Two steps to understanding French Menus quoted in this Diary, even if you know no French

  1. Read the English description following the menu quotation. This description will give the meaning of the quotation, but not the meanings of the individual French words.

  2. Consult the Glossary for word-by-word translations.

Here is an example:

Following our day-by-day account, you imagine being in Provence, in Trets to be specific, and stepping into Restaurant le Clos Gourmand. You flip open the menu and, even though you don't know any French, your pulse races as you feel the powerful attraction of Gibelotte de Poulpe en coque croustillante, dôme de riz camarguais au Basilic. But you wonder--What might it be? 

Following Step 1, you read the description of the dish and learn that it is octopus fixed somehow with friable pastry, accompanied  by a domed serving of basil-flavored rice. 

But you feel uneasy--Gibelotte? Camarguais? On to step 2. According to the Glossary, Gibelotte is a fricassée of rabbit in wine. From this you infer that the chef's offering is a similar dish, a fricassée in wine, but using octopus instead of rabbit. Again using the Glossary, you find that riz camarguais isn't just any old rice, but rice from the nearby wetlands on the south coast of France, the Camargue. Problem dismissed, solved.