Apologies for the delay in getting Part Deux of the Eurotrip food recap up as I've been distracted by the recent events in Hong Kong, a trip home to celebrate a big birthday for my mom (hopefully more on that in a later post) and trying to focus on getting back to the day to day work grind.
That being said, thinking back on our trip is always a pleasure so here we go with some of the food highlights from Lyon, France:
1. The "La Peinture" prix fixe meal at Restaurant Jeremy Galvan
The wonderful owner of our serviced apartment in Lyon, Jean-Luc (seriously) and his wife Agnes (bonus pic of the INSANE 16th-century vaulted ceilings on the left) gave us a number of recommendations on local eateries and bouchons to check out in the Old Lyon area. As you might expect from an exquisitely preserved and UNESCO-protected city, the streets around our apartment were stuffed with tourist traps, so their recommendations on where to get Lyonnaise cuisine they would actually eat were very valuable.
One of the spots Agnes pointed out was Jeremy Galvan, where we had a fantastic five-course modern French meal for 49 Euros each. We knew we would also be having a more traditional Lyonnaise bouchon experience later in the trip so this was a nice introduction to the city. Pictured above is the fish course which (of course) changes every day depending on what is fresh - I think this is some kind of red mullet or snapper.
2. Crepes with all cheese
I can't believe we didn't experience the quintessential French crepe until we got to Lyon but there you go. These ones from Cafe de la Ficelle, located near the bottom of the funicular that takes you up to the top of the city (as per the header photo), were made with buckwheat flour which made them really light and crispy - and gluten free, incidentally. Of course any health benefits were immediately negated by the pounds of shredded cheese inside, or if you're Graham, a bonus fried egg. Hey, least you get a side salad.
3. The largest selection of (sustainable!) canned fish I have ever seen
We ventured into the rest of Lyon on our second full day, crossing the river via metro away from the old city and were pleasantly surprised. The "normal" part of the city resembles a smaller version of Paris, but just as charming and fashionable. I was pretty excited to come across La Belle Iloise, which I gather is actually a small French chain that sells local and fully sustainable canned fish like sardines, tuna and mackerel (my favorite!)
While their products are also available online, we had an awesome time sampling a few of the many different flavors and products before picking up a few gift boxes as souvenirs for folks at home.
4. The best meal I had in Europe.
Saving the best for last, the hands down, far and away, BEST meal I had during our entire time in Europe was at Notre Maison, a traditional Lyonnaise bouchon, again recommended by Agnes, our lovely landlady. I will do a longer review of each of the dishes in a separate post but suffice to say that the entire meal was actually a transcendent, nearly out of body experience - especially if you like meat. Folks who have seen the Tony Bourdain episode with Daniel Boulud in Lyon will have some idea of what the experience of a real bouchon is like but it's actually pretty hard to put into words. Every dish, while deceptively simple and served in what looks like someone's knick-knack filled living room, is perfectly executed with incredibly deep and complex flavors. Pictured here is the pork sausage with lentils in red wine sauce, which honestly tasted like it'd be cooking on low heat for over 12 hours, with the sausages falling apart and the lentils having absorbed all the flavors (including what surely was about 10 pounds of butter.)
If you've also been to any of these spots or need more recommendations, leave a comment below or reach out to me directly!
One woman's journey to eat all the food. Or at least, most of it.