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Holly Moore

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Well La Machonnerie was a star where table service was concerned. Endless water refills, prompt but pleasant server and help with a very exhaustive but equally exciting wine list.

Some of the dishes were absolutely perfect - a rich chocolate cake towards the end, homemade yogurt with pear/ginger marmelade to break up the richness in the middle of the meal.

I'm not sure how I feel about the main courses and entrees as some were simply too rich for me to enjoy, such as the leek gratin . I found the pig's trotter and fried tripe too similiar to put together on a prix fixe.

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  • 4 months later...

We'd made the reservation at Nicholas le Bec on our first night, keeping our fingers crossed that Easyjet would get us to Lyon on time. We got to our aparthotel in the Presqu'ile with time to spare - the start of a remarkable evening.

restaurant Nicolas Le Bec

14 rue Grolee

69002 Lyon

04 78 42 15 00


We found Nicholas le Bec just a few streets from where we were staying - a discreet frontage in a mainly shopping street, and so our adventure began ...


The interior is discreet, cool and modern. Tables are nicely spaced. The staff were lovely, they caught our enthusiasm and were eager to translate terms we did not know (althought I am still not quite sure which grain epautre is ..).

There are two menus, Menu Gourmand which we chose at 98 euros and Menu Epicure 128 euros. We asked for wine suggestions, our sommelier brought these by the glass focusing in the main on local wines.

Our photos start off fine, but as the lights dimmed we had trouble with a few, so please excuse us.

Firstly, a mouthwatering selection of amuse bouches


A cheese "cake" with tapende, crab in a light dressing in a pastry case, a further pastry case with anchovy on sour cream and a green puree. A basket of fresh bread was then offered.


Next a cold tomato soup "Mixed ripe tomatoes in olive oil with a mustard iced cream"

Wow! This was smooth and rich, with a smoky taste - the mustard iced cream was the perfect foil for the rich flavours - best not eat on its own. It was topped with a parmesan crisp (these appeared also appeared at L'atelier in Arles)


"A bowl of red tuna in a modern tartare style, with a perfumed sauce of grey shrimps"

The fish appeared lightly smoked and was served with horseradish, onions and japanese mushrooms. This was set in full flavoured shelfish broth. The flavour were beautifully balanced.

The next dish was probably my favourite (although it was difficult to choose) as it was just so spectacular. Two pictures needed here to describe what happens.


On a "milk" of brown morilles, duck foie gras and white ham in a "fried egg" with sorrel jus.Apologies for the focus, but when you cut into the egg, a warm delicious flood of flavours escapes


Next, a "heart" of beautiful poached cod on a rock fish bouillon, perfumed with saffron and black olives. The fish was cooked to perfection, the flavours well balanced with the potato adding an extra dimension.


This was followed by rack of limousin lamb "barbequeued" with cauliflower semolina, with a bouillonor raisins, puree of blackfigs and spiced honey. No picture. Lovely flavours, but I think Scottish lamb has the edge for flavour!

A cheese course followed featuring local cheeses, served with biscotti-like savoury, nutty biscuits


I realise now, we were treated a different dessert to the set menu, a delicious raspberry sorbet on a chocolate soup with a crisp biscuit.


Followed by home made nougat, fudge


Chablis premier crus Laforet 2004,Domaine Danoisoat (?spelling)

Macon Vire Clesse 2004 Domaine O Merlin

St Joseph 2004 Domaine Grippa

Beaume Premier crus marconnet 2002 Domaine Morot

Muscat de Beaumes deVenise 2004 Domaine de Bernadin

Please go an sample this wonderful place yourselves

Danielle Ellis

Edinburgh Scotland


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  • 5 months later...

I don’t know if it is better for me to revive this thread, or start a new one. I apologize if I was wrong to revive it. I have read through this long Lyon thread at least twice, and tried to read others and to do focused searches as well. I still have several questions or requests for clarification or updates, if anyone has thoughts. Thanks!

I am visiting France (basically for the first time) in May, and as part of the trip, I am planning 4 nights (Friday – Monday) in Lyon and nearby areas. One night I have already booked dinner (and hotel) at Troisgros (Monday), based on the generally excellent reviews posted here.

