Restaurant A ma Vigne, Lyon, 12/15/18

exterior
exterior  (23 Rue Jean Larrivé, 69003 Lyon, France)

A ma Vigne is a small place with just 2 dining rooms, one containing the bar, and a tiny kitchen in back.  The closely spaced small tables are set with nice white tableclothes and napkins and then covered with white paper.  The casual atmosphere is heightened with the array of art, photos (done by the server Alex) and mirrors along with windows to the street decorating the walls.  They had a large menu that was not translated and served all day and a set menu of 2 or 3 courses that featured their famous steak in butter and fries.  They had wine by the bottle as well as by centiliter, as well as lots of cocktails.  It didn’t take long at lunch for the place to be packed and most seemed to be repeat customers and having a good time.  Service was really friendly, welcoming and helpful yet staffing was minimal – one guy sat people, took orders, dispensed the food, took care of billing and cleaned the tables and one guy did all the cooking and kitchen cleanup. The guy who did all the cooking was actually Chef and Owner Stéphane Giraud, whose grandparents started the place.  His grandmother Josephine,  perfected the amazing French fries.  Food was great as was the ambiance.  It was really reasonable for the quality of flavor.   I would go back here in a heartbeat – check it out if you can.  The server told us that Paul Bocuse ate steak and fries there every day  for years and showed us the table he always sat at.  I can see why. Continue reading

Guy Lassausaie Meilleur Ouvrier de France 1993, Lyon, 12/15/18

exrterior
exterior

Guy Lassausaie, located 13 miles from Lyon, is a large modern building with a good sized parking lot across the street.  It seemed to have been built in a circular design with various size dining rooms off the center circular hallway surrounding the kitchen.  A large comfortable waiting area holds small tables, deep chairs and wood floor whereas the dining rooms have large widely spaced tables on carpet.  No music  is in the background, tables are set with white clothes and napkins, some display cases and art decorate the rooms.  Noise level is non existent and yet your conversation feels private. It is well lit with a combination of ceiling lights and wall fixtures.  One large table is in the center of the room for service and ours was decorated with beautiful large red flowers.  Our room had two mantels but no fireplaces underneath.  The windows to the outside were covered with shades.  Service was good and the greeters even came out to the car with umbrellas as it was raining.  The menu offered 4 tastings as well as an a la carte section.  We chose the Discovery Menu which was a surprise tasting of 5 seasonal courses chosen by the chef, not necessarily on the menu.  Pacing was a little slow and the portions size was variable.  They have a 2 Star rating with Michelin.   Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Restaurant Daniel & Denise, Joseph Viola, Lyon, 12/14/18

building
building

Daniel & Denise is on the first floor of a corner building.  The 2 rooms are filled with things, hanging foods, items for sale, framed pictures and awards, cookware, etc., and the very close small tables are covered with red checkered cloths and topped with white paper.  White napkins are brightly embroidered with the Daniel & Denise logo, that match the bright red of the bench seating.  One room has a tile floor as well as some tile on the walls, whereas the other room had wood, but both are crammed full of tables.   One corner accommodates a bar area and the check out machine.  The large menu contains a couple tastings, daily specials and a la carte options.  They also offer wine by the carafe in additon to by the bottle.  Service was friendly and helpful but the English was limited.  We chose to order a la carte.   Continue reading

Restaurant La Mère Brazier, Lyon, 12/13/18

exterior
exterior

Restaurant La Mère Brazier is made up of a number of small rooms on a couple levels. Heavy drapes and carpet provide much sound dampening in the rooms decorated in 2 shades of gray, white and cream.  The nice sized tables are well spaced, covered with white clothes and set with very starched napkins and set with alternating dark charger with light bread plate or the opposite combination, all with silver accents.    The comfortable chairs are a swivel type.  They offer 2 tasting menus, with optional wine pairings and an a la carte menu.  We chose the 3 course Classical Menu and got our own bottle of white and half bottle of red.  The “3” course tasting also had a cheese course and choice of dessert.  The pacing and portion control were great as was the service.  The staff were all very friendly and helpful, along with speaking good English.  Chef Mathieu Viannay, who also became the owner in 2008, was in the house and came out to visit with his guests.  They did a re-model of the restaurant a couple years ago.  The restaurant has been awarded 2 Michelin Stars. Continue reading

Takao Takano, Lyon, 12/13/18

building
building

Takao Takano has about 9 tables, interesting light fixtures with embossing on the interior, old wood on the floor, nicely spaced small bare pedestal tables with good quality cloth napkins, wood decorations on the wall, no music in the background and windows to the street on two sides.  It has been recognized with two Michelin Stars.  They offered 3 tasting menus – one for a lunch special and 2 longer tasting menus.  We actually found the lunch tasting most appealing and so ordered it.  Interestingly, my menu had no prices.  Pacing and portion control were good as was the service, although not engaging. Continue reading

Restaurant Le Neuvième Art, Lyon, 12/12/18

entrance
entrance

Restaurant Le Neuvième Art is a 2 Star Michelin with about 10 widely spaced pedestal tables with a large staging area in the middle of the dining area.  Some of the tables are in two pieces where the smaller one serves as a staging table.  The lighting is lowered as is the ceiling, gauzy curtains cover large windows on two sides of the room, an automatic sliding door opens to allow quick looks into the kitchen, “crumpled paper” covers are on the overhead and wall light fixtures, a box on the table turns into a flame for each table, no music is in the background, the purse stools are topped with cork and lots of friendly staff speak good English  in this comfortable yet elegant dining room.  Chef Chrisophe Roure was in the house and made the rounds of the tables.  He and his wife opened their restaurant in June 2014 and offer a couple tasting menus, with optional wine pairings, as well as a la carte options. We had the 5 course tasting that also includes cheese and dessert and ordered our own wines.  Pacing and portion control of the tasting were good and the food was really tasty. Continue reading