese boards and charcuterie platters to set the tone for a classic French meal.

How can I find a French Classical Menu template?

Many websites offer French Classical Menu templates. These templates provide a great starting point for creating your unique French dining experience and can help you create an impressive menu for your guests.

Many French restaurants and catering companies also have special menus that you could use as references.

What are the different types of French Classical Menus?

The different types of French Classical Menus include Gastronomic menus, which are designed to showcase the best of French cuisine; Gourmet menus, which feature more expensive ingredients and elaborate dishes; Regional menus, which focus on the cuisine of a particular region, such as the south-west of France and A la Carte menus, which offer a wide variety of dishes to choose from.

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French Classical Menu offers an impressive and unique dining experience. Its careful balance of appetizers, entrees, cheese, and dessert courses paired with the conventional service means no tradition is overlooked. The creative aspect of such a menu gives each customer a unique encounter. The range of flavors and presentation variants included in this menu will suit any taste bud and create a memorable meal for everyone involved.