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At several restaurants I've been to, in addition to serving an amuse-bouche at the beginning of a meal, there is an equivalent complementary small desert served at the end, sometimes before or after the check.

What on earth is the name for this "course"?

4 Answers 4

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I believe you're thinking of "mignardises." This is what they call it on the french laundry menu, and others.

Another possibility is "Petit Fours", which are small pastries typically served at the end of a meal. I believe there is some overlap in the use of the two terms.

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  • mignardises is pretty commonly used on tasting menus and would actually include something like a petit fours so i think this is on the right track. +1
    – Brendan
    May 28, 2013 at 19:09
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I have never heard a specific name for this that is widely used.

In some places it might be called a a lagniappe (a small free extra, the term originated in Louisiana), or perhaps just a complimentary dessert.

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In traditional English formal meals, the final course after dessert would be a savoury — a small, often strongly-flavoured dish such as welsh rarebit or angels on horseback, to ‘clear the palate’ before the port or other digestif.

(As the name indicates, this would not be a sweet dish, so depending what OP means by ‘desert’ [sic], this may not apply.)

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If seeking an English language term, I think "Post-Prandial" is a could work well. But I cannot claim that it's ever been used before.

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  • "post-prandial" is a medical/nutrition term, it doesn't get used in a kitchen/dining setting.
    – rumtscho
    Aug 16, 2020 at 20:12
  • So... let's use words from other languages that no one knows what they mean, so we can sound super-sophisticated? Food is medicine. Seriously, "post-prandial" is fine. Save "mignardises" for the French bistro.
    – scQue814
    Aug 18, 2020 at 9:46
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    @rumtscho I disagree. It's fusty and will likely come across as affected, but I've heard (well, read) it used in this context, generally when talking about liqueurs.
    – Sneftel
    Feb 1 at 12:09
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    @rumtscho I am familiar with the term "post-prandial" as a way of describing after dinner cocktails. Feb 1 at 12:20
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    "Postprandial" literally means "after a meal", and with no further qualifications would be assumed to refer to a postprandial drink (digestif). I've never heard it used for a part of the meal, and definitionally that wouldn't make sense. Feb 2 at 3:09

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