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May 2, 2009 05:25 PM

Restaurant in Lyon to try French delicacies

I want to try a few typically French things like Foie Gras, Escargot and Frog's legs. What is a good restaurant in Lyon where I could try those things and perhaps some others in ONE sitting? My price range is around or less than 50 Euros.

P.S If something must be left out, It would have to be the Foie gras since it's relatively available back home in NYC.

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  1. The basic answer is that lots of places will do lots of these things. Most eating in Lyon is at bistros (called bouchons) - do a search of this board to get some recommended ones and then check the menus on line - many have a web page with a menu.

    Looking at Le Splendid, which is recommended on this board a bit, they have all three of your desired items.

    1. well, truly, these items are not particular to Lyon. Lyon is famous for offal (tripe, kidneys and other innards) as well as quenelles.

      Foie gras, escargot and frogs legs are pretty ubiquitous to the whole country. Actually, frogs legs are more common in Loire valley, and foie gras to Alsace and the Dordogne.

      The chef who does the traditional Lyonnaise food best is Jean Paul Lacombe, and you will find him every day (except Sunday) at his Brasserie Leon de Lyon, 1 rue Pleney, down near the Place des Terraux in the Centre Ville.

      There are lots of traditional boissons in Lyon that have the old style food, but Jean Paul has lightened many of the dishes up a bit, so they don't sit so leaden in your stomach.

      1. Actually, frog legs are hard to find, especially good fresh ones (the only place I can think of is Loiseau or one of the Loiseau bistrots, but there must be others). Other than that indeed you'll have foie gras and escargot in almost every traditional bistrot -- say Auverge Bressane, Joséphine, Ami Louis, Chez Denise, etc.

        Most New Yorker who eat in here don't think the foie gras you can get in NYC has anything to do with what you can get at Régalade, Ami Jean, Joséphine, le Cinq, Senderens, l'Auberge du Quincy, le Cinq...

        1. mm, Mr Gimlet suggests Spendid which is a good idea. It's a restaurant owned by George Blanc who is a 3* chef although his main restaurant is out in Vonnas near Bresse.

          I ate in one of JP Lacombe's little bouchon in Lyon, and had the most delectable Pot au Feu - so simple, so light. Wonderful.

          To be honest, the things that you mention above are not particularly Lyonnais and if you were looking for them you would miss out on the really fabulous local specialities that you are highly unlikely to find outside France - St Marcellin cheese, Lyonnais sausage (slightly fermented flavour), pike quenelles etc.

          Lyon is a fabulous place to eat, and I'd suggest putting yourself at the mercy of some of these great chefs rather than going with a fixed idea of what you want to eat. They know their local ingredients best!

          You can check out my blog post about Lyon for some pointers that may be useful.

          1. For me, a major highlight of Lyonnaise food is the Lyonnaise salad, which, when done well, is a veritable meal in itself. I think the best one I have ever had is at La Voute, Chez Lea which is at 11, Place Antonin Gourju, a little street in the downtown, Centre Ville area that is just off the Saone River. Tonight, I will attach a photo I took of my salad that I had there last October. I salivate just thinking of it!

            Causticandy is right to mention St. Marcellin, and the best in the world can be found at the stall of Mere Renee Richard in the Les Halles market. All her cheeses are heaven, but the St. Marcellin is truly special.

            Giraudet is a little chain of lunch shops with delicious soup and wonderful quenelles. The place I usually go is just off the Place Bellecour. And you can get tins of quenelles to take home, too.