Nicholas le Bec, which recently got it's second star, is a great place for a not-too-ridiculously priced lunch (dinner is steep).
Le Gourmet de Seze, in the 6th on Rue de Seze, has one star and is very reasonably priced, and offers the option of a wine tasting menu to accompany their dinner menus.
For good pseudo-Asian, Mendo near the Guillotiere bridge is not bad or expensive, however don't eat there too far out of the normal dining hours (they are open all day without interruption) as I've found the food isn't very good at say, 5:30pm, maybe because the real chef/cook hasn't yet come in . . .
There are so many great small restaurants in Lyon it's hard to know where to start.
some of my must visit places include La Voute (Chez Lea), Bistrot du Vin, Le Splendid (owned by Georges Blanc), and Comptoir du Boeuf.
Jean-Paul Lacombe should have opened his new brasserie at 1 rue Pleney by now. His food is always fab. check and see if he's up and running (in the space that used to be Leon de Lyon.
Behind the Gare du Perrache, there's a brasserie called "Georges," that's been there since aorund 1900. Interesting place. some of the food was quite good, other items, not so much.
I'm here now. Here's my dinner last night at Bocuse L'Est and if you go back to my blog later, I'll have other reports...
Thanks to some last minute recommendations from friends, a small travesty was averted. We arrived in Lyon on Sunday – a day when most restaurants are closed. Fortunately, Brasserie L’Est, owned by the inimitable Paul Bocuse. A brasserie, I was a bit overwhelmed with haute cuisine and desirous of simpler fare. There is a bit of a circus feel to the restaurant when you enter, with movie posters of train movies on the walls and a model train running around a track, just below the ceiling. An open kitchen (with a microphone for the head chef) puts you in the middle of the action. It was all perfectly charming.
Trying to be frugal, I ordered a set menu that included duck pâté, fresh fish with spring vegetables, a cheese course, and a dessert. He-Who-Knows-No-Bounds ordered all of his standard favorites; pâté de foie gras, escargots, and beef tartare. Both pâtés were excellent and has inspired me to reacquaint myself with my terrine moulds upon my return. I used to make quite a lot of them and with summer coming, will make many excellent warm-day meals. The escargots, for the second time on this trip, were served in small individual cups instead of the classic snail shell. These seemed a tad smaller than whose we shared at London’s Papillion, but equally as tasty.
The fish and vegetables were plentiful – all most too plentiful. I was quickly getting full. The vegetables were slightly overdone for my taste (I like a bit of tooth and all these tended towards soft). The tartare was served with a side of potatoes, served atop of small burner, and a salad that went entirely un-eaten. Like Papillion again, I found this tartare to be a bit heavy on the Worcestershire but the including of capers and cornichons and the quality of the beef were still excellent. I guess I am a bit spoiled with my temple of perfection, Bix. For my cheese, I was served a half-round of Brillat-Savarin and the dessert was a recommendation of the waiter, the classic meringue with ice cream, whipped cream, raspberry sauce, and fresh fruit. All lovely.
Interestingly, when we arrived at 7:45 p.m., we one of the first parties to arrive. By 8:15 the place was hopping with nary an empty seat. We both remarked at the agility and quickness of the staff and specifically admired the maître’d/head-waiter who bussed tables, offered service, called cabs, and moved with the deftness of a cat. There was never a wait, our wine glasses were never empty, but we never felt intruded upon.
re: Carrie 218
Today's lunch entry:
Following Lucy Vanel's fabulous site, I took the opportunity to wander the Avenue Victor Hugo for a bit of boutique and antique shopping for a little solo Lyon adventure. Realizing I had not bothered with breakfast and getting quite peckish, the Brasserie l’Espace was inviting for one very specific reason: Jambon Persillé. Now if I had paid attention, I might very well have passed a dozen such bistros and brasseries all serving this illusive dish, but it was not since my time in Los Angeles, and my access to a French ex-patriots Florence & Bruno Herve Commereuc that I had authentic jellied ham with parsley.
At Brasserie l’Espace, it was offered as part of a set lunch that included fish or pork (I chose pork – I had actually been eating a lot of fish lately!), cheese, and dessert for a mere 19.2€, a bargain! I ordered the house wine that is brought out in a recycled old heavy-bottomed bottle. The jambon was everything I remembered, served with lightly dressed greens, a few cornichons, and a couple of slices of tomatoes.
The roast pork was stunning and HUGE. I probably should not have made up an entire meal of pork products, but I couldn’t help myself. The entrée was fall-off-the-bone tender and swimming in a delectable sauce of caramelized juices which some might think too sweet but for me, was shear perfection. The dish was surrounded by sliced, roasted potates, and roasted leek that was cooked to a wilted perfection (as much as I complain about wanting vegetables with a “tooth,” that really only pertains to green vegetables; members of the onion family are far better suited to long, slovenly caramelization), and a fresh artichoke heart stuffed with ratatouille. I really was in France at last. It is not a dream! This was country French cooking at a pinnacle I had really only read about. Surrounded by business folks and locals, I’m sure I was the only gringo, but with my glass of wine, crust of bread, and contented disposition, I was one of them… As with L’Est, I sat down in the restaurant with one or two patrons already there, and within fifteen minutes, the establishment was filled and I knew I had randomly picked a great spot and heartbroken that the iPhone’s camera failed to save my pictures...