Friday, August 29, 2014
Côte, a rib or rib roast, a cutlet or a chop; Côté, a side or a filet; Côtes, (cotes) the hills or the coast in French. All will be on French menus.
Behind the French Menu
Bryan G. Newman
The French diner, with his or her native language skills, will understand the meaning of a Côté or Côtes on any menu. For myself, and others like me the French accents can be a problem. However, when dining in French restaurants, where many printed menus ignore the accents in any case, the word cote with or without accents will rarely cause any problems.
Menu listings for meat dishes that offer a côte or côtes; will be indicating a rib, ribs, a chop or chops.
Côte d'Agneau Grillees Sauce Paloise. – Grilled lamb chops served with a Sauce Paloise. Sauce Paloise is a grandchild of Sauce Hollandaise. and evolved into a popular mint sauce often served with lamb.
Photograph courtesy of ulterior epicure.
Côte de Bœuf, Frottée au Romarin et Cuite au Beurre Noisette – A rib of beef roasted and heavily flavored with rosemary. Here the rib roast is cooked with beurre noisette sauce. Beurre Noisette is a melted butter sauce where the butter has been allowed to cook until its color resembles noisettes, hazelnuts.
A single rib roast. Enough for two or three?
Photograph courtesy of Alaure
Côtes de Bœuf de Charolais, Grillée à l'Os - A rib roast from France’s famed Charolais beef; grilled on the bone.
Côtes de Porc Laquées. – Lacquered spare-ribs; spare ribs basted in honey or a fruit coating.
La Côte de Veau Rôtie au Jus, Beurre, Herbes.. A veal rib roast served with as sauce made from the natural cooking juices flavored with butter and herbs.
For vegetables côte or côtes indicates the ribs on vegetable leaves.
Aligot  au Fromage de Laguiole, Verts et Côtes de Blettes – The traditional and uniquely tasty Aligot dish of mashed potatoes and cheese. Here the dish is made with the Laguiole cow’s milk cheese from the Pays de Aubrac in Aveyron. The dish is served with the leaves and the ribs of Swiss chard. As in English whether for meat or vegetables a rib is a rib.
Aligot ready to serve.
Photograph courtesy of christian mange.
Fish and seafood.
On fish and seafood menus, the word côte or côtes indicates the coast, and fish and seafood caught off that coast.
Le Pavé de Cabillaud des Côtes Normande Rôti – A large cut from a cod that was caught off the coast of Normandy and here it is served roasted. Norman cuisine is heavily into dishes for fish and seafood along with dishes made with added cream, milk, butter, apples and cider .
Pave de cabillaud.
Photograph courtesy of davidandbevtravel.
Langouste de Nos Côtes Bretonnes Rôti ou Grillé, Pistou de Basilic. Rock lobster, the owner of the lobster tail from our Brittany coasts. You may choose your lobster tail roasted or grilled , and it will be served a pistou basil sauce.  The French pistou sauce appeared not long after the Italian pesto; they are close cousins.
Twin lobster tails accompanied by a Sauce Beurre Clarifié.
A clarified butter sauce uses unsalted butter that has been melted and then skimmed to remove any whey, or other impurities. Many dishes will offer clarified butter on the side so that it may be added to a dish as the diner chooses.
Photograph courtesy of sanctumsolitude
Wine-lists carry the word Côte as part of a wine's name. For wines Côtes may indicate hills, slopes, vallies and borders of an appellation; an appellation is a wine growing area with clearly marked borders.
Côtes de Provence AOC/AOP - This is the AOP for wines coming from specific wine growing areas in Provence.. The Côtes de Provence wines include red and white wines; however, more than half the wines produced are rosés.
A vineyard in Provence.
Photograph courtesy of OliBac
Côtes du Rhône AOC/AOP – AOP wines from France’s Rhône Valley that include reds, rosés and some white wines. This is an enormous wine growing area that stretches for over 200 km (115 miles) from the North and to the South of the Rhone valley along the River Rhône. There are many excellent wines grown along its route; however, most of the wines come from the Southern part of the region. The appellations, wine growing areas of the Côtes du Rhône are so large that other appellations are set within it. Other appellations within the Côtes du Rhône include the famous Château-Neuf-de Pape; the Beaumes-de-Venise one of France’s most famous fortified wines; the Côtes du Rhône-Villages AOP wines, and the less well known, but unique pre-Champagne, sparkling-wine called the Crement de Die AOP. 
The River Rhône is over 800 km (500 miles) long; it rises in Switzerland and after travelling through France empties into the sea in the Rhône Delta in the Camargue .
A few bottles of Côtes du Rhône.
Over 22 different grape varieties may be used for Côtes du Rhône wines.
Photograph courtesy of BasBoerman.
The word cote may also appear on the menu differently accented. Côté indicates a side or part, and your menu may offer:
Côté de Saumon Grillée à l’Orange. A salmon(XII) filet grilled with an orange sauce.
N.B. The same spelling is used when something is close by, in French that would be à côté.
Connected words that may be on your menu.
Côtières – Coastal; on your menu for fish and seafood caught locally.
Les Crevettes Côtières de Bretagne– Shrimps caught in the coastal waters of Brittany.
The coast of Brittany.
Photograph courtesy of Gauis Casecilius.
Côtelette- A cutlet or chops. The word côtelette or côte may be used interchangeably when referring to chops; though côtelettes usually refers to a smaller cut. The menu may offer cutlets from pork, veal or lamb, but not from beef.
Côtelette de Porc Noir – A pork chop from the Porc Noir Gascon, the black pigs of Gascony.
 Sauce Hollandaise; The Mother of All Sauces. Sauce Hollandaise on French Menus and Where to Find the Recipes.
Bryan G. Newman
Behind the French Menu
For information on the unpublished book behind this blog contact Bryan Newman