Restaurant Paul Bocuse, the cuisine that preserves history

We’ve visited the famous restaurant in Lyon, after the passing away of its creator. A temple preserving flavours from the past

26-02-2019
The menu at restaurant Paul Bocuse, North of Lyon

The menu at restaurant Paul Bocuse, North of Lyon

The restaurant of Paul Bocuse is now an icon. It will be hard to find a person who has not heard of this famous chef or his nouvelle cuisine... The great Bocuse passed away little over one year ago, on the 20 January 2018. So we wondered if and how his famous restauarnt in 40 Quai de la Plage, in Collonges au Mont d'Or, just north of Lyon (Tel: +33 04 72429090, bocuse.fr) had changed.

What to expect from this restaurant in the future? We paid a visit, and this piece is the result.

The journey to the world of Bocuse starts as soon as you enter the restaurant: the waiter is ready to guide us to the table. We sit and breathe. The world stops: we’re about to start a journey to the origins of the great French cuisine.

You could always find Bocuse at his restaurant; now that the maestro is no longer with us, nobody feels alone nonetheless: maître, sommelier and chef de commis took his role and make everyone feel at home as soon as they arrive. They’re like ambassadors of the à la Bocuse hospitality.

Though time goes by, the charm of the restaurant does not disappear: this is still a point of reference from which everything begins. This is shown, mostly, from the menu, which has a similar structure to the past. There are different tasting menus (ClassiqueBourgeoisPaul Bocuse) or you can choose from the à la carte menu.

Amuse bouche with mozzarella and tomato 

Amuse bouche with mozzarella and tomato 

When they bring the first amuse bouche of our meal, with mozzarella and tomato, the dining room is already full and you can perceive the common sense of hunger shared by every table.

Quenelle of pike with crayfish and Normande sauce 

Quenelle of pike with crayfish and Normande sauce 

We chose the Classique menu for 175 euros. The first dish is a Quenelle of pike with crayfish and Normande sauce. It’s typical of Lyon, the quenelle has a very strong and rich flavour, and is paired with this sauce of prawns from Normandy which, through its aromas, shows how this recipe is 100% French. With this quenelle Bocuse celebrated the memory of his childhood and the famous bouchon, the local equivalent of Italian osterie and trattorie. It’s such a famous dish that it is now associated with the idea itself of the great and classic French nouvelle cuisine.

Fillet of beef Rossini, with Périgueux sauce, we didn’t taste it personally but it was served at our table 

Fillet of beef Rossini, with Périgueux sauce, we didn’t taste it personally but it was served at our table 

Then they serve theSea bass stuffed in puff pastry with Choron sauce, a real culinary point of reference of Bocuse’s. Its flavour is both true and generous. As an alternative, you could choose between the Fillet of beef Rossini with Périgueux sauce or the Fricasse of Bresse chicken in cream sauce with morel mushrooms: I preferred to choose one of the dishes that made Bocuse even more famous and which gives a better representation of his style.

Cheese...

Cheese...

The menu is rather short, we’re already close to the end. There’s a selection of cheese and, to finish, a great variety of typical cakes, petits fours and chocolates served with tea or coffee.

...and dessert

...and dessert

What can we say? Bocuse is no longer with us, but the food at his restaurant is still magical; it’s like a bridge between the life of today and that of the past, a timeless place where the true French flavours, with their richness and splendour, still resist – home flavours, shaped by the hands of the chef who cuts the fish for the quenelle or prepares the pastry for the sea bass.

Coffee and petits fours

Coffee and petits fours

«The mission of Paul Bocuse’s gastronomic restaurant, today, is to make people experience, and not forget, the true, enchanting French cuisine, based on original recipes, mostly from Lyon, on excellent products, on honest and pure flavours», says Olivier Couvain, the new chef.

Aline Borghese with chef Olivier Couvain

Aline Borghese with chef Olivier Couvain

Before leaving, we hear the sound, who knows from where, of a barrel organ. This melody is a pure essence of memory, history, and of great French charm, and immediately brings us back in time. The same delicious past, the heritage which Bocuse wanted to preserve like the greatest treasure in the world, and he left us as his great culinary heritage.

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso

SEE ALSO:

Paul Bocuse, 20 things to know about the chef of the century, by Gabriele Zanatta
Un altro lutto per la grande cucina: è morto Paul Bocuse (in Italian), by Carlo Passera


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