Paul Bocuse – Le Restaurant Gastronomique, Lyon, 12/14/18

exterior
exterior

Paul Bocuse Restaurant is located a few miles out of town in colorful and well lit building on top of a small hill.   Doormen in red hats and coats (who also come in with the happy birthday cart where they grind out your tune) greet you as you look around a large patio painted with murals of other famous chefs (photos at end) and a large window into part of the huge kitchen.  It has 3 Michelin Stars, which they have had since 1965, but on our visit neither the service or food would merit that rating.  Mostly the staff seemed to be ‘cranking’ it out as fast as possible with little personalization.  It had more the feel of a business rather than an elegant dining experience.  The food is made with good ingredients and has lovely presentations but doesn’t sing at all and the place felt sterile.  The place is divided into several rooms that have wall paper, mirrors and lots of art on the walls.  One had a beautiful terrazzo floor another had marble (floors had to be smooth since their cheese/dessert carts don’t have wheels).  The ceilings are hung with chandeliers and with the additional lighting on the walls the place is well lit.  Well padded chairs and purse stools are set for you but no music is in the background.  The large widely spaced tables are covered with long white clothes and set with huge napkins in a paper ring covered with “PAUL BOCUSE”.  In fact, everything is well labeled with the ‘Paul Bocuse’ name – you won’t forget where you are.    The menu offers a la carte options and 3 different tasting menus.  We chose the Paul Bocuse menu that offered some of his best known dishes.  Pacing was good and portion control on the large side.

exterior
exterior
outside patio
outside patio
outside window to kitchne
outside window to the kitchen
lobby
lobby
interior
interior
inteior
interior
interior
interior
another room
another room
interior
interior
playing birthday song
playing birthday song
interior
interior
interior
interior
menu cover
menu cover
menu 1
menu 1
menu 2
menu 2
menu 3 (English)
menu 3 (English)
menu 3 (French)
menu 3 (French)
wine list
wine list
introduction
introduction
Frankie studied the pictures
Frankie studied the pictures on the plate
table set up
table set up

 

An amuse bouche was pumpkin soup with crispy toast.  It was a very good with a nice consistency.  The toast was blistered to a light crisp texture.  A very fine start.

amuse bouche
amuse bouche
closer
closer
beginning champagne
beginning champagne
Frankie played with the napkin ring
Frankie played with the napkin ring

 

Bread service was individual baguettes and butter.  The baguette had a good dense interior that was perfectly fresh with a crispy crust.  Perfect French rendition.

bread
bread
butter
butter
Frankie noticed everything was named
Frankie noticed everything was named

 

The tasting started with lobster in an iced Pouilly-Fuissé court-bouillon with Osetra caviar and cauliflower cream.  There were flavors of ginger in the gel and the caviar was perched on the cauliflower cream which had too much salt to be topped with caviar.  Some of the lobster, from the south of France, was on the tough side and they served the foamy sections from the claws.  It was good but it should have been better.

Lobster in an iced Pouilly-Fuissé court-bouillon, Osetra caviar and cauliflower cream
Lobster in an iced Pouilly-Fuissé court-bouillon, Osetra caviar and cauliflower cream
closer
closer
turned
turned
wine
wine
Frankie and the table flowers
Frankie and the table flowers

 

The truffle soup V.G.E. was created in 1975  and named for the former President (1974-1981) of France Valéry Georges Giscard d’Estaing who was also known as VGE.  It is in a soup cup topped with a crust of puff pastry.  Inside was a rich stock filled with truffle slices, mushrooms and foie gras.  The buttery flakey pastry is perfect with the deeply flavored soup.  Ours was with beef stock but I believe the original version was with chicken.  However ours had bits of beef and foie gras that floated to the top while the truffles mostly sank.  There was a slight hit of truffle essence when you first broke through the crust but the flavor was otherwise mild.  Even so, this was a winner and well deserves to be named for a ruler of a country.

Truffle Soup V.G.E.
Truffle Soup V.G.E.
closer
closer
underneath
underneath
stir up some truffles
stirred up some truffles
Frankie noticed the initials on the flatware
Frankie noticed the initials on the flatware

 

Red mullet dressed in crusty potato scales was a beautiful plate of food.  The superbly toasted rounds of potato were placed in perfect “scale” pattern and the sauce surrounding it was formed into swirls that complimented the fish.  The creamy sauce had flavors of rosemary and orange in it.  The crisp potatoes had a wonderful buttery essence.  The fish was cooked flawlessly and not strongly flavored but still quite moist.  It went great with the sauce and potatoes.  Another outstanding dish.

