This is your classical 7-course French dinner menu as served at the Chateau.  Yes, there are nine numbers listed below, but cafe isn’t really a course to itself, but it is there to remind you that we take the coffee after the dessert, not with it, and then brandy, cognac or armignac.  And you can leave out the fish or the salade course, or even the dessert course, and still be at the proper seven-courses (if that is how you see life as something rigid meant to fall strictly at 7 and not 8 or 9), as it really depends upon your feeling of the heaviness of the other courses and what best compliments the others.  We usually add a pre-dessert, just before the dessert of a simple Belgian chocolate or something along those lines for each diner, which is a nice touch and can replace the dessert course, if you are heavy on the rest, or simply add to others, so you have 9-courses in all.  It is a very flexible art.  The best meals in France always seem to have some off-menu flairs such as this, at home or at the restaurant, so feel free to improvise, this is not a law in France about this (and there is for nearly everything else in life).

  1. Starter (hors d’oeuvre)
  2. Potage (soup)
  3. Poisson (fish)
  4. Entrée (entry of 1st meat course)
  5. Sorbet
  6. Salades (salad)
  7. Fromage (cheese)
  8. Desserts (fresh fruits & nuts)
  9. Cafe (coffee)

Consistency, freshness of ingredients, keeping it seasonal, and flair of the chef is what makes dining turn into a memorable experience.  Seven to seventeen courses doesn’t hurt in making it an experience for diners, so long as you follow the first rule.  It is easy to get carried away with too many courses and lose sight of the first rule.