"most important piece or feature," 1831, from French pièce de résistance, originally "the most substantial dish in a meal." Literally "piece of resistance;" there seems to be disagreement as to the exact signification.
"dining room," usually with reference to the room in which the Last Supper was held, c. 1400, from Old French cenacle, learned variant of cenaille (14c., Modern French cénacle), from Latin cenaculum "dining room," from cena "mid-day meal, afternoon meal," literally "portion of food," from PIE *kert-sna-, from root *sker- (1) "to cut." Latin cenaculum was used in the Vulgate for the "upper room" where the Last Supper was eaten. Related: Cenatical; cenation.
1837, "detailed list of dishes to be served at a banquet or meal," from French menu de repas "list of what is served at a meal," from French menu (adj.) "small, detailed" (11c.), from Latin minutus "small," literally "made smaller," past participle of minuere "to diminish," from root of minus "to diminish" (from PIE root *mei- (2) "small"). Computer sense of "list of options displayed on a screen" is by 1967, from the expanded sense of "any detailed list," which is attested by 1889.
"kind of porridge; meal boiled in water or milk until it forms a thick, soft mass," 1670s, in the American colonies, a variant of mash (n.) "soft mixture." Meaning "anything soft and thick" is attested from 1824.