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Oct 2, 2013 01:59 PM

4 Days in Lyon

My sister and I will be visiting Lyon for 4 days at the beginning of November. We would love some suggestions on both the high and low end. We don't mind a more formal dinner but want to make sure the food is exceptional. Am tempted to go to Bocuse but I don't know if the food is still as good as the leagacy.
Also any winery or day trip information would be great. We will most likely go tasting one day and I love Cotes du Rhone. Thanks so much for your help!

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  1. Lyon is not exactly close by wine tasting. You are a couple hours away from either the Northern Rhone (think Cornas, Hermitage) or Burgundy. It's at least 90 minutes from the Beaujolais. Perhaps you can find a wine merchant where you could do an extensive tasting? I've never done that, but Lucy Vanel of Plum Kitchen might be able to help you.

    The food in Lyon is (overall) exceptional, although it certainly is possible to get a sub-par meal, especially in the Old Town area. There they seem to specialize in tourists.

    Our favorite meals last November were at Daniel et Denise and Chez Hugon. Other places I love are La Voute Chez Lea and Brasserie Leon de Lyon.

    If you want to splurge on a 3-star meal, I would recommend taking the commuter train out to Roanne and dining at Troisgros. It's outstanding.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ChefJune

      Thank you so much for your help!

    2. Hi Kukla. We were in Lyon in March 2012 and loved it. On the more casual end, we had great meals at cafe des federations (well known and lived up to the hype) and la voute chez lea. We also enjoyed dinner at les loges in the hotel cour des loges (it had one michelin star at the time and may still.) The sunday market in the croix rousse area and the bocuse food hall were also wonderful. and we had a nice lunch at brasserie le nord, one of the Paul Bocuse brasseries. We really enjoyed our time in Lyon - have a great trip.

      1 Reply
      1. Go to Bocuse. It is the Disneyland of the adults. The food is very good, maybe not as good as in some other 3star restaurants, but the whole experience is better.

        La Mere Brazier has good value lunch at 47 euros, but I was not astonished.

        Try pastries of Sebastian Bouillet. For me his pastries are way better than these of Bernachon.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Giannis

          Bernachon is a chocolatier, not a patissier. not a fair comparison. Bernachon chocolates are worth the trip to the 6me, for sure.

          We found the food at Institut Paul Bocuse (the school) in Ecully to be superior to the food served at his 3* restaurant. and the prices are excellent. The school is located in an old chateau outside Lyon. A very beautiful setting, in addition to the good food. What about Bocuse makes you think of Disneyland, Giannis? Is it the commercialism? or the mediocre food?

          1. re: ChefJune

            I tried several pastries from Bernachon, from chocolate eclairs, to tarte au citron, the gateau president Maurice and others. Eclair au chocolat was really mediocre compared to the excellent eclair au chocolat by for example la maison du chocolate and so on.

            From the chocolates, the palets d or were fine but not really memorable. The chocolate bars did not had the velvety texture I found on JPH, Marcolini, Zchocolat, artisan du chocolat etc. Even the hot chocolate they served me at their cafe was not the thick hot chocolate you can find in genin, angelina or other cafes. It was from cocoa powder. I had the biggest expectetion from Bernachon when I went, it was on my mind to visit it for almost a decade. That is why I went about 4 times during my five day stay at Lyon. To be fair Bernachon is not bad by any means. It is good, but not as good as others do it with half prices.

            For Bocuse, I compared the experience with that of a child in Disneyland because the whole meal is not just about the food. It is a restaurant that can make an adult happy. I wouldnt call his food mediocre. Surely no innovation, but I didnt expect or want to find that in Auberge du pont de collonges. A week ago I saw a picture of Bocuse and his 4 MOFs outiside of his restaurant. Some dishes had some problems, but others were some of the best I have ever had. Did you had a bad experience there?

            1. re: Giannis

              Yes, had a poor to mediocre meal there, as well as slapdash service. I realize every place can have an off night, but truly, not when you're Paul Bocuse. I know he hasn't personally cooked for many years, but if his name is on it, and he has three stars, it should be fabulous. Other chefs who falter lose their stars, but Michelin will not take even one away from his restaurant while he is alive. And imho most diners are not getting their money's worth.

              About Bernachon: I've never eaten nor purchased anything but chocolate from them -- no pastries. and I don't think theirs is the best chocolate in France any longer [probably Patrick Roger in Paris] but we still enjoy the truffles and other candies from Bernachon very much.

                1. re: ChefJune

                  I have yet to try Patrick Roger. I hear good words for his chocolates.

                  Till now my favorites are zchocolat , then PIerre Marcolini.