Friday, July 16, 2010

Dinner at Brasserie Le Nord

While walking around Lyon, my dad saw the Brasserie Le Nord, which is one of the famous Paul Bocuse’s restaurants. Having never eaten at one of his places and knowing that he is old and about to retire, we couldn't pass up this opportunity for a meal. We stepped in to make a reservation for dinner, and then continued our sightseeing for an hour or so before returning.

The restaurant was quite large, with many tables inside on the first floor, private group dining upstairs, and covered outdoor seating. The décor was traditional: long white table cloths, classic paintings on the wall, a nice amount of space between tables, and so on. We felt a little out of place, as the waiters were all dressed in suits while we were fairly casually dressed (we were, after all, just tourists exploring the city). They were polite, however, and what impressed me was this...

I had been wearing shorts and a sleeveless top that day, and the air conditioning in the restaurant made me feel chilly. After a while sitting in the restaurant, my body forgot that it was summer outside. “It’s so cold!” I said shivering at some point, and while I had said this just to my family, and in English, one of the waitstaff who had heard me, went over to the thermostat and changed the setting, then winked at me as he went back to work. It was extremely nice. I did feel a little warmer after that.

That being said, I remember little of this meal, so it's not technically a restaurant review the way I typically do it. Let me tell you what I do recall.

The best crème brûlé ever (6€40). Seriously. I've had many crème brûlés in my life (they're not all that unique), but this one put them all to shame. It was impossibly, silkily smooth and the custard just melted in your mouth. It was the kind of thing that I have to tell you, if you only get to have one more dessert in your life, have this one. Don't brush this off as "just" a crème brûlé. It was so much more than that. It was ambrosia, food for the gods, with a sweet caramelized sugar topping.

That crème brûlé still stands out in my mind. It has been weeks since we ate there (it was June 25th, to be exact). It made so strong of an impression on me that while I know we had a good meal at the brasserie, I cannot for the life of me give you a good description of any of our food.

What do I remember?

We ordered one two course meal for 19€90 (appetizer and main course). Then we ordered one three-course meal, which was was 22€90, and included dessert. We ordered two other plats à la carte.

We did order the famous poulet de bresse à la crème (22€60), which came with rice, and was beautiful present for us tableside. It had a nice, rich sauce, and was good, but not spectacular.

We also ordered an original moussaka (gigot d’agneau en terrine) (16€80), which was interesting, and above average, but also a little one dimensional.

And that is all I have for you.

So now, plan your trip to Lyon so that you can have a taste of the amazing crème brûlé I just told you about.

Brasserie Le Nord
18 rue Neuve
69002 Lyon, France
Tel: 04 72 10 69 69

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