Paris 2013 - Lunch at Aux Lyonnais
Our visit to Tour Eiffel was a bit rushed as we had to keep a very important appointment. We had a booking at Aux Lyonnais for lunch - and the restaurant had warned that we should not be more then 30 min late.
Aux Lyonnais is part of renowned French Chef Alain Ducasse's restaurant empire in Paris. It is a "bistrot" - so the pricing is more reasonable then Ducasse's fine dining establishments. They serve traditional dishes from Lyons - the famous food capital of France - hence the name.
When dining in Europe - lunch is always more affordably priced compared to dinner. Sometimes the dishes served are exactly the same - yet it cost more at dinner time. I guess you are paying a premium due to the fact that dinner is a more coveted slot for a proper meal.
At Aux Lyonnais - if you go in a big group like we did you had to go for the prix fixe lunch menu. It comes with 3 courses and cost 32 euros without wine - or with wine for 60 euros. I would suggest that you go for the wine pairing - as the wines they served were exquisite.
Before the meal started we were served some bread with a cream cheese spread - Cervelle de Canuts. It was so tasty we were in danger of filling our tummies with bread and cheese before the actual courses arrived.
The appetizer was a Charcuterie Platter - sliced salumi, pork terrine, potatoes in Hollandaise sauce, and even some crunchy pork fat nuggets. All were delicious.
The main course was their signature dish - Quenelle in Nantua Sauce. The quenelle is made with Perch - it is so smooth and soft and almost disappears in your mouth. The sauce is made with baby crayfish and tastes like very good lobster bisque. I couldn't get enough of the sauce !
The dessert was a "Floating Island" with Pink Praline. The floating island is actually a meringue floating in creme anglaise. The meringue has the texture of a very soft marshmallow, and when you eat it with the creme it takes you back to the happy memories from childhood. The pink praline is a tart topped with nuts and covered with a red glaze.
Lunch at Aux Lyonnais was without a doubt one of the highlights of our visit to Paris. The food was really delicious - the great ambiance of the restaurant and impeccable service made it a wonderful dining experience. Another word about the service - from the moment we entered the restaurant, to the lunch service, and to when we asked for the check - it was faultless ! The staff were very professional, polite and courteous - best I've ever encountered in a restaurant. Can't wait to go back !