I have also booked Sunday dinner (and hotel) at Georges Blanc. Partly, this seemed like a good choice because many of the restaurants I was looking at in Lyon appear to be closed on Sunday. Monday closures is also one reason the trip to Troisgros works very well for Monday.

I’m confident in the Troisgros choice, but I haven’t found much about Georges Blanc on the boards posted lately. Not as many detractors as for Bocuse, for example, but still some intimations that his cuisine is somewhat tired. Also, a couple reviews that were quite negative. But some pretty good reviews as well. If he does traditional very well, I think that would probably be fine for me, but if it’s falling in quality at all, obviously that would be more of a problem. Has anyone had a more recent experience? Most of the reviews I saw were 4 or 5 years old.

Nicholas Le Bec and Gourmet de Seze have both got great reviews pretty recently. Any more recent visits? Still highly recommended?

I didn’t see any recent posts about Christian Tetedoie’s restaurant. The older reviews I saw were not so good. Has anyone had a good experience lately?

With respect to Auberge de l’Ile, my Fodors guide suggest that it is a “pretty one-hour walk” there and back. Seems like that might be a nice place for lunch and a pleasant May walk (could take a taxi if absolutely necessary). Does an hour-long walk sound accurate?

I’ve never had tripe. Is it comparable to anything else? Is it anything like liver?

Anyone with recent experience staying at Villa Florentine or Cour des Loges?

Is there anything new and particularly promising, or otherwise worth recommending? I know this is pretty focused on the Michelin-star type places, and I’m thinking about including some more traditional fare as well, so I’m still thinking on that.

Thanks very much to anyone who has any thoughts.

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We've been to Georges Blanc twice. Once many years ago, and once about 5 years ago.

We stayed both times in the hotel, as well.

I've never had such incredible meals and service in my life.

Just amazing food.

We have to say, however, that the last time there, the town had become like a "Disneyland" of George Blanc. There are numerous gift shops, souvenirs, secondary restaurants and hotels---all in "his" name. That's kind of disgusting.

However, once again, it seemed to be worthwhile. We tried to overlook it and just enjoy.

And, enjoy, we did...

Philly Francophiles

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We've been to Georges Blanc twice. Once many years ago, and once about 5 years ago.

We stayed both times in the hotel, as well.

I've never had such incredible meals and service in my life.

Just amazing food.

We have to say, however, that the last time there, the town had become like a "Disneyland" of George Blanc. There are numerous gift shops, souvenirs, secondary restaurants and hotels---all in "his" name. That's kind of disgusting.

However, once again, it seemed to be worthwhile. We tried to overlook it and just enjoy.

And, enjoy, we did...

I completely agree with you. I was always delighted with the meals I had there, and I found the service to be excellent also. Though very classical, the restaurant has a warm atmosphere. The sommelier is passionate. I also agree about the Disneyland aspect: just dive head first into the dining rooms (the Auberge is not bad, either, and nicely decorated) and try to forget about the cute stuff.

I particularly remember a wonderful dish of sautéed mixed vegetables, the best I've ever had in a French restaurant. The light and careful touch applied to all dishes, including the not-so-light ones (one poulet G7 and you've had enough of a calorie intake for one week). The frog's legs, poule au pot and gâteau de foies blonds at the Auberge are marvellous.

Just a personal opinion - getting to know the Bocuse universe has made me enjoy the Blanc universe even more. There is something simple, friendly and unpretentious about Blanc (even considering the Disney stuff, which is corny but not offensive) while the Bocuse style, either at the restaurant or at the brasseries, is cool, well-organized, efficient but cold. And the food lacks that human touch and is not as interesting.

I like Léon de Lyon too. When visiting the kitchen I was impressed by the sight of a half-dozen huge pans where fonds and jus were simmering. Fond de veau, fond de volaille, fond de bœuf, fond de gibier au vin rouge... I think the secret of their cooking lies partly in those jus. Very few restaurants do that anymore.

