This last week was filled with excessive amounts of food and wine— and I really can’t find anything wrong with that…
My friend Elspeth came for a visit from Toronto. She is an amazing wealth of knowledge in the world of food, has the best job I can imagine and writes a very funny blog. I was so excited about her visit because I knew we would do nothing but enjoy great food and wine while laughing until our bellies hurt. Our week was jam packed with a few market visits, a number of tasty meals out, and a wonderful tour and tasting at the Castelas olive oil producer. We even cooked lunch for our winemaker friends, and enjoyed it sitting outside looking out on a spectacular view of Les Dentelles.
But on Friday, it was a reunion of “les trois Canadiennes” and we met our friend Didi in Lyon. It was just serendipity that Didi had to work there, so we decided to gather to enjoy some traditional Lyonnaise food and culture.
We started our day at La Mère Brazier, a very fancy-pants spot where the unusually good-looking chef is a MOF (Meilleurs Ouvriers de France) and the food is inventive, beautiful and delicious. We had so many courses, I lost count. We didn’t order dessert, but as these things go, when you order coffee, you get a major assortment of sweets. We literally had four “courses” of dessert. What on earth would you get if you actually ordered dessert? A diabetic coma? However, it was well worth it. I have never been a big fan of Madeleines, and we were given a piping hot honey Madeleine, crispy from the oven served with fromage blanc ice cream. It was absolute heaven and I am now a Madeleine convert.
In order to make more room for food, Elspeth and I walked all over Lyon, including a massive climb up to La Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière. We’d worked up another appetite and for dinner found ourselves at a traditional bouchon, charming and fun, the Café des Fédédrations. We were given a few starters, a choice of a main, cheese and dessert. This meal was hearty, delicious and massive, which included a beef broth soup with bacon and a poached egg, salad, charcuterie, lentils, Quenelles de brochet with Nantua sauce, Civet de Porc etc. On and on… the most shocking part was that I was starving come morning. So off we went to Les Halles (the local food market) where we breakfasted on coffee, bread, boiled egg and frog’s legs. Yup, frog’s legs. They were garlicky and fantastic.
I love “mes Canadiennes”. We always have so much fun, and it’s delightful to share these journeys with such wonderful friends. I can’t wait for our next one. Strasbourg anyone?
Note: Thanks to Elspeth for the fabulous photos!