Dining in Martinique

Dining in Martinique is a delightful culinary experience, but as with driving here, it is best to get some directions before you head out. First of all, as in France, entrées are appetizers; the main courses will usually be labeled as follows: poissons (fish); viandes (meat); or principal plats (main dishes). The appetizers are almost as expensive as the mains—and if the appetizer is foie gras, you'll pay just as much as for a main course.

Entrecôte is a sirloin steak, usually cut thin. A filet mignon is a rarity, but you will see filet mignon du porc, which is pork tenderloin. Ecrivesses (known also as ouassous or z'habitants) are incredible freshwater crayfish, usually served with their heads on. Similarly, if a fish dish does not specify fillet, it will be served whole—bones, stones, and eyeballs.

Every respectable restaurant has an admirable wine carte, and the offerings will be almost completely French, with few half bottles. Wines by the glass are often swill and best avoided.

Finally, don't ever embarrass yourself by asking for a doggie bag, unless you're willing to risk being considered gauche.

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