What's in Lyon? Oh, nothing, except that it has been dubbed as the gastronomical epicenter of France. No big deal.
Intrigued by such a city, we made our way down from Paris for two days. Paris is known for its bistros, brasseries, and its haute cuisine, but Lyon is known for its more traditional French fare and is home to such renowned chefs as Paul Bocuse. The city is located in the Rhone-Alps region, and is the third most populated in France. Interestingly enough - the city looks more Roman than Parisienne, as evident by the red stucco facades of most of the buildings.
Enough about architecture. The places to eat in Lyon were known as bouchon, bouchon lyonnaise, in fact. Bouchons started in the 17th or 18th century, there are a few different stories as to how they began, one is that silk traders would stop in on their way through Lyon, which are very casual restaurants in which servers bring you out all kinds of Lyonnaise food. Lyonnaise food is more meat oriented and generally heavier than other French cuisine (especially what we had been eating at say, L'Astrance). We had our hotel concierge make reservations just a few hours before. We did some research on the train down and found out that Le Bouchon des Filles was highly recommended.
Shortly after we were seated, our server told us to pick one "main dish" off the menu and the rest of the dishes would just come piling out of the kitchen. Nathan ordered the quenelles, which are a Lyonnaise signature dish, featuring a crepe in a thick orange sauce with crawfish. I ordered a traditional Andouillette sausage, neither of us had tried these dishes before. Oooh, red wine and adventure!
We ordered an appetizer of foie gras terrine, in addition to the numerous courses that our server brought out for us. I'm not sure if every bite of foie gras just tastes better than expected when you are in France, but, it did.
By the time my sausage came around, I was pretty stuffed, so I could only have a few bites. This was much softer than sausage I've had in the US, and I don't think I liked it as much as I thought I would have. But I am still looking at this photo longingly as I type up this post.
We had a cheese course, featuring a very soft cheese (below) and another one that looked similar to cottage cheese (not pictured).
Molleux au chocolat to finish!
Overall: I enjoyed the cozy atmosphere and ambiance of our first visit to a traditional bouchon. The food was heavy, but, when in France...Right? I love trying all kinds of new meat, including my sausage, so, overall, a fun experience introducing ourselves to Lyonnaise cooking!
Le Bouchon des Filles
20 Rue Sergent Blandan
69001, Lyon, France
+33 4 78 30 40 44
Reservations are recommended, we made ours the day of.