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May 26, 2011 06:27 AM

Lyon splurge

We'll be in Lyon 4 lunches and dinners in mid June. We love the bouchons and intend to eat most of our meals at them. I'm busily sorting out which ones from the posts I've been reading here and my own experience on two previous trips. Always torn between wanting to return to those we liked previously and the others we still want to try. I'd like one dinner to be at a "nicer" place and that's where I'm having trouble deciding. We don't want to leave the city so Bocuse is out even if we could get a reservation this late. Last time we went to Leon de Lyon so I don't want to repeat that. We're staying on Place Bellecour and since there seem to be multiple options I'd like to stay within reasonable distance from there all other things being almost equal. From my reading I'm leaning toward L'Alexandrin. I'd like to hear from Lyon diners on whether that's a good choice or recommendations for better. Thanks.

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  1. My fiancé and I were in Lyon this past week and had dinner at Le Gourmet de Seze and it was amazing! The ambiance was a little sleepy but the food was spot on.

    1 Reply
    1. re: arythmic

      Thanks arythmic, this has been on my radar. Now moving up a notch with your recommendation.

    2. I could give you some ideas but there are so many good restaurants here and they change constantly. You say you like bouchons - but Leon de Lyon isn't a bouchon... What do you actually enjoy eating, and what's your budget? I live in Place Bellecour so know many places in the immediate vicinity. Another CHer posted about La Tassee, which is on rue de la Charité. It's always busy and has good reviews. I've never been as it does verge on the very traditional Lyonnaise cuisine which I'm not a fan of. But it's one to consider. I could give you other options if you share where else you've been/what you like? (L'alexandrin also not bouchon - for a very good meal I would urge you to try any of Thomas restaurants - all three are on the same street. Also Potager des Halles for lunch or dinner; always excellent and a great terrace.

      3 Replies
      1. re: EatDrinkLyon

        Yes, the frequent changing of restaurants in Lyon seems hard to keep up with. I am looking at both a Michelin 2006 and a Pudlo 2009 and trying to figure out what's happened to some places.

        I apologize for not being clear in my initial post. We like bouchons very much and so are intending to sort through the many recommendations I already have for them (from this site and guidebooks, and even our own previous experience with Lyon) to make picks for most of our meals. However, I am looking for recs for one non-bouchon dinner on a par with Leon de Lyon or perhaps Jofe where we dined last time we were there, for that dinner. We are quite willing to pay significantly for such an experience and would even consider Bocuse except for our preference to remain in Lyon proper rather than take to the suburbs.

        We had lunch in La Tassee on a previous trip and liked it well enough but I would consider it more in the bouchon genre than the "fine dining" genre I'd like to pursue for this one dinner. Besides L'Alexandrin, Le Gourmet de Seze supported by arythmic, and your suggestions for the Thomas restaurants and Potager des Halles, I'm wondering about La Tour Rose which certainly looks to be beautiful and Les Trois Domes. Any further guidance given my clarification? Thanks.

        1. re: JmVikmanis

          I haven't seen anything good posted about La Tour Rose in a long time. Sad, because it is (or was) such a beautiful spot (always prettier than the food, tho, imho) and the hotel was GORgeous.

          I also haven't been to La Mere Brazier since the new owner and chef took over, and haven't read anything here about it, but Michelin did star it, and I'm looking forward to trying it again (it's been 19 years, and it was quite below par at that time). That's in Place des Terraux.

          A place on a par with Leon de Lyon? perhaps that's Nicolas LeBec. I love La Voute Chez Lea. I would call that more of a bistro. Food and welcome are excellent. and it's in the Presqu'Isle.

          Others have spoken well of Auberge de L'Ile which I think is on an island in one of the rivers? There are some reviews of it in this forum somewhere.

          sorry to be rambling.

          1. re: ChefJune

            Thanks ChefJune. I've read a lot of your posts, so I appreciate your info on this one. So La Tour Rose is off the list. Since Nicolas Le Bec was listed in some guides but not in others, I was thinking he may have closed or moved on to something different. I'm starting to think that maybe I should just go with what Lyon does best--bouchons and bistros and splurge at some trendy foodie temple elsewhere. The only thing that worries me about that plan is the possiblilty of burn out on bouchons. OTOH for me that might not be possible.

      2. Here is a recent great thread on dining in Lyon. There are others too that might be helpful if you search above.

        6 Replies
        1. re: DaTulip

          Actually it's from searching that and other threads that I've become a bit confused and was hoping for some clarification and more direction. Is there somewhere you'd point me?

          1. re: JmVikmanis

            Hello. Thomas is one of my favourite restaurants for quality of food/price ratio and ambience. You will have an excellent ml de eal but the ambience is relaxed and casual, always always busy. Streets ahead of Jofe and L de L. (Rue Le Bec, down on the confluence is quite the experience. The space itself is a converted warehouse and it's possible to sit on the terrace by the river. Food has always been good there and I have been more than half a dozen times. He does still have his main restaurant on the presquile but it's now called Le Bec and Taka - you can read about it on his website. You can also walk there totally alongside the Saone - it takes about half an hour slowly. I have a friend who went to La Mere Brazier in November. The chef there is renowned and she said it was out of this world. She had the famous chicken dish. Very expensive, but by all accounts wonderful. Trois Dome - the views from the bar are spectacular and the drinks are good in the bar next door, but it is just so very, very expensive. Of course it's all a matter of taste etc, and depending on what you like - the new Tetedoie is breathtaking in terms of views and a very modern space - the brasserie opposite serves very good food at extremely reasonable prices but service has been a bit hit and miss. I have not been to the restaurant as it's not to my taste but the menus are very well priced and as always, lunch is a good option. I would definitely recommend a trip up there to check it out even if you only look at the view! All the info is on his site too. Tour Rose is nice for a drink either in the bar or outside on rue de Boeuf but given other options I'd personally give it a miss. Le Passage is also a solid choice but no outdoors space. For bouchons, have you tried La Meuniere? That's the mother of all bouchons for a truly authentic experience!

            Feel free to PM me if you would like further advice, I'd be happy to help. Sorry for disjointed mail - on unfamiliar foreign keyboard!

            1. re: EatDrinkLyon

              Thanks EatDrinkLyon. I'll do more checking on Thomas. You make it sound very interesting. And I'm thinking drinks in a couple of places would satisfy my desire to see them, without need to schedule a meal.

              Yes, I have been to La Meuniere and I'm trying to decide whether to go again (we liked it a lot) or try other bouchons we haven't yet dined at. Decisions. decisions. Thanks for weighing in with your recs.

              1. re: JmVikmanis

                It's interesting to read that Thomas has matured and endured. We enjoyed several meals there at its original location.

                If bouchons are in your plan, I would heartily recommend Daniel et Denise. Simple, correct, generous, hospitable. My husband's favorite.

                1. re: mangeur

                  Just got back from Lyon. I've not yet had time to pull together a complete report (I will). Daniel & Denise was the best overall food that we had.

                  1. re: masha

                    Ok, Daniel and Denise is now firmly on the list for reservations. Thanks mangeur and masha.