In my two days off this week (read: my weekend) I had the honor to receive a friend from home, let’s call him S. It was great to see S., but above all, it was a weekend full of culinary pleasure! Not all very healthy, but the foodie inside me definitely got satisfied.
I welcomed S. with a home-cooked meal, to get us fueled for a walk through town. Chicken cooked in coconut sauce, an Indian recipe. I did a good job, I have to say!
After walking a couple of hours and enjoying the views of the wonderful city of Lyon, we started looking for a restaurant. Not an easy job here, some call Lyon the culinary capital of France, but it is also very touristic. The touristic restaurants don’t all put much effort in the quality of their food. S. and I wanted to eat a French quality dinner, so we went critical on the menu’s and interiors. After a while we got kind of impatient with ourselves, so after declining a number of restaurants we both agreed on trying ‘Le Marronnier’. On the stickers on the window we could see that the restaurant is in the Michelin guide, so it had to be of some quality.
The salad was good, not too big for an appetizer. Perfect balance between lettuce and other ingredients. For those who don’t know Salade Lyonnais, it is a salad with croutons, bacon bits and a poached egg.
The pièce de boeuf was nice, I loved the sauce. It got served with a homemade mashed potatoes and freezer vegetables, both less interesting.
Crème brulée was supposed to be made with génépi, a liquor made in the mountains. Unfortunately I didn’t taste anything of the liquor, maybe they served a standard crème brulée to be cautious after what happened with S.?
S.went more experimental. He took a duck tartare – raw duck, a Rognon and ice cream for dessert.
The duck tartare was a success. S. didn’t realize he would get raw meat, but he really enjoyed the dish.
The menu had English translations. His maincourse, the Rognon was translated as a Black Agnus flanck steak, so S. was looking forward to a tender piece of meat. The meat he got served, looked a bit weird, but that didn’t discourage him. It was only after the first few bites that he came to the conclusion he wasn’t eating a steak, it tasted like organ meat. The structure also pointed towards an organ. We decided to google ‘Rognon’, which explained us he did actually order a cow kidney! S. decided to enjoy the very tasty potato gratin and pieces of bread and let the kidney just for what it is. A kidney.
The waiter came to ask if we were finished and we told him that my friend didn’t expect to get a kidney on his plate. Mister waiter was nice enough to open the menu again, to check where things went wrong. Well, S. did order a Rognon, but the translation also did say a Black Agnus flanck steak. To make up for the disappointment the cook offered him a big, nice and tender piece of steak, which made sure S. was happy again. And stuffed.
For dessert S. chose to be safe with two scoops of icecream, citron and vanilla.
At the end of the evening we were both very full, especially because S. got two portions of potato gratin, so I sacrificed myself to help him a little with the second portion ;-). After a short stroll to the second closest metro station, we called it the night.
Oh, we saw something interesting btw. S. was staying at a Formule 1 hotel, a cheap hotel chain here in France. They had the usual drinks and snacks machine, with also a couple of microwavable meals! Absolutely not tasty, but it could still come in handy if you arrive tired and hungry and don’t want to leave the roadside hotel to search for a restaurant.