FLEURIE. We apparently missed Le Cep by just a day or so, (two years in a row of trying to get there, and failing) and indeed, madame was even inside with a bunch of suited gents degusting and eating but it was clear they were also not open to the public, having begun their holiday conge. Wandered down the rue and had lunch at Café des Sports. Attractive space, one wall lined with old glass fronted refrigerator cases that were now full of wine. Nearly full by the time we settled in. Had Oeufs en meurette followed by Poulet au Vinagre, both a part of the lunch menu, which I think was 15€. A demi of Fleurie to wash it down.
LYON. We were on the lam from the gite that basically expelled us, and since it had no internet, as promised, we were basically winging it. Our first time in the city and too brief. We were just down the block from Brasserie Le Sud, one of the Bocuse outposts, so we decided to try it. Started with a couple of Champagne Kirs. I had the foie gras de canard en terrine, followed by the filet poele nature, accompanied by a nice handful of haricot verts and roasted fingerlings. Partner had an assiette de Serrano ham followed by a tagine with poulet de bresse. Finished with St. Marcellin “Mere Richard”. Drank a bottle of St. Joseph Jaboulet (42€) and cafes. 127€
Lunch the next day was at Le Petit Flore. Reserved that morning which turned out to be helpful since the place is small and several others were turned away. Started with Salade Lentile et Cervelas, and Poulet Vinagre. Partner had the quiche maison and salad, and Jambon Braise en Grains Moutarde. St. Marcellin and Cervelas de la Cervelles des Canut. A pot of brouilly. 42€
On our wanderings nearby had gone down the pedestrianized and very touristy Rue des Marronniers and spotted Chez Mounier which compelled for a few reasons: there was something very agreeable about what we could see of the very plain dining room, a jolly buzz from the crowd wafting out onto the sidewalk, it was close to our hotel, had a very reasonable menu, and was completely booked, so the next afternoon we decided to reserve, which required much discussion (“Ne me quittez pas”) between Monsieur, who answered the phone, and Madame, but after some seeming rearrangement, they said they could fit us at 8. When we opened the door and made our way past the folding screen again blocking the dining room, and with the “complet” sign taped to it once more, and they seemed they were about to sternly announce this to our faces as I said we had a reservation and they smiled and showed us in. We were led into the back room, larger than the front narrow dining room but just as plain, made more so by its lack of other elements (doors, windows, front counter, small bar) to break up the surfaces. At the opposite end of this square room jammed full of tables was the entrance to the kitchen. We were, in fact, taking the last free table in the joint. I think we may have been offered English menus, which we refused, as always, and then had a quick teasing conversation with Madame about our French, which seemed to be deemed passable and she seemed especially surprised when my partner ordered the Riz de Veau. He started with a very robust Salade Lyonnaise, and I had a Saucisson de Lyon en Gratin, and then the Quenelles de Brochet de Lyon Sauce Nantua. The dining room was very warm and everyone was peeling off layers which seemed only to add to the jolly mood. Madame kept up her teasing up which was neither condescending or obsequious- she was having fun and so was nearly everyone, while cleaning their plates which we happily did as well. Next came a real memorable treat—fished out from a grey wash tub just behind my partner’s left shoulder, next to the spare silver and napkins, wrapped in paper, and doled out to every diner as far as I could see – La Mere Richard’s St. Marcellin. I couldn’t say if it was the toasty dining room, or the apparent volume they were moving through, but this cheese was perfect, and better than all the other samples we had both in Lyon and Paris: it was runny, creamy, just funky enough—great. Had a couple of pots of the house red and finished with the tres typique strange red Praline Tart, and a pear custard. Didn’t keep the receipt but my recollection is we got out of there for under 70€. Rough around the edges, for sure, but we had a blast and enjoyed everything we had and would go back.