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Discribing Menu Items

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I may have missed earlier post about this, but is there any good place to go to get some new menu discriptions. I keep seeing the same words on differant menus. What do you do to make your menu items stand out to a customer or to make your item differant from the place next door.
Just shutup and cook...
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Just shutup and cook...
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post #2 of 9
When im trying to come up with a name for a dish for our menu, one thing I do try and do is not use terms or phrases that, say, your mom or dad would call it. For Example...

At home maybe you wold call it..

Chicken Rolletini- with a side of tomatoe salad and balsamic dressing.

But at the restaurant, maybe you call it..

Pan seared chicken breast- rolled, stuffed and breaded with a blend of Mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and basil, Topped with oven roasted tomatoes, thinly sliced red onions tossed in olive oil and a drizzle with a sweet balsamic reduction.


Now obviously the restaurant version would take a little more work, but theyre generally the same dish, its just how u jazz up the name. Btw, my suggestions for dishes dont always actually make it to the menu but every now and then, i get to do a special and i can name that. Thats just how i look at deciding what to call it on the menu.
post #3 of 9
I come from the other school of thought. In my neck of the woods people are going back to the more plebeian method of describing food.

Long line caught Chilean Sea Bass lightly pan roasted and served over a bed of tender legumes, draped in a roasted heirloom tomato beurre blanc.

might become

Crispy golden sea bass with hearty succotash and tomato sweet butter.

I come from the Hemingway school. Don't say more than you need to.
It's Good To Be The King!
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It's Good To Be The King!
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post #4 of 9
I have to agree with short and succinct, basically by listing the primary ingredient in a component and describing it with a cooking method or as the greater part of a proper name (like vinaigrette or mayonnaise, etc.).

However, the only thing worse than having to read verbose menu items is listening to people recite them. Most people (including myself) tune out by the middle of the second item and it just turns into a chore for both server and customer. I prefer it to be printed on a sheet of paper or written on a chalkboard.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #5 of 9
I tend to agree with the above on this subject.While it can be tempting to throw alot in a decription remember the average culinary IQ of your clientel.

A description I used just today for a special read: Tempura flounder over white rice with sesame ginger asp and an orange ponzu.The only thing the avarage customer didn't understand was the ponzu which I had educated the waitresses on which also makes them look good in front of the customer.

One thing I have been having a problem with lately is cooks that want everything to be labled with traditional italian names.Thats cool and all, but my genral way of thinking is if it can be had at olive garden under the same name I don't want it on my menu.
post #6 of 9
Spell them correctly.
post #7 of 9
Do not use overly complicated or completely foreign words, your servers will kill you if they have to explain to every single person that haricot verts are green beans.

If customers see something on the menu and dont know what it is, they just might not order it.
post #8 of 9
I come from the Hemingway school. Don't say more than you need to.

"Julie's Special"

man I hate naming shtuff....it is what it is....eat it and hopefully enjoy it.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #9 of 9
I like the Tom Colicchio / Craft style...
Filet... $45
Chicken.. $33
... you get the idea

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page

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Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page

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