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Lyon France - 3 * Michelin Restaurant 0r 1-2 *?

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Aug 8th, 2016, 10:22 PM
  #1
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Lyon France - 3 * Michelin Restaurant 0r 1-2 *?

Paul Bocuse's restaurant is 3 star-rated Michelin but there are about 13 other restaurants in Lyon that are 1 and 2 star rated.

Is Bocuse's restaurant worth it and the effort to get there? It is a few km outside of city center, so I am thinking a taxi each way. While drinking wine, I won't want to drive there.

Do you recommend it or somewhere else?

Where do you recommend? Lunch or dinner suggestions?

Thanks very much.
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Aug 8th, 2016, 11:14 PM
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Years ago my wife's cousin had the same dilemma, or rather, he wondered how he would know that Bocuse's was a 3 star restaurant. He solved the problem by going to a two star restaurant the night before, and came to the conclusion that the three star was definitely worth it.
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Aug 9th, 2016, 07:53 AM
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Hi!

Last march we were in Lyon, and we had lunch at Le Sud, a brasserie operated(or owned) by Paul Bocusse, there are four or five such brasseries.

Location, on one on the rivers, with a view towards the Tree of Flowers, and the food and wine were excellent.

Of course, I cannot help you with your question, but, based on our experience at Le Sud, I am sure you cannot go wrong. It all depends on your budget and how you evaluate price vs satisfaction.

Enjoy Lyon, a beautiful city!!
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Aug 9th, 2016, 09:16 AM
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Tend to look for the fattest but wealthy person in the street and ask where they eat. It has yet to let me down, though it has led me to some places that look a little shady.

The same works well for Mrs B when she wants cake, but then she has to ask a woman.
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Aug 9th, 2016, 01:01 PM
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I have no interest in Michelin stars, yet I generally eat well. For much less money, of course, and without having to reserve weeks or months in advance.

If you have an ultra sophisticated palate, though, it is good to pay the full price because this will give you both prestige and bragging rights, if not a full stomach.
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Aug 10th, 2016, 04:50 AM
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This is a very tricky question to answer, as having eaten there, I'm glad that I did, but I have absolutely no desire to eat there again (unlike other three star restaurants I've been to).

The experience is unlike anywhere else I've ever eaten and not entirely in a good way, for me in any case.

L'Auberge du pont de Collonges is ultra traditional, almost to the point of parody. And the food, whilst exceptional, was one of the restaurants of this standing that had me questioning why I was paying this much (I know exactly the reasons why, but this place put those thoughts front and centre).

I think it was the spit-roasted chicken at €175 that did it for me.

So, to plant myself even further on the fence, if you've always wanted to go, particularly before Bocuse slips off this mortal coil, then you should go. I can pretty much guarantee that the experience will be unlike any other you've had in a restaurant.
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Aug 10th, 2016, 05:08 AM
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As for suggestions for alternatives of the Michelin crowd, my current favourite is Takao Takano in the 6th (http://www.takaotakano.com) which does a stunning and very reasonable fixed price lunch.

L'Ourson qui Boit and Mere Brazier are also great restaurants, where you'll eat very, very well and not need a second mortgage as at the big Bocuse.

I genuinely think that Lyon is one of the few places that you genuinely don't need to seek out Michelin-starred places to eat very well and where you can do so very reasonably.

jelopez33 mentioned Bocuse's brasseries, which indeed are good (particularly for lunch) but I think you can find food as good, if not better, for less money.

Some suggestions for lunch from me would be Daniel et Denise (http://www.danieletdenise.fr) the Terrasse de l'Antiquaille - mainly for the view but the food is decent too (http://www.tetedoie.com/terrasse.html).

The restaurant it's attached to is run by the same staff; Tetedoie (http://www.tetedoie.com/fr/) has a Michelin star and is a good option for the evening.

I realise these are all skewing higher-end, so if you want some more everyday suggestions, just holler.
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Aug 10th, 2016, 05:12 AM
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One more - haven't eaten there for years, but the Auberge de L'isle http://www.aubergedelile.com/en/ is pretty special, both food and location-wise.

Anyway, I'm off to get some lunch.
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Aug 10th, 2016, 02:58 PM
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Michael, jelopez33, and Jay_G: Thanks very much for your helpful replies!

Jay_G: Yes, please do share your suggestions for more everyday restaurants. Thanks!
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Aug 10th, 2016, 03:14 PM
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A general remark:

A 3-star restaurant does not necessarily have better food than a 1-star restaurant, but it is certainly more pretentious and more expensive. Usually also more formal.

I have never eaten at Paul Bocuse. But my experiences with big old names have never been good. Be sure that Paul Bocuse has never stood at the oven since 1990, he has become more of a marketing manager than a chef.

