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 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

SingleThread Restaurant, Healdsburg, CA, 12/5/18

building
building

SingleThread Farm, Restaurant and Inn opened in December 2016 and is a large corner building in Healdsburg, an hour and a half drive from San Francisco.  Upstairs they have some elegant rooms to stay in and downstairs they have a large kitchen and several dining areas.  There is a roof top terrance for some courses but it was not in use the night we were there.  The building is quite modern, with soft lighting  and music, set with large bare wood tables, a wood ceiling, gold wood tiles on some walls, some faux fire places, a bouquet of flowers and herbs from their garden on top of your napkin and lots of bench seating filled with extra cushions for back support.  They only seat about 52 people but some early diners’ tables were turned.  The reservation system is a pre-pay one with no refunds but you can try and re-sell tickets if you can’t use them.  Service was wonderful with most every person who approached our table addressing us by name.  Pacing is at a good rate and portion controls allows you to easily get through the surprise tasting (pairings are available) but will not leave you hungry.  At the end of the meal they do present you with a copy of the menu. Continue reading

Restaurant PAGES, Paris, 12/1/18

entrance
entrance

Restaurant PAGES only has 7 or 8 tables with much of the room being taken up with the open kitchen.   They have one Michelin star.  White clothed tables are widely spaced and set with a wooden container of potato chips.  Pale walls with some exposed brick, a stone floor, and lots of stainless around the kitchen and on some of the walls and ceiling, set the tone of the room.  A display case is in the back with meats they are aging and soft music played in the background.  It felt very modern but I wouldn’t call it a fun ambiance.  They have been open 4 years and offer only a tasting of 8 courses.  There were 3 supplements available the night we were there, caviar, truffle and/or Wagyu beef.  We opted to include the last one.  There are no menus before or when you finish.  They did bring a nice warm cloth to wash off before you started. Continue reading