We occasionally see James Bond pick up a restaurant menu in the films, but we are almost never permitted to see what’s on it. An exception is Thunderball (1965), where, at the Café Martinique in Nassau, the camera lingers on the menu as Bond orders Beluga caviar.
The menu text is not totally clear, but it is possible to make out several items. Whether by accident or design, some of these match items that are mentioned in the Bond novels. Had the literary Bond perused the menu, he might have been tempted by one or two dishes in addition to the caviar.
There is, for example, oeufs cocotte à la crème, or baked eggs with cream. In On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1963), James Bond admits to living off eggs cocotte, among other items, and in Goldfinger (1959) orders oeufs cocotte à la crème at the restaurant at Orleans station. Then there is steak tartare, a dish that which we’re told in From Russia, With Love (1957) that Kerim Bey eats every day. Bond tries a forkful and says it’s delicious. Other types of steak are available, including chateaubriand. James Bond eats various forms of steak in the novels, and the choice presented on the menu would no doubt give him pause for thought.
Escargots de bourgogne are also on the menu. Though Ian Fleming’s James Bond never has the dish, John Gardner’s James Bond does – at the Terminus Nord restaurant in Paris in Death is Forever (1992).
Other dishes include duck à l’orange, coq au vin, fresh vegetables (légumes frais), and consommé Madrilene. And, for the record, Beluga caviar is on the menu – presented as caviar Beluga sur socle; that is, on blinis, toast or a similar base. If you can decipher any more dishes, drop me a line in the comments section.