Lyon does food. Actually, all of France does food, but the French have crowned Lyon the food capital of this food country. How in the world could we miss such a place? We took a train from the Alps to Lyon (with a much more graceful exit this time), and stayed in a hotel that was original buildings from the 13th century. Like Hans says, “We don’t have this in Mill Valley.”
Dinner started with a Salade Lyonaise, which included frisee, croutons, bacon bits, a soft boiled egg, and a lovely dressing. The main course was chicken and rice. This title, of course, does not do the dish justice. The rice for all three of us came in a cast iron skillet, and our chickens came in two others. Hans got the simpler dish, with roasted carrots and chicken in a velvety cream sauce.
I always wonder how he’s going to respond to a new flavor or dish, and we definitely ask him to eat lots of different flavors when we travel. He took the first bite, closed his mouth, stared directly at Anders and I, and widened his eyes. That said it all. He crowned it “the best chicken ever.”
Anders and I chose what made the restaurant famous (the mushroom sauce with the chicken.) I also think we were eating a different kind of chicken, because the French have delineated chicken to a degree that we Americans cannot fathom. Certain birds are butchered at a certain age. Others are raised in a certain area. White meat of some birds looks downright red. It’s all delicious. Our chicken swam in a pool of light brown sauce that contained a mushroom variety I had never heard of nor seen. Kinda morel-looking. But huge. We washed it down with an unlabeled 1/2 bottle of Cote du Rhone.
We topped off the meal with chocolate mousse and a strange gelato that we thought was going to be vanilla, but turned out to be chestnut. (I had to look it up in my handy-dandy pocket French dictionary.) The chestnut was weird, but the mousse was yummy. We were the last to exit the restaurant, at 10:45 pm.
Waddling out of the restaurant, we opted to walk home. We had forgotten the map at the hotel, but my iPhone has a little application where it shows you exactly where you are on a map, and then you can plug in where you want to go. It gives you a route and how long it will take to either walk, drive, or take the bus.
Strolling arm in arm, we wandered through the ancient tiny cobble streets until we found our hotel. Another perfect day.