Friday, August 29, 2014

Côte, Côtes, Côtières - A Bone-In Rib Steak, a Rib Roast, a Wine Growing Region, the Coast, and More. All will be on French menus.

Behind the French Menu
Bryan G. Newman
Updated February 2020.

A bone-in rib-eye.

The French diner, with his or her native language skills, will understand the meaning of the accents over and under letters and the masculine, feminine and plural variations that may appear on a menu. For visitors with only high-school French, the gender-linked variations alone can be a problem.   However, when dining in French restaurants, where many printed menus ignore the accents there will rarely be any problems.
Côte and Côtes
Bone-In Rib Steak/s, a Rib Roast, a Cutlet/s or a Chop/s and Vegetable Ribs:

Côte on French menus:
Côte d'Agneau Grillees Sauce Paloise – Grilled lamb chop served with a Sauce Paloise.  Sauce Paloise is a child of Sauce Bearnaise where the tarragon has been replaced by mint.
Côte de Bœuf, Frottée au Romarin et Cuite au Beurre Noisette – A bone-in beef rib steak flavored with rosemary and cooked in a beurre noisette. When ordering ask the weight as a single portion will often be intended for two diners, and the bone is generally 50-60% of the total weight.   A Beurre Noisette is a melted butter sauce where the butter has been allowed to cook until its color and taste resembles noisettes, hazelnuts.

Côte de Veau Rôtie au Jus, Beurre, Herbes -  A veal bone-in, roasted, rib steak served with a sauce made from the natural cooking juices flavored with butter and herbs.

The plural of Côte:

Côtes on French menus:

Côtes de Bœuf de Charolais, Grillée à l'Os - A grilled bone-in beef rib roast from France’s famed Charolais beef.

Côtes de Porc Laquées – Glazed pork chops; they will have been basted in a honey or a fruit coating. Pork spareribs would be on the menu as echine de porc or travers de porc
Côté also indicates a side or a part, and your menu may offer:
Côté de Saumon Grillée à l’Orange.  A salmon filet grilled with an orange sauce. N.B. The same spelling is used when describing something that is close by, in French that's à côté.
A bone-in rib roast.

May also indicate the ribs of vegetables.
Aligot au Fromage de Laguiole, Verts et Côtes de Blettesettes– The traditional and uniquely tasty Aligot dish of mashed potatoes and Laguiole cheese.   Here, the dish is served with the leaves and côtes, ribs, of Swiss chard.
Swiss chard

A cutlet or  chops.

The word côtelette or côte may be used interchangeably when referring to chops; though the use of the word côtelettes, cutlets, usually indicates smaller cuts. 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.
Côtelettes d'Agneau - Lamb chops
Nos Côtes
Our coasts, and the fish and seafood that may be caught there.

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 caught off our Normandy coast, served roasted.    

Roast Cod.

Langouste de Nos Côtes Bretonnes Rôti ou Grillé, Pistou de Basilic - Rock lobster, the owner of the lobster tail, from our Brittany coasts roasted or grilled and served with a basil pistou basil sauce. The French pistou sauce appeared not long after the Italian pesto; they are close cousins.

Wine-lists may carry the word Côte as part of a wine's name; then Côtes will indicate the hills, slopes, valleys within the borders of a wine appellation, a wine-growing area.
Côtes de Provence 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.
Cotes de Provence

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 to the South of the Rhone valley along the River Rhône. Other appellations within the Côtes du Rhône include  the famous Château-Neuf-de Pape, and the Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise  one of France’s most famous fortified wines, as well as the Côtes du Rhône-Villages AOP wines, and the less well known, but unique pre-Champagne, sparkling-wine called the Clairette de Die AOP.
Côtes du Rhône Rosé


Coastal. On your menu for fish and seafood caught locally.

Les Crevettes Côtières de Bretagne   Shrimps from the coastal waters of Brittany.
The Coast of Brittany.
The multi-colored cliffs of the Cap Frehel  along the Côtes d'Armor, Northern Brittany.

Coteau and Coteaux
A hillside or hillsides
Coteaux-du-Quercy AOP - An appellation for red and rosé wines in the old province of Quercy between the Cahors vineyards and the vines that produce the Chasselas de Moissac AOP table grapes in southwest France.


Bryan G. Newman
Behind the French Menu
Copyright 2010, 2014, 2019, 2020

For information on the unpublished book behind this blog write to Bryan Newman

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