Fine Dining in Lyon

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  During our stay in Lyon, we ate at two restaurants worthy of review: La Tour Rose and Les Terrasses de Lyon. The food in both restaurants is of very high quality, and the service is excellent. (Another neat aspect of these two restaurants, as well as many fine restaurants in France, is that they serve great amusées. These little plates of food between the larger courses are a great way to taste new and interesting foods that you don’t typically find.) The first restaurant we dined in was La Tour Rose. It’s located just a few steps down the street from the Cour des Loges on the rue de Boeuf, and the décor is charming. Some of the tables are located in a room with a clear roof, so it is possible to look up and see the old buildings and the sky while you dine. The wait-staff at La Tour Rose is very attentive and polite. They’re not pretentious and they all seem very friendly. Many of them speak some English; therefore, if you have any questions about the menu, they can more than likely assist you. (By the way, if you are served what looks like fried grass, be aware that it’s actually fried, salted mint. I’m still not sure how to eat it properly. If you are on a date, don’t eat this dish and smile at your sweetie…) The amusée was a tiny crab-cake served with olive oil and tomato. For an appetizer, I ordered rillettes. I’m still not sure what rillettes are, but I can say with certainty that I’ll not order them again. My entrée was very nice: a veal roast nestled beneath a salad containing onions, beans, peas, baby turnips, baby beets, baby carrots, fava beans, and asparagus. For desert, I had some very tasty pain d’epices. The second restaurant we dined in was Les Terrasses de Lyon. Everything about this place was outstanding, and the prices certainly reflects this. So does the décor. The place settings, rooms, and hilltop view of Lyon all combine to make this restaurant very aesthetically appealing. The servers at Les Terrasses de Lyon were more reserved than those at La Tour Rose, but still very professional. They were all attentive and polite, and did everything we requested with an excellent attitude. Even if you don’t speak French, the servers will not lessen the degree of service they give you. (In fact, rarely has this happened to us anywhere in France.) For those who don’t speak any French, English menus are available. I ordered the grenadin de foie gras poele. This dish was garnished with fennel and pain d’epices and served with a slice of toast. It was absolutely wonderful. For an entrée, I ordered the filet de charolais in tournedos poele. This cut of meat was placed in a pool of lavender mustard and garnished with a potato stuffed with foie gras. I believe that I have only had one steak better than this in my entire life—and I’m from “fine beef” country. For dessert, I had what the “chocolate tower.” As the name implies, this dessert is a tall chocolate cake resembling a tower, served with a dollop of ice cream. On the whole, I prefer Les Terrasses de Lyon to La Tour Rose. I believe the food is better, and the view of Lyon from the terrace or a window seat can’t be beaten. Unfortunately, like the hill upon which Les Terrasses de Lyon sits, the prices at this restaurant are very steep (appetizers run from about 40 euros to around 80 euros.) So, if you don’t want to lay down the big bucks, La Tour Rose would be a very nice option. However, if this is a meal with someone very special, or cost is not an issue, then I strongly recommend Les Terrasses de Lyon. It is truly a memorable place. Taylor Horton is a high school student who considers himself very fortunate to be writing for Bonjour Paris this summer.
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