Also, the big old names attract wealthy tourists from all over the world who are willing to pay any price.

Usually the young chefs are more creative and more innovative.
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Aug 10th, 2016, 03:38 PM
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traveler1959,

reverse snobbism?
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Aug 10th, 2016, 04:34 PM
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I have eaten at Paul Bocuse...it was 2013 so not so long ago. I'm a chef so I was especially into it and it did not disappoint. The service aspect of the experience alone is awesome and the food is very special. Yes there are other highly regarded places but Bocuse is the father of modern French cuisine and to eat there is a once in a lifetime experience.
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Aug 10th, 2016, 08:14 PM
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Joannyc:

Just for your info:
When we had lunch at Le Sud , we had two menu du jour, complete with dessert and a glass of excepcional côtes du Rhone, 64 € , total for the two of us.
I am sure you can take a look on line at the options.
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Aug 11th, 2016, 02:46 AM
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Ask and ye shall receive joannyc...

My current favourite for lunch is Le Dandy (http://brasserie-ledandy.com) in the 2nd, right opposite the place de la Bourse, which makes for a nice backdrop if you can snag a table "en terrasse".

Diplomatico (http://www.diplomatico.fr) also in the 2nd, is good as well (if a bit more expensive than Le Dandy). It's open until 3am so is buzzy until late with a combination of people eating or just enjoying an after dinner drink or five. This place also has a great view from their terrasse as it's on the quai directly opposite the palais de justice and the Fourviere hill.

Le Potager des Halles and its sister restaurant, Le Bistrot de Potager side by side in the 1st (http://www.lepotagerdeshalles.com) both serve fresh, local food at decent price points.

Just next door to these two is Bottles and Bones, which is maybe a bit more of a left-field choice as it does the whole "small plate" thing where I find you end up paying too much for not enough food, but everything I ate there last week was delicious so could be worth a look for a light meal.

There's also a very good cocktail bar just next door called Soda (http://soda-bar.fr) which makes proper cocktails and is open until late.

Possibly not worth the detour, but if you happen to be in the vicinity at lunchtime, fancy frog's legs or friture and they have a table free on their terrasse, which is actually a pontoon on the Saone, then you should stop at Buldo (http://www.buldo.net). The view of the river the Ile Barbe opposite are pretty special and the frog's legs and whitebait are superb, but their other dishes can be a bit hit or miss, so if you do go, order wisely.

I've eaten at all of these in the last couple of weeks, so they hopefully shouldn't change too much by the time you get there.

I'm realising that I've suggested places that are all good for hot, summer days, rather than Bouchons, which might be preferable if you're in Lyon in the winter, but the places listed above are good year-round (perhaps with the exception of Buldo which really is more of a summer place).

If you are going to be there in winter, just shout and I can suggest some cosy, indoor places.

I only got back from Lyon on Sunday, but am already looking forward to returning at Christmas, so I might just put together a list of good winter restaurants anyway...
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Aug 11th, 2016, 07:09 AM
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My sister and I aren't wealthy, but we are both French trained in the kitchen and we know how to cook complicated dishes. Visiting Michelin restaurants while we travel is a highlight we very much enjoy. We spend a lot of time researching chefs and their menus.

Lyon is a lovely city to visit for food lovers. The choices are many. We pick and choose based on the most recent menu, not the number of stars. Eight times out of ten, we end up with a tasting menu or a chef's special pick of the day, which often is not on the menu. So the dish that seduced us in writing isn't necessarily the one we ate. We have never been disappointed.

After our first trip to Lyon last year, we decided to return and dedicate more days to restaurant exploration. For travelers who really enjoy amazing food smells and artistry in the kitchen, Lyon is a special destination.
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Aug 16th, 2016, 09:27 PM
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Many thanks to you all for your restaurant suggestions!!!

I have noted all of your suggestions on my itinerary and will be looking into each restaurant soon!
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Aug 17th, 2016, 06:20 PM
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Before deciding I would study the menu of each restaurant.

I had a colleague who liked a fairly limited list of foods (very beef and potatoes, no sauces or fish and few veggies) and he had difficulties in some of the restaurants we used in Paris and Munich for entertaining clients.
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Aug 17th, 2016, 06:44 PM
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We will be headed to Lyon for three nights in December, so we will have time to try a few places. Will post notes when we return.
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Aug 17th, 2016, 09:41 PM
  #19
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Thanks, Burta. I will be there next month. Hope you have a great trip!

Nyt, that is just plain common sense. Who on earth wouldn't check the menu first??? Your colleague must be an idiot or was not given a choice on where to dine.
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