Edited by Ptipois (log)
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I have been to Bocuse and Leon de Lyon about a month ago, to Troisgros last year and to Georges Blanc about fifteen years ago!

I was very impressed with Bocuse. If you like the traditional style, this is such a fabulous restaurant. The food is consistently on a very high level. Don't listen to what the others say, go there and have the soupe de moules, the filets de sole aux nouilles Fernand Point or a Bresse chicken, cheese and desserts. You will love it. The service makes everybody feel really special and most times the master himself is there greeting the guests.

If you expect this kind of traditionalism at Troisgros, you will be disappointed. This is no longer the cuisine of the famous brothers, Michel has taken over now and cooks a fairly inventive style. However, there is still a few of the old classics on the menu, such as lobster with herb butter or Charolais beef.

I was not too impressed with Leon de Lyon. For what it is, you pay premium prices without getting a truly memorable dining experience.

I would definitely recommend that you try one of the traditional bouchons in Lyon, perhaps La Meuniere or Le Garet. These are the best places to try out what tripes taste lake, best in the form of a Tablier de Sapeur. I also enjoyed the wonderful Brasserie Georges last time, although this is much more Parisian or Alsatian with oysters, beer and choucroute. Have fun and report back!

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I went to Vonnas and ate at George Blanc's Auberge (the off-shoot restaurant) about three and a half years ago. It was superb - really clean sharp flavours, simply done. Great value too. He wasn't cooking in there but he rocked up (I suspect to speak to another couple of diners whom he clearly knew) and made the effort to speak to everyone in there to see how they liked the food. Hats off to him for staying and attempting conversation with us, as our french was pretty limited. A really good experience and I'd love to get back to try the main restaurant before he retires (although I'd imagine his son will keep the business going).

Can't say I was too upset by all the GB branding around the place - I doubt the village was ever a jewel in the first place and the food more than made up for it.



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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 year later...

We've been spending a lot of time lately in Lyon and have kind of fallen for bouchon-type food. Recently we ate at Le Garet, and I really recommend it for anyone wanting the bouchon experience. But be sure to be very hungry when you go, and be sure to reserve in advance. It's a small place, and gets packed.

For, as I recall, the 23 Euro menu, I started with the Salade de Cochonailles, which is a salad in name only. A tray with 5 huge bowls comes to the table and stays there. You help yourself to sausages, a tripe salad, salade de museau, calf's foot, and lentils, each one delicious. That was the starter. Then I had a lovely pike quenelle, with a nicely fishy sauce instead of the very creamy sauce we've encountered elsewhere. The cheese course of cervelle de canut or St. Marcellin is a treat. The owner encouraged us to get one of each, and we were really glad he did, since each was an excellent example of it's type. Then, stuffed beyond belief, I had the cassis sorbet for dessert, which comes to the table with a bottle of marc de Bourgogne. You pour the marc over the sorbet and keep pouring, if you wish, as the bottle will stay with you. It's pretty remarkable.

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  • 1 month later...

Another good discovery in Lyon is Le Canut Sans Cervelle up on the Croix Rousse. Our server said that the chef, now retirement age, had cooked in some starred kitchens, and that shows in the food, which manages to be completely unpretentious, beautifully made, delicious, and very reasonably priced. It's a cosy place into the bargain, so be sure to reserve.

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  • 7 months later...
Any more places to check out? in lyon for a few days and our local host is great for finding warm and delicious french food but always loking for suggestions

It was over a year ago, but I still warmly remember a delicious lunch at Brasserie Francotte on the Place des Célestins.

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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  • 2 months later...

I happen to be in Lyon on Friday 1st January 2010 and have discovered that most restaurants I tried to book are closed in the evening: Chapel, La Rotonde, Auberge de l'Ile, Mere Brazier, Nicolas Le Bec, Tetedoie are all closed. On the bouchon side, Le Garet and Cafe des Federations will be shut too. After trying all of these, it looks like the city will be pretty dead on that Friday night.

What is my best bet for this evening? (besides Bocuse and Lyon de Lyon who are always open, I know)

It could be anything from a brasserie to a bouchon or even a starred restaurant.

