Mission: To respond thoughtfully and responsibly to my experiences of drinking and dining at restaurants with regard to the quality, service, preparation, presentation and overall experience received thereat. The standpoint is one who respects the crafts of the chef and sommelier and who seeks to understand their choices in the kitchen and cellar and grow in knowledge. In this, I will seek to be fair, reasoned, direct and constructive and aim to keep my ego in check on our mutual journeys through the worlds of food and wine.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Burgundy and The French Riviera (3 of 12) - Lunch in Lyon

Paul Bocuse Restaurant

Paul Bocuse - Lunch
69660 Collonges-Au- Mont-D'Or, Lyon

The Fates being what they are, the Regional French Railmen had decided to hold a one day strike on the day we needed to get from Beaune to Lyon to get the TGV to Aix En Provence to pick up the vans that would be our transport for our time on the French Riviera. Wonderful. As a result, it was decided that, rather than mess around with the trains, we'd get two big taxi vans to take us direct to our reserved lunch at the Paul Bocuse in Lyon and then get the train to Aix from there. 

So, having duly packed and breakfasted and checked out of the Ibis Styles we loaded up the bags on the vans for a two hour drizzly motorway drive to Lyon. At the station, LT went to check trains and Left luggage while Lenglui and I found coffee and a toilet. It was discovered that Left luggage would cost a bomb so the vans took us direct to the Restaurant and we parked our bags there, figuring that taxis back to the station after lunch would be able to transport them. Pretty good service from the drivers, can't remember the cost. Call Sebastien +33 06 33 48 24 79 email reservation@premiereclassetransport.fr

Lot of charm in the ambience
The Three Star Paul Bocuse restaurant is the stuff of culinary legend. Holding three Michelin stars continuously since 1965 and still monitored by Chef Paul and Mme Bocuse, the restaurant is a drawing room of objets d'art and a memorial to Chef Paul and his achievements. They also do a very nice trade in souvenirs and memorabilia. 

The place is its own landmark, standing on a slight hill and dominating the view from the road leading to it. The building looked a bit like a Portuguese birthday cake with its red Louvre windows against pea green walls, but it certainly stood out. This was the castle of the culinary king. Who are we to judge?

The interior is plush red wallpaper and golden  cream panels with much in the way of ornate furniture and small art pieces adorning the walls. In the lunchtime natural light, there was an airiness about the place which set an easy tone for the party. Starch white tablecloths contrasted the reds and creams of the room, whilst delightful and playful Paul Bocuse dinner sets waited for food. It was later discovered that much of the plateware was available for purchase. Well, and why not? We were all of us here on a Pilgrimage to one of the true shrines of food and if people want to take a piece of it with them then they will naturally be obliged. We bought a butter dish. 

We were sat on a long table near a window for natural light and would be having the "Classique" Menu at Euro150. Here we got to choose a starter and a main followed by cheese table and dessert. I rarely like to pay so much for food, but have to admit that on this occasion it was totally worth it. The decor, the ambiance, the cutlery and plateware and glasses. And some wonderful service. Now I understand the art of simple modern French cuisine. Lots of butter. No, the tastes are more subtle than this. The key is clearly not overdoing it with the seasoning and using incredibly fresh produce impeccably prepared. Standouts were the fish in pastry crust and the foie gras, and Chef Paul coming out for photo ops with all the guests. Still strong at 86 though a bit shaky on the knees, the man is living history and still making it. There is still a fire in the eyes and you just know he will take no nonsense or excuse for people not producing exceptional dishes. Meeting the legend was beyond words. Top man. 

Chef Paul with LT and Cheng Han
Actually, foodwise everything was standout. We all selected different dishes so we could all have a taste of each others food. Can't remember much about the tastes of the dishes, except that they were magnificent.  It was all totally splendid. Stellar, stellar, stellar. Three stars indeed, and big ones at that.  

Love the plates...
Lunch was a major, major splurge, but less of a splurge than dinner would have been and, hey, once in a lifetime we only may come here. If twice comes along, would definitely do it again. Have to starve for a few weeks after. But it would be worth it. The ladies all got copies of the menu given to them. Wonderful wines, can't remember what they were. Absolutely glad that we did this. Total history on a plate. 

Dodine de canard à l’ancienne pistachée et foie gras de canard maison
ou Soupe de moules de Bouchot aux pistils de safran ‘Billy bye’
ou Quenelle de brochet aux écrevisses, sauce Nantua
ou Cassolette de homard à l’armoricaine

Loup en croûte feuilletée, sauce Choron (pour 2 convives) 
ou Filet de bœuf Rossini, sauce Périgueux 
ou Fricassée de volaille de Bresse à la crème et aux morilles 
ou Carré d’agneau «Côtes Premières» rôti à la fleur de thyme

Sélection de fromages frais et affinés «Mère Richard»

Délices et gourmandises Petits fours et chocolats

Duck meat dodine ‘à l’ancienne’, foie gras and pistachios 
or Frogs soup with cresson 
or Traditional Lyon quenelles of pike with crayfish, Nantua sauce
or Cassolette of lobster ‘à l’Armoricaine’ 

Sea bass stuffed in puff pastry shell, Choron sauce
(for 2 persons) 
or Filet of beef Rossini, Périgueux sauce 
or Fricassee of Bresse chicken in cream sauce, morel mushrooms 
or Rack of lamb roasted with thyme

Selection of fresh and matured cheese from « La Mère Richard »

Delicacies and temptations Fantasies & Chocolates

Think this was the soup...
Sea Bass in Pastry Shell - magnificent!

Total yum...

The Cheese Board

Dessert One...

and Dessert Two!!

More dessert... phwoooarggghh, stuffed...

I was here!!

So was Lenglui!!

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