48 hours in lyon, france

disclaimer: contains graphic content...may be disturbing to vegetarians. proceed with caution!

our travels last week brought us to lyon, the gastronomic capital of france and home to paul bocuse, considered the father of nouvelle cuisine. almost immediately upon our arrival in the city my eyes lit up and it dawned on me that i love france. the architecture is relatively the same as switzerland, the language is the same, yet something is very different. france seems to be more alive. with a city full of bouchons, a market that brings tears to my eyes, and tickets to arcade fire the weekend was sure to be inspiring.

thursday, 22:00
dinner at le petit flore, a bouchon lyonnaise. a bouchon is a traditional lyon restaurant that serves fatty, meat heavy dishes and local wine. le petit flore was charming, a tiny restaurant with checkered tablecloths and walls adorned in old aperitif ads. i began with a chicken foie gras followed by rognons (kidneys) in a wine sauce. the foie gras was silky and smooth and melted in my mouth. i ordered the rognons because when you're in the gastronomic capital of france you might as well go all out. i'll be honest, i was not a fan. maybe it was mental, maybe it was texture but i just couldn't love them the way i wanted to. what made them easier to swallow however, was the incredible côtes du rhône we had ordered. not to mention they were accompanied by the most delicious, perfectly cooked potatoes i've ever had. i was taking pictures and writing in my moleskin which must have led the maître d'hôtel to believe i was a journalist because he offered to send us a case of the wine. we didn't tell him i write a blog that 5 people including my mother read. after all, we wanted the wine and so the handoff was scheduled for saturday afternoon behind the restaurant.
rognons (lyon)

friday, 12:00
brunch at pain & cie. after the indulgence of thursdays dinner i opted for a light tartlette and salad.

friday, 18:00
aperitif and entrée at a small café followed by dinner at le bistrot de lyon. walking the pedestrian only, rue mercière i stared in wonder at the men outside handling shellfish barehanded on ice in 30 degree weather. i felt obligated to honor the hardship of their labor and partake in the reward. we ordered a platter of seafood containing: shrimp, prawns, lobster, clams, oysters, mussels, escargot, and some other delicacies(mom and dad, i did eat a few shrimp). when we finished my plate looked like i had been shell hunting all day at the beach.
bouchon (lyon)

friday, 20:00
arcade fire concert in an old slaughterhouse. amazing!
arcade fire (lyon)

saturday, 12:00
les halles paul bocuse, findlay market on steroids. on our way out of town we stopped at les halles to stock up on as much meat, unpasteurized dairy, and wine as we could fit in the car. stijn had warned me that i was going to be "looking my eyes out," as he says, but nothing could have prepared me for all that i was about to take in. les halles is like disneyland for a food lover. row after row of fromagerie, boucher, boulangerie, chocolaterie, patisserie, interspersed with restaurants serving oysters, boudin (blood sausage), and tartare de boeuf. once inside time seems to stand still. i could have easily spent 8 hours there and not noticed. when we had bought all we could carry we sat down for oysters, escargot, and chablis as a farewell to the great city of lyon. as i used the bread to sop up the herb butter sauce dripping from my plate my eyes welled up with tears at the thought of how much joy there is in this life of mine.
(lyon)

many more photos here