I had a very cool weekend with Marie-Aimée in Lyon. It’s a beautiful city in the Rhône-Alpes region in France. It has its own cuisine identity which is very different than the Parisian style. It’s all about good home cooking and pork products. I was very excited about visiting this area, especially after learning about it in our Menu Regional Rhône-Alpes at school.

Unfortunately Lyon, like Paris, is a bit empty on August. Almost all French people are going to the beach for their Vacances. This is why many of the recommended places were closed and we couldn’t try them out. Still we managed to somehow eat too much and too well. The first evening’s restaurant was disappointing but the next day made it all up.

Marie and I in Lyon

The typical Lyonnaise restaurant is called a “bouchon” and serves the specialties of Lyon’s cuisine in a home style restaurant. This is a picture of a tiny model of the bouchon.

We had our Saturday lunch at this little place called “L’epicerie”

Their specialty is “Tartines” which is open face sandwiches toasted bread

They also had a nice selection of tartes

We each had a tartine and we shared a green salad with raspberries vinegar and a cold refreshing gazpacho. The Gazpacho was great for a hot day and well seasoned. The salad vinaigrette was very simple.

For the tartines we had beef with tartare sauce which I especially like. (Thank you Marie for the picture)

We also chose the three fromages with a poached pear tartine. Very good cheeses that got a nice melt and match perfectly with the pear. The bread, soft and fresh but crisp at the bottom.

After all that we split a dessert of cherries and whipped cream which was not bad at all.

There was a genoise at the bottom, soaked with a light syrup and the cooked cherries. Delicious.

Empty pot over a funny plate.

This place atmosphere was so cool, with a candy shop stand in the middle and vintage style.

At night we went to “Chez Mounier”, a place with warm recommendations that did not live up to them at all.

They have menus ranging from 13-24 euro for 4 courses. we had one of 13 euro and one 16 euro.

This is not a Tattinger champagne, just a bottle of simple white wine.

Drink wine. It’s good for you.

Salad Lyonnaise: lettuce, bacon bits, croutons, fried egg.

Assiette de copains (“the buddies plate”): green salad, chicken liver, herring salted fish and a poached egg. Pretty weird, I admit. Putting random stuff over a green salad seems to be a Loynnaise thing. Needless to say we were already pretty full after these starters.

The main dishes were miss fortunate. I took the Assiette de chef et ses deux poissons (the chef’s plate of two fish). Pretty awful, tasteless sauce, under-seasoned and dry fish. The vegetables overcooked. The gratin of potatoes was the only good thing about it.

Marie took the Filet de Lieu noir meuniere. As bad as my dish was, this was worse! Marie doesn’t like salty food but even she said this fish was not salted at all. Poorly cooked as well.

We did not finish our main course and when the waitress asked us why, we said it’s not seasoned. She said the Chef preferred to under season the dish so that it won’t be over seasoned. This excuse is unacceptable. The fact was that it was not seasoned at all and it’s a major crime in the kitchen, not considering even the other issues.

For the cheese plate we asked one of each. This was Cervelle de Canut – white cheese mixed with herbs and spices. Lots of garlic, I like it but maybe better having this dish as a first course and not “dessert”

The hard cheese was a good one, can’t remember its name..

The bread was not fresh, I only ate the middle.

Desserts. This tart is one of Lyon’s specials: Tarte aux Pralines
Basically tart made with the pink candied nuts. Crazy sweet but very special. I ate one bite and had enough sweet but Marie is a sweet freak and ate the rest without blinking.

The other dessert was tarte au citron. It was a very good one, creamy and acid. At least we had a nice finish to the meal!

Next day we had to have a corrective meal before we leave Lyon – the capital of gastronomy (Paris and Lyon will always be fighting for the title).

We went for lunch at “Le bouchon de filles” (The girls’ bouchon), seems only logical to do so. We were very happy with the selection.

The four course menu costs 25 euro so we took one whole menu and one formule of main course and dessert for 20 euro. It was more than enough!

This place looks like a classical bouchon but with a girly touch. The toilette was the girly thing ever, we both agreed. We like pink!


The place was empty, I guess because the whole city was pretty empty. But at least they were open.

A little Côtes du Rhône is appropriate

For the first course the waitress described three salads, we thought we had to choose one, but no, we got the three of them! This was beets and herring with herbs.

Lettuce with chicken liver

Black lentils with mustard, and fresh great bread.

Admittedly, these salads were a whole meal by themselves. I liked it all and the lentils especially. Very well cooked and seasoned.

As a pallet cleanser we had a yellow gazpacho. I liked it but I think something went wrong with this batch because it had a weird after taste.

The famous Lyonnaise Quenelle:
Quenelle de brochet, sauce crustacés et écrevisses
Pike (sort of fish) dumpling, crayfish and shellfish sauce

Very fluffy cloudy dumpling and the sauce was like lobster cream soup. A lot better than the version I got the day before.

Croustille de boudin aux pommes, salade d’hebres.
Crispy black pudding with apples, herb salad.

Great dish, the boudin is traditionally eaten here with baked apples. Dreamy.

We could not handle all the food so far but here came the cheese dish. It was only one portion of the dish for the full menu but again we got a variety of three different cheeses. The small one was goat I think, nice but not surprising. The blue was exceptional and the third just blew my mind. I asked what it was and I can’t remember the answer but looking it up in my French Fromage definer book it seems to be a Saint-Félicien. Not sure though.

Dessert was simple, fresh strawberries with meringue, vanilla ice-cream, crème Chantilly and chocolate sauce.

Was not creative but a well made classic. I think this is what Lyon’s cuisine is all about.

The chocolate fondant was too commercial to my taste and I didn’t like this weird pink ice-cream. I thought it was bubble gum but Marie said it’s something completely different that I didn’t get. She was happy with it so we switched back after two bites.

A small café so that I will be able to walk for the rest of the day. What a meal!!

Some more pictures of this beautiful city:

Typical French breakfast

The Rhône

A wine shop with glasses hanged upside down from the ceiling

Tarte aux Pralines!

What is this? I asked Marie. Struggling with the explanation she ended up saying: It’s something you can’t eat if you’re on a diet. Seems that way 😛

Vintage price tags of meat and cheese

Another cool vintage style coffee-restaurant

The morning market by the river. Sweet and savory cakes.

We took a mini cake of white chocolate and raspberry. I didn’t have high expectations for 1 euro but it was truly one of the best I had.

AHHHhhh so good

I like markets

Amazingly Marie spotted her favorite garlic pickles and bought some. I loved it, we ate it all during this Sunday morning.

Piggies! Staring at us all over the city.


Scroll right and left to see the panoramas:



Also feel free to look at some more panoramas I made of the city here.

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One Response to Weekend in Lyon

  1. […] The 12 cheeses I brought home with me were gone quickly. Before they did I tried imitating the three fromages with a poached pear tartine at home, but with five fromages instead. Mom loved it. Also I brought with me this microwave plaque […]

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