Friday, November 28, 2014

Paul Bocuse, Lyon, France

A culinary adventure to Paul Bocuse, the father of Lyonnaise cooking!
I was doing some research on where to eat in Lyon, and Chef Bocuse's name came up quite often. I didn't need to do much research beyond  the fact that he is known for his focus on French "nouvelle cuisine". After reading several rave reviews, we decided to make a dinner reservation at his signature Michelin 3-star restaurant L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges.

The restaurant is a bit of a car ride outside of central Lyon. It is as opulent and old school as French restaurants can come. There are only male servers, each with a different rank and/or hierarchy. There is a massive open kitchen on the main floor, and we were seated on the second floor. 

Special plates just for Paul Bocuse!

Well, YOLO, we decided to go for the classic 7 course tasting menu. We were very interested in the chicken cooked in the pig's bladder, as well as Chef Bocuse's infamous truffle soup.

Our server came by offering us a variety of bread rolls to choose from, I must have had 3 rolls. They served well as a vehicle for my beloved French butter!

We started with an amuse bouche...

Our first course was seared foie gras with a passion fruit sauce - incroyable! 

Our next course was the infamous truffle soup. When our server brought it out, I just wanted to stare at it and marvel at its beauty. Look at that glittering, buttery crust! 

Did I get enough photos of the soup?

As I mentioned above, Paul Bocuse is known for "nouvelle cuisine" which is supposedly lighter than its "cuisine classique" counterparts. Pray tell, how this butter and cream doused filet of sole is by any means considered "light"? 

Lyon and the surrounding areas are home to the famous Beaujolais wine. Our palate cleanser was a light and refreshing Beaujolais sorbet.

Remember the photo at the beginning of this blog post? That's a pig bladder, with our truffled chicken on the inside, served with morels. Morels are one of my favorite kinds of mushrooms, so this dish was all around amazing. 

At this point, I was starting to explode, even though my elastic band skirt was a size too big on me. I needed to slow down but I found it hard to want to do so. Another server came out with a beautiful tray of cheeses for us to choose from. I picked some tomme, camembert, and other things I don't remember. 

Then another server rolled out another tray. I couldn't believe my eyes!

At first, I timidly picked one dessert. I think the server could see the LUST in my eyes for everything else on the cart, and encouraged me to pick more.

Then I ordered this. I have no idea what it is, I know it doesn't look all that appeziting, but it is basically doused in a passion fruit sauce. 

Then I also asked for this chocolate cake. I didn't eat the whole thing!

Well, I just about had to roll home. 

Overall: This was a super, duper, splurge meal. Alinea has its theatrics, Eleven Madison has its farm to table, L'Astrance is French fusion, and L'Auberge is unique in its own traditional French way. When else does a server come out with a infinite tray of desserts? Where else would I have sole drenched in some kind of creamy, buttery, cheesey goodness?  I enjoyed having the opportunity to experience this "nouvelle cuisine" that is not available in the US.

Paul Bocuse L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges 
40 Rue de la Plage
69660 Collanges-au-Mont-d'Or, France

+33 (0) 4 7242 90 90

You can call or make reservations online.