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  • 8 months later...
  • 2 years later...

I don't know about starred restaurants, but in September, I was in Lyon for a day, with my partner, and we stopped at a bouchon, Café Comptoir chez Sylvie, on rue Tupin. We had a wonderful meal.


Lenexa, KS, USA

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  • 1 month later...
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A three day trip, three restaurants and seven stars. Paul was three of these stars and (unfortunately) the worst meal of the three.

Auberge de L'lie

Auberge de l'lie is on a small island in the most amazing setting. The building is wonderful and the surrounding old abbey enchanting. The stone walls off set by crisp white linen, a simple and tasteful flower and stunning single candle.

A selection of menus appeared and I opted for the tasting menu but ask to skip one of the courses (a fish dish) as this was lunch! While I was sipping my drink and reading the menus some lightly fried vegetables appeared. These were a cross between tempura and crisps. They were crisp, salty and fresh. An interesting start. Next up were a couple of canapés. One a thin slice of apple with black pudding and the other a square of fried polenta with cheese and truffle which was particularly tasty.

The started was a sweet onion and truffle tart. The onion the sweetest I've every tasted which stood up well to the wafer thinly sliced mushroom and truffle on a crisp puff pastry base.

The main course was chicken stuffed with foie gras and mushroom. A well executed and good main course. I was then offered an additional taster of a signature dish. A mushroom cappuccino which was a rich mushroom velouté with foie gras and a milk foam. It had a rich, creamy flavour with an intensity not often tasted. An excellent dish.

A good selection of cheese followed before moving onto dessert.

With the pre dessert some really good macaroons were served.

A pre dessert of a mini crepe suzette was fine but nothing special. The main dessert was mandarin soufflé with a saffron ice cream, it had a good flavour with the mandarin flavour infused throughout the mixture. Unfortunately the soufflé was a little to eggy and came close be being warm, mandarin flavoured scrambled egg. An ok end to a good meal.

With coffee some freshly prepared marshmallow and fruit jellies.

With a glass of champagne, matching wines, coffee and a bottle of still water the total bill was €206. Far better food than Paul Boucousse and over a €100 a head cheaper!

The service, building and food were all good and well worth a visit. My main complaint was the cost of the water! Generally I would expect to pay €6 for a bottle of still. Here it was an eye watering €12. I'm not sure anything can justify that mark up.

Mere Brazier

Next up was the two star Mere Brazier.

Once in the restaurant you could be in any top class restaurant in the world. The room was tastefully decorated in blue and beiges and the linen a crisp brilliant white.

On arrival a glass of champagne arrived which was served with some delicious mini 'cakes' with lardons and a cream of tomato dipping sauce.

An unusual but excellent amuse bouche followed. It was described as potato, creme fraiche, salmon caviar and lobster bisque.

The first course of the tasting menu was foie gras, truffle and celery soup with truffle pot au feu. The flavours were excellent and the execution and presentation spot on, a dish that worked because of the top quality ingredients.

Next up was an unexpected dish which did just did not work for me. It looked stunning but the taste was just not to my linking, it was slightly 'slimy'.

Next up was the most superb tasting scallop dish. The scallops were perfectly cooked and came with a lemon confit and cabbage. Each flavour worked individually and came together as a perfect dish.

The main course was meant to be pigeon but I was offered a magret du canard as an alternative. This was a dish full of seasonal flavours, hazelnuts, chestnuts, pumpkin purée and a rich sticky sauce with an amazing depth of flavour.

Cheese as you would expect were excellent although somewhat surprisingly no biscuits or fruit were offered.

A pre dessert of a Madeleine and creme fraiche was pleasant but was safe and showed little skill. This contrasted with the petit fours which was excellent, beautifully presented and showed off the expertise of the kitchen. The chocolate with peanut crunch and popping candy deserves special mention.

Dessert was one of the best I've had in a long time. A bandy snap filled with a vanilla cream, coffee ice cream and chocolate fondant. A beautiful dessert with great flavours.

Needless to say coffee and petit fours were top class.

All in all one of the best meals I've had in a long time.


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