Restaurant Paul Bocuse - Lyon, France
Now that it’s the Fall and we’re grinding out the rest of 2007, we’re
still reminiscing (or catching up on writing!) about our summer
travels. It’s hard to top El Bulli, but on another part of the food of
the spectrum to appreciate is the point of classical French cooking.
Dan and I had yet another pleasure of eating at Michelin Three-Star, Paul Bocuse in Lyon, France: Restaurant Bocuse L’Auberge du Pont de Collonge. Three-star is an achievement alone, but holding it for over 40 years is completely mystifying!
Located just 4km north of Lyon, the restaurant rests on the edge of the
River Saone, and was the former family home of the Bocuse family. Paul
Bocuse comes from an illustrious family of cooks, father, grand-father,
great father, etc – all the way back to the 17th century. His
restaurant is adorned with all of Bocuse’s honors over the last 50
years. The restaurant says that the Bocuse family home/restaurant
should not be confused with the homes of the “greedy families” near the
bridge of Collonges.
For lack of better words, Paul Bocuse is a cute, old man. He’s in his
80s and still having the time of his life as the “King of Lyon.” The
famous Les Halles in the center city, was just renamed the “Paul Bocuse Les Halles of Lyon.”
“You just can’t talk about food and wine in Lyon without mentioning
Paul Bocuse,” said a lovely wine shop owner in Vieux Lyon called the
Flying Sommelier. For all the love and admiration the Flying Sommelier
has for Bocuse, he did say it’s a historically running snicker that
Paul Bocuse serves his award winning, 70 Euro truffle soup year round.
“truffles are only available in the Fall – how could he?”
at the restaurant, we felt a little bit like Hansel and Gretal visiting
a gingerbread house. The place is over-the-top ornate, and not at all
francais. The inside was no different. Wall-to-wall awards is fine,
extravagant dining room and the table setting very Paul Bocuse. What I
mean by that is that, EVERY PIECE OF TABLE SETTING had Paul Bocuse
branded all over it. It was a bit much, but as a business person, I
suppose I respect his use of emphasizing brand identity.
Dan and I went to see Paul during the lunch hour. It made sense since
it took us three and half hours to finish our meal, and a nap was
available to us immediately thereafter. We had separate tasting menus
which was the right thing to do. Now I know what real, classical,
fine-French dining is all about; I wish I could have tried a bite of
Different from El Bulli, no essay is required or one-year advance reservation. Book online for Paul Bocuse.
Pea Soup - Amuse Bouche
Salade de homard du Maine Printaneire (Lobster Salad)
Risotto aux ecrevisses Nantua (Shrimp Risotto)
Rouget barbet en ecailles de pommes de terre croustillantes (Potato encrusted halibut)
Pigeon en feuillete au chou nouveau
Carre d'agneau, Cotes Premieres, Roti a la fleur de thym (Lamb chops)