Europe Day 4 : The Gastronomy of Lyon

My first visit to Lyon France in July 2000 was unexpectedly cut short when we had to detour through Monte Carlo, Torino and the St Bernard’s Pass to drive friends home due to an airline strike.  This allowed for only one evening in Lyon which was spent enjoying an amazing 4 hour, 8 course meal at Restaurant Paul Bocuse (lucky to have a French speaking friend who was able to get last minute reservations). I know there’s no violin playing for me due to this misfortune, but it did make me more determined to enjoy the cuisine of this city on this visit.

After a hearty breakfast at our hotel, we opted to walk the 3.2 kms to the city center.  It  was a warm day, but I find walking to be the best way to see any city.  We walked more once we got to the city center spending time at the opera house, fine arts museum and the Place de la Republique which is the main drag for shopping in Lyon. The small alleys that offshoot are full of cafes and restaurants.  We are not shoppers and so we mostly just watched the people and the life around us stopping every so often to take photos or read inscriptions on statues.

Eventually we made our way to the old city and into the Bouchon district which was bustling with people.  Here we decided to break and have a leisurely lunch. The history of the Bouchon is best explained by the cover of the menu at Le Panier Du Chef below.

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I ordered a three course menu of Salad Lyonnaise, Fish Quenelle and Caramelized Apple Cake while my son opted for a plate of Sausage & Fries.  We paired our meal with a delicious Viognier from the Northern Rhone region and relaxed in the hot son for a few hours in no rush to leave.

 

After the long walk back to the hotel along the Rhone River, we needed a nap and some down time before heading to dinner at a restaurant that had been recommended by several sources – L’Ebauche.  It’s a small place with the chef and a helper working tirelessly in the kitchen and the chef’s wife at the front of the house alone.  There are four or five tables inside and about six to eight outside and the restaurant was packed. As you can imagine, this was not going to be a quick dinner, but it was most certainly a delicious one.  The menu was written on the mirror with two options for each course.  We opted to do two courses instead of the full three, I the entree and main plate while my son chose a main plate and dessert.  My cold soup of gin infused cucumber, red cherries and trout caviar with a cold tomato broth poured over it was refreshing and just what was needed after a day of 100 degree heat. For our main course, I got a Maigre fish served over a spinach puree and accompanied by some yellow zucchini strips while my son opted for the duck with aubergine curry and apricots.  Everything was perfectly cooked, executed and tasted wonderful.  I don’t believe we left a drop on our plates. My son’s dessert was a chocolate ganache with raspberries and a crumble which he would not share.

After a short walk to the main road and waiting for the bus for over ten minutes, we hailed a taxi for our ride back to the hotel where we fell asleep content from our gastronomic adventure.

 

 

 

 

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