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What does "entrée" mean in Seattle?

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I have been looking at menus online and I am confused by some of the terminology used.

Is an "entrée" the main course in America?

What do "small entrée" and "small plate" mean in Seattle? How "small" are they? Are they enough to feed a normal sized man or large woman?

Please forgive my ignorance. I am French and not very well-traveled.

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  1. In America, the entrée is the main course, except in some French restaurants and bistros, where the entrée is the appetizer.

    Generally, two or three small plates are enough to feed a single person. The best thing is to ask your server how many are usually enough, since it can vary from restaurant to restaurant. Small plates lend themselves to sharing, although it's not *required* to share. Small plates are very popular right now.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Thiebaud

      We always ask the server how big the portions are when the restaurant serves small plates. It's one of the (many) annoying things about small plates, in my opinion--you never know how much to order until you have a conversation with your server about it. Some restaurants you get only a few bites, others, it's almost enough for a meal.

      1. re: christy319

        At "small plates" places I we usually start out with two per person, and then keep ordering more throughout the meal depending on how big the portions are. I like trying lots of different things, so I'm a fan of this type of meal.

    2. SM: Yes, entrée is the main course here in Seattle. "Small entrée" isn't a term I hear commonly, but I expect it's a smaller portion of an entree for someone with a light appetite. This is sometimes also refered to as a "Bistro portion" for some reason. Small plates are in the tradition of Spanish tapas. They can vary pretty widely in size, from just a few olives to a cup or more of cooked vegitables. They're usually 3-4 bites of food, enough for four people to each have a bite. This is, however, not always the case, so it pays to ask.