How to order your steak preference in France
• Bleu – Done on a very hot grill for one minute on each side.
• Saignant – Meaning bloody. Very rare, but cooked slightly longer on the second side than a bleu steak.
• À point – rare for British or American standards. This implies that a steak is cooked a little longer than a saignant one.
• Bien cuit – ‘well cooked’. This level will still often have some pinkness in the middle of the meat. A ‘steak bien cuit’ is cooked until the juices run brown on the surface of the steak.
• Très bien cuit (!) – should get you a steak that is totally cooked through!
Steak in all of its guises is a very popular restaurant choice throughout France. Now you have all the French vocab you need to order your steak in France exactly as you like it best! Whether you like your beef barely grilled or steak cooked all the way through, you can order a classic French restaurant dinner you’re sure to remember.
Speaking French can be a bit daunting, but your waiter will appreciate the effort. If you’re nervous, you can always explain that you would like your steak more or less bloody/pink/cooked, or even your preferred length of cooking time for steak. Be confident and talk your options through with your server. The stereotype of the snooty French waiter is a thing of the past in most establishments and most will be more than happy to help you order your steak the way you want.
Bon appétit, French food fans!