A Traditional French Bistro Dinner

When I was in France, I sucked at ordering food. I couldn’t read the menu and I didn’t know what was “good” around there. Meals were an utter failure (once I tried to order pie but got a pineapple instead and in all my other attempts I ordered some form of cheese & potatoes). But my opinion of French food was redeemed on my last night in Paris when I splurged on a traditional French bistro dinner!

Starting off with a glass of bubbly!


The French are serious about their drank. Not only did we get a glass of pink champagne (omg it was so good but now I have no idea what it was called), but they also supplied us with generous amounts of red and white wine. Now what’s a French meal without wine?

Pink Champagne French Bistro Dinner
Normally not a fan of champagne, but this stuff was fruity and bubbly and delicious!


Now let’s get on with the appetizers. I shared appetizers with two other girls so that we could each get something different and sample a variety of traditional French food.

Foie Gras French Bistro Dinner
Duck liver, aka foie gras

Described as “duck liver” on the menu, I did not realize at the time that it was the same as foie gras. In fact, it wasn’t until my birthday dinner when I had it again that I put two and two together. I was also disturbed by the Google images that showed up when I searched “foie gras” (DON’T do it unless you want to lose your appetite) because of the way the birds are stuffed (until they explode) in order to get the liver all fat. Bleh. So that was a no-go.

However, I was more receptive to the other French appetizers:

Escargot French Bistro Dinner

Yes, those are snails! They were actually very delicious, soaked in all that pesto. My tour director showed us how to pick out the meat with a tiny fork, dip them into the sauce, and pop! In my mouth they go. It was very different from the first time I tried escargot on a cruise. While those snails were chewy and took forever to swallow (yuck), these ones were supple and juicy. In conclusion, don’t eat escargot anywhere but in France.

And my personal favorite, FROG LEGS!!

Frog Legs French Bistro Dinner

Eating frog legs was not new to me. My grandma used to make spicy frog legs for me when I visited her in China. And I followed her cooking process from the minute we bought the frogs (alive!) in the market to the moment they hit the stir-fry wok. Obviously, these frog legs were cooked in a different way but still tasted great (and garlicky). For those of you still hesitant – it tastes like chicken!

Oh yeah, we also had live entertainment while we wined and dined.

French Bistro Dinner Entertainment

I loved it when these little old French ladies from another table joined us when the music and dancing started, haha!

Main Course

French Bistro Dinner Duck Confit
Duck confit

My entree was duck confit. It “is a French dish made with the leg of the duck. The confit is prepared in a centuries-old process of preservation that consists of salt curing a piece of meat and then cooking it in its own fat” (source). And now I know why it was so tender and tasted so good…


Finally, I ended with chocolate mousse. Enough said.

Chocolate Mousse French Bistro Dinner

I’m so glad that I tried this dinner, or else I would have left France with a bad taste in my mouth (pun intended, heh). Now I’m all for trying traditional foods and local cuisines! What about you?

What kinds of cuisine do you like (or hate)? And if you enjoy French food, what are your favorite dishes (and ones that you avoid)?

Thanks for reading!

P.S. And now I find this article: 44 Classic French Meals You Need To Try Before You Die. Facepalm.

  • Kesha

    So you didn’t have cheese followed by Coffee after dinner ? Because that’s a usual part of their dinner.

    • Huh, I didn’t know that was a thing. So, nope.

      • Kesha

        Oh okay! I had been to France for a month and have been learning about French culture so I know it’s always that desserts are followed by coffee and cheese is followed by desserts traditionally ofcourse. Each place has their own new style 🙂 nice article

        • Ah, maybe that’s something the locals do. Of course, I’d need to have more experience eating around France to know! Thanks for dropping by.

  • I haven’t delved into French food much, but I’m excited to in the future. Eating escargot is something that’s on my bucket list! But I’m sad to hear about the way the birds are force fed 🙁 I probably wouldn’t feel good about eating that either so I don’t blame ya!

    xo, endlesspostcards.com

    • Oh yeah, I’d recommend knowing beforehand what kinds of food you want to try (and be able to communicate it in French)! I’ll definitely do more research on food before a trip next time.

  • Oh. My. Goodness. I want to go to France specifically for the food, now! It all looks heavenly! Champagne, escargot, frog legs – yum! I’ve had French food a couple of times here in the states, but I’m sure it’s not even comparable to the real deal. (And yikes! I had no idea that’s what foie gras was – ick.) Thanks for sharing!


    • Glad to hear you’re an adventurous eater! I believe a country’s culture is not fully experienced without tasting their food. Hope you’ll get to taste the real deal at some point 🙂

  • Oh man, everything looks so good! The live entertainment looks like a party! lol

    • Now, live entertainment is what we’re missing in the states! It made eating so exciting, haha.

  • A perfect meal. The duck confit looks mouth watering and delicious. I’m off to check your other posts now.

    • That was seriously the best duck I’ve ever had (even better than Peking duck, in my opinion!). Thanks for dropping by!

  • Pingback: July '15 In Review - WONDERMENTARY()