Almost every French family has a copy of the Paul Bocuse cookbook. It is typically kept on the bookshelf to illustrate a gastronomique commitment to one’s guest. It is only brought out for the most significant of meals.
Bocuse loves himself. His name is plastered all over the restaurant. The only thing you see more than his name is his photo. My favorite photo was on the tacky little paper napkin ring. Other than Bocuse’s self obsession, the restaurant has no atmosphere. The lights are bright and the place feels a little like a tourist trap. The food, however, is so good that it might be the primary reason one visits Lyon.
Bocuse is not long on creativity. He focuses purely on quality and execution and I would have to say he achieves perfection. Everything was perfect:
- Two glasses of Champagne
- A beautiful, light cauliflower soup
- I had a black truffle broth with chunks of foie gras served in a puff pastry bowl (Bocuse’s signature dish…I think he used an entire truffle)
- Elizabeth had shelled langoustines in a creamy, buttery sauce
- I had a perfectly cooked red snapper that had been covered with delicately cut and placed slices of potato (designed to resemble scales) and then baked.
- I had a rack of lamb crusted with mustard and rosemary with a perfect potato pancake
- Elizabeth had the red snapper
- Citrus sorbet for both of us
- Cheese plates from a choice of over 50 cheese
- Creme brulee
- Unlimited dessert from a choice of about 25 different desserts including: marinated poached pears, flourless chocolate cake, tart tartin, chocolate mousse, strawberries, baby strawberries, raspberries and blueberries (served with creme anglaise), homemade sorbets and ice creams and a bunch of other things I cannot remember
- Petit fours
- We had a great Bordeaux with dinner
Bocuse came out to greet us upon our arrival