Saturday, May 19, 2007

Lyon 1ere - Au Bon Temps

At the market this morning, Loic and I hit the volailler for some rabbit in addition to cruising the quai for the season's first Mara des Bois, organic lettuce, spinach, flowers, butter, a Rocamadour, some Bleu d'Auvergne, a Crottin de Condrieu, radishes, onions, oregano and thyme. The sage was in flower. Isn't it pretty?

After the market we were on the way to run another errand and took a little back street around the corner from Eglise St. Nizier. We passed this place where the menu looked straightforward and the prices correct and decided to go ahead and eat. The restaurant is called Au Bon Temps, next to the doll shop and across the street from the lingerie shop, a cute little bijou with 10 covers downstairs and 36 in two rooms upstairs, a place that used to be a wine bar. They changed owners this past winter, and boy we are lucky to have this new address in our neighborhood.

Chef Patrick Scalia, who cut his teeth at La Mere Brazier, Le Moulin de Mougins, and Le Theodore has brought his show from Le Comptoir in La Tour de Salvagny to town.

We just came in off the street, market haul in hand. They sat us with a smile even though we drifted in at the tail end of luncheon service, and served us with gracious aplomb. From the moment we were served the entrees it was clear we were in for a treat. Loic's generously sliced house smoked duck magret over lentils had the perfect whisper of smoke and I appreciated the care coming from the kitchen in the various citrus zests festively setting an elegant tone to my marinated salmon.

I loved my boeuf tartare (what can I say, I had a thing for raw today) which was judiciously seasoned with capers and pickles and served with ultra fresh mixed greens and dark balsamic vinaigrette with a side of gratin dauphinois with just the right touch of nutmeg in the sauce. Loic's double slice of veal roast was the real winner, a long slow roast that melted in the mouth and suprised us both with its honesty and gorgeous follow through to the jus. We oohed and ahed all the way through the course.

I can't stop thinking about the veal.

The total mind blower was the BABA AU RHUM. A picture's worth a thousand words.

As an example of how welcomed we were in this restautant, I note that the chef graciously put my rabbit saddles in the fridge to keep them cool while we dined. Mark this address on your list for Lyon, folks.

2 rue Chavanne
69001 LYON
04 78 39 26 12

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Blogger Helen said...

Your post reminded me so much of the things I miss about the home country: rarely can you fin good service here. Too many chains, even small restaurant owner don't have the same attitude as Mr. Scalia. It's good to know that a large town like Lyon keeps most of its country charm. I read your blog on a regular basis, but seldom comment. You always have a way of describibg things I miss the most, leaving nostalgic but never homesick.
Great post.

1:39 AM, May 20, 2007  
Blogger Pille said...

I watched "Babette's Feast" again yesterday, and they serve baba au rhum at the end. I've never made it myself, but after the movie last night, I decided to give it a go. I love the way it's served at Scalia's restaurant!
Also - never seen sage blossom, although my mum grows it. Lovely blue colour!

7:31 AM, May 20, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Lucy. It is marked.
I just hope Patrick doesn't take "his show" elsewhere in late august.

The veal sounds/looks stunning.
I've only had a nut of veal baked in a v?hot oven, then glazed with a little wine and the vealjuices.

10:22 AM, May 20, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I stopped by after seeing your post on Mimi's blog. I love the photography and especially the stunning blue sage flowers.

4:23 PM, May 20, 2007  
Blogger Jann said...

What a perfect day and perfect mwal........will mark this address!

2:49 AM, May 21, 2007  
Blogger Nora B. said...

Lucy, I've just discovered your blog and I think it is a wonderful blog - I love the stories and photos. I feel like I am transported to Lyon when I visit your blog. Thank you for sharing!

3:13 AM, May 22, 2007  
Blogger Truffle said...

I am planning a trip to France next month and this place has most definitely been marked. What a wonderful blog and such beautiful photography!

6:21 AM, May 22, 2007  
Blogger wheresmymind said...

Love the lighting on the table!

5:10 PM, May 22, 2007  
Blogger Meg Blocker said...

Lucy, that baba au rhum looks like perfection.

5:10 AM, May 24, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't you mean steak tartare - the usual French name for raw minced steak with the seasonings you describe - maybe it was called boeuf because they had put 'greens' in it??

5:23 PM, May 31, 2007  
Blogger L Vanel said...

Thanks for the comments, all! Dear Anonymous, yes it was a Tartare de Boeuf, which was absolutely delicious. You should try one sometime!

6:51 PM, May 31, 2007  

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