Red Mullet dressed in crusty potato scales
Red Mullet dressed in crusty potato scales
closer
closer
turned
turned
turned
turned
turned
turned
Frankie rested on the purse stool
Frankie rested on the purse stool

 

Beaujolais winemaker’s sherbet was made with black currants and beaujolais wine.    In the spirit of the wine it was presented in a sommelier’s tasting cup.  It had excellent flavor.

Beaujolais winemaker's sherbet
Beaujolais winemaker’s sherbet
closer
closer
wine
wine
Frankie struck a pose
Frankie struck a pose

 

The Bresse chicken cooked in a bladder ‘á la Mére Richard’ was quite a tableside show.  The puffed up bladder is presented and then opened at the table to remove the truffle stuffed chicken.  The problem with the method of preparation is that the chicken is not at all browned and so the rubbery skin has to be covered with some kind of sauce.  After they sliced the white meat off the bone they covered it with a cream sauce with morels and plated it with a vegetable medley and rice mixture.  Both the sides were really out of an old school textbook, especially as some of the vegetables were out of season.  All were cooked nicely as was the rice mixture, but they were both really dull.  The meat was fairly moist but the truffle taste did not come through at all, however the sauce had great flavor and really enhanced the chicken.    The dark meat was presented in a second table show and this time plated with a nicely dressed salad.  It had no sauce and amazingly they were able to dry out the dark portion of the chicken.  I really wish they’d left the sauce on the table.

presentation fo chicken in a bladder
presentation of chicken in a bladder
opening tableside
opening tableside
open
open
removing chicken
removing chicken
chicken
chicken
plating
plating
Bresse chicken cooked in a bladder "á la Mere Fillioux"
Bresse chicken cooked in a bladder “á la Mere Fillioux”
another portion
another portion
closer
closer
vegetables
vegetables
rice
rice
chicken and mushrooms
chicken and mushrooms
second serving
second serving
dark meat serving
dark meat serving
closer
closer
turned
turned
turned
turned
spread apart
spread apart
Frankie wasnt so sure about it
Frankie wasn’t so sure about it

 

Selection of fresh and matured cheeses from ‘La Mere Richard’ involved picking three choices from 2 different tables of cheese.  The selection was nice but no bread or other accompaniment was offered.

cheese cart
cheese cart
other end
other part
one set of choices
one set of choices
closer
closer
another set of choices
another set of choices
cool wine bucket stand
cool wine bucket stand

 

Dessert was called ‘Delicacies and Temptation Fantasies and Chocolates’ which were your selections from several tables of desserts (note I say tables not carts as they were not wheeled just pushed around).  We tried the almond and vanilla cream cake, lemon custard, apple tartine, baba and Paris brest.  None were outstanding although they looked quite nice.  The lemon was intensely flavored, the brest was thick and sweet, and the baba was served with ice cream instead of sweet cream.  All of it was sweet and probably the best part was the ice cream although some of it was icy.

dessert trays
dessert options
dessert trays
more dessert options
toppings
toppings
cake
apple tartine with ice cream
closer
closer
custard
lemon custard
img_0423
closer
inside
inside
cake
almond cake with vanilla cream
closer
closer
piece
Paris brest
side view
side view
turned
turned
baba
baba au rum
closre
closer
Frankie clawed on the terry hand towels
Frankie clawed on the terry hand towels

 

Final treats were a chocolate bon bon, a puff pastry with passion fruit and a chocolate praline with orange.  They were okay.

last treats
last treats
closer
closer
Frankie looked them over
Frankie looked them over
inside
inside chocolate bon bon
inside
inside puff pastry with passion fruit
inside
inside chocolate praline with orange
Frankie with some of his mementos
Frankie with some of the momentos

 

One of the serving assistants took us a tour of the kitchen following dinner.

kitchen
kitchen
lots of serving equipment
lots of serving equipment
kitchen
kitchen
dessert area
dessert area
kitchen
kitchen
dessert area
dessert area
dessert area
dessert area
dessert area
dessert area
kitchen
kitchen
funny sign
funny sign
Bocuse books
Bocuse books
Frankie posed with some of the books
Frankie posed with some of the books
items for sale
items for sale
funny picture
funny picture
menu
signed meniu
Frankie found lots of books
Frankie found lots of books
wine room
wine room
Frankie with some expensive wines
Frankie with some expensive wines
entrance
entrance
birthday cart
birthday cart
Frankie on the door handle
Frankie on the door handle
mural
mural
mural
mural
looking into kitchen
looking into the kitchen
mural
mural
mural
mural
mural
mural
Fankie with a statue of Bocuse
Frankie with a statue of Bocuse

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