Sunday, March 6, 2016

Trip to Lyon - Part II, A Gastronomic Delight

Lyon is well known for its wine and, especially, its food. We may not be able to appreciate a good or great wine but we can appreciate good food. For us, there were two types of restaurants to try in Lyon, the high end and the average, every day restaurant.

For the high end restaurant, I called to make a reservation at l'Institut de Paul Bocuse which is associated with the hotel where we were staying. Paul Bocuse is a world renowned chef who runs an institute for aspiring chefs and restaurant managers. The restaurant is staffed by these students. They have a limited menu for lunch and dinner which is totally prepared and served by the young, future restauranteurs of the world.

As a dinner reservation was not possible, (Make a reservation well in advance if you want to dine here. )  I quickly switched to lunch hoping there would be an opening and that, possibly, the meals would be less expensive. Well, one out of two isn't bad. There was a table available but the choices and prices were the same as the dinner menu.

After checking in at the hotel and taking a leisurely walk from Place Bellecour to the Rhone and back, we arrived at L'Insitut for our 12:30 reservation. Our young server (who did not introduce herself and tell us how she was going to take care of us today and did we want a drink before lunch, etc, etc) said we were lucky to have secured a reservation as they were normally full at lunch and dinner well in advance. She also said they have very few foreigners as diners as reservations had to be made in advance and most travelers aren't sure where they will be at any specific time.
Our table in second row.

Anyway, enough about that, what did we have for lunch? The options were Entree (appetizer), Plat (main course) and Dessert (dessert). We ordered some combination of these three choices. Here are some photos of our absolutely delicious meal.

I"ll start with my Main Course. This is the Paul Bocuze version of Steak, Mac and Cheese. The steak was a tender shoulder cut of beef sitting on top of a double row of tube pasta filled with Parmesan cheese with a thin slice of Parmesan cheese on the top. Then covered with a wine sauce. I took the longest time enjoying this meal. The meat was so tender it really did melt in my mouth and the "Mac and Cheese" was out of this world. I mean, it was really good. 

Next was Henry's Les Noix de Saint Jacques. This was a pecan encrusted sea scallop with whipped butternut squash. Normally, scallops seem pretty strong to me but the little bite I tasted was fabulous. Not over powering at all but loaded with flavor. And the presentation was terrific.

Skipping to dessert, here are a couple of examples of what we ordered. 
Lemon Tarte

 To us, the desserts were just as memorable as the main courses. It really was an experience. After that lunch, we took a breather at the hotel thinking we would never be hungry again. But we  had more dining to experience so we forged on. We toured the Fourviere and Gallo-Roman museum then we were ready for the anti-thesis of the L'Institut, the family style Buchons of Lyon.

To be Continued. All this talk of food has made me hungry. We are going out to eat dinner....

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