If you want more than just a top class meal and would also like to experience the true philosophy of the culinary art, you will be welcome on the banks of the Saône, 4 km from Lyon, in the restaurant owned by chef Paul Bocuse, the man considered the father of 20th century cuisine.
The owner of three Michelin stars almost always greets his customers in person, making them feel important as soon as they walk through the restaurant door. Bocuse who is 80 still cooks but spends most of the time supervising and evaluating the work of his subordinates.
The first thing you notice upon entering the restaurant is its heart and pride behind a glass wall - it's the kitchen where some of the finest masters of culinary can be seen busy at work. Don't worry about being suitably dressed for lunch or dinner: among the diners you will see rich ladies with million dollar necklaces and gentlemen in shirtsleeves (with a few buttons undone) who have foregone their usual sober suits for the more comfortable jeans. This dress code freedom has its limits, of course.
Just like guests are greeted before they even enter the restaurant, so aperitifs with compliments of the house are also served before you have settled into the elegant chairs. You can sample top quality amuse bouches and the best of wines while listening to the waiter's or chef's suggestions regarding the specialties of the menu. Although Paul Bocuse restaurant is visited by tourists from all over the world, the menu is available exclusively in the language of culinary - French, that is.
If you don't have any plans of revisiting the banks of the River Saône anytime soon, make sure you taste the greatest pride of the menu for which chefs travel to France from America, Canada, Japan and other countries. It's the black truffle soup V.G.E., part of the Paul Bocuse menu since 1975 when it was first served at the Élysée Palace to then President of France Valéry Giscard d'Estaing. It costs EUR 80 and is worth every cent.
The speciality of Paul Bocuse restaurant is traditional cuisine and that's why restaurant-goers come here to get back to the roots of French cooking. This can be felt not only in the flavour and aroma of the dishes but also in the very special ways of serving and presentation. Sea bass wrapped in puff pastry, cooked in the kitchen, is brought to your table, then cleaned in front of you and served. When they bring you Bresse chicken poached in pig's bladder and prick the "balloon", the dining hall is instantly filled with juicy flavours you can practically taste in your mouth before the first bite. Dishes served in a similar fashion are specially marked in the menu.
Typically for French dining traditions, the cheese plate is offered before the dessert. And when they say "a wide choice of cheeses", they mean it. Your taste buds are invited to feast on about 40 types of cheese, brought to your table on a giant tray by two waiters.
A similar ceremony accompanies the dessert, and guests are even free to order one that is not included in the Paul Bocuse menu. Likewise, if a customer, for example, a vegetarian, is not satisfied with the choice offered by the menu, the chefs will prepare a custom-ordered lunch or dinner.
Dining at the Paul Bocuse restaurant, the guests can take it for granted that all the dishes so elegantly served are fresh and just-cooked. You will also be constantly reminded of where you are taking your meal: the silver and porcelain dishes, glasses, hand towels, napkins and tablecloths are all adorned by the name Paul Bocuse and the logo of the restaurant.
Be prepared to be honoured by the arrival of the great chef during your lunch or dinner: he will kindly inquire after the guests' impressions and won't refuse to pose for a photo with you. And, of course, when leaving you will be seen off with an invitation to come back to the banks of the River Saône again.
L'Auberge du point de collonges
40 Quai de la Plage
Phone: 04 72 42 90 90
Fax: 04 72 27 85 87
Keywords: Lyon, restaurant, restaurants, Michelin star, Michelin, traditional, french kitchen