Le Etage – Lyon

10 Sep

Lyon – kind of looks like Paris, and is ‘edgy’ and young like Dijon but with more class & atmosphere.  Apparently, French style cooking originated here.  There are Brasseries, Bouchons, Bistros, Restaurants, Bar/Cafes… and hundreds of each of those.  Eating is an olympic sport in Lyon.

As foodies, you can see our dilemma: decisions, decisions, decisions.  We rolled into Lyon around lunchtime (strategic planning).  Parked the car and immediately went to the area of Lyon famous for brasseries & bouchons.  We picked one of the most famous and old Bouchons – Chez Hugon.  We were very happy to see only locals in the place.  Exactly 7 tables there – the restaurant is tiny and the kitchen even smaller.  We really don’t know how they earn a living with that small of a restaurant.

There was no English menu, no English spoken, and no help on the menu given other than a verbal explanation of the menu in French!  Ok – so we had to rely on things like: Jambon, Boudin, Agneau, etc.  Bottom line: If you’re going to go to these little authentic places that do not cater to tourists, you better learn your French food terms so you know what you’re about to order.  I ended up with herring & potatoes while Donna ended up with jambon alright, but it was a terrine of jambon – and Donna doesn’t particularly like terrines.  Still not bad for the 1st course.

Then came the plat – Donna order a Boudin – which we couldn’t remember if it was veal or some other white meat sausage – this was my fault – turned out to be blood sausage.  Looked a lot like the Argentinian morcio (sp?).  So Donna didn’t eat too much of it and I ate about half of it – actually, pretty good.

My main course – I put myself at the mercy of the restaurant owner and told me to bring whatever she thought would be good.  She brought out some soft, white meatloaf type of dish with potatoes and a cream sauce.  Very, very good – still I can’t tell you what animal it came from and more ominous, what part of the animal.  The service was so slow even with 7 tables that we skipped dessert and coffee and went right out to explore the city while enjoying a gelato along the way.

So  – with lunch ending up so uneven, we had to get dinner right.  Again, decisions, decisions, decisions.  We opted for a restaurant called Le Etage – actually away from all the bistros and outdoor restaurants and right in the middle of a huge square with gorgeous sculptures – see Facebook pictures for Lyon.

1st challenge – actually finding it.  We had the exact address at which was only a ‘residential’ looking door with doorbells on it.  There were other restaurants on the square, just not Le Etage.  We had to ask the shopkeepers on either side of this single door to help us find it.  Rang the bell and the we were buzzed in.  (oops – gotta go to Aix-en-Provence and we’re running late – I’ll finish this later).  Bye.

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