There’s nothing fancy about one of the last remaining authentic bouchons* in Lyon, Café des fédérations, but that’s exactly how I like some restaurants these days.
Though founded in the beginning of the 20th century, Café des fédérations is now owned by Yves Rivoiron. It’s considered a very typical bouchon with its hanging sausages, checkered table cloths and old world decor, and was specifically recommended to us by a pastry chef who bows down to the establishment.
It’s not a place for vegetarians and even some carnivores would cringe at the menu. There’s a lot of very fatty items and some offal-y offerings like tripe, andouillette, tete de veau, and something called Gras double à la lyonnaise, which is a big slab of fat. A double dose of it to boot! At least that’s how it was described to me. I didn’t order that but I do like fat especially in the Lyon saucisson sec served as appetizers. Yes, the fat globs makes those things come together perfectly. YUM.
For appetizers, we had charcuteries lyonnaises, pieds de veau (calf’s feet) and a flavorful though undercooked caviar de la croix rousse, which is a lentil salad.
The “safest” thing on the menu for a main dish if you aren’t feeling particularly adventurous would be the chicken. It’s delicious.
Poulet au vinaigre / Chicken in a vinegar sauce
I had the blood sausage with apples, which were the best blood sausages I’ve had. Disclaimer: This was the second time I’ve ordered blood sausage. hee.
Boudin noir aux pommes / Blood sausage with apples
My dessert photos are too blurry to show. We had tarte aux pralines roses, a tarte aux citron and gateau au chocolat.
Based on our visit, I’d have to say that Café des fédérations offers a peek at and experience of the authentic bouchon scene in Lyon – a lively atmosphere, nostalgic surroundings and simple home-style cooking.
Café des fédérations
8 rue du Major-Martin
You must reserve in advance.
* A bouchon is a type of restaurant in Lyon, France, that serves traditional Lyonnaise cuisine, such as sausages, offal, duck pâté or roast pork. Compared to other forms of French cooking such as nouvelle cuisine, the dishes are quite fatty, and heavily oriented around meat. There are around 20 officially certified traditional bouchons, but a larger number of establishments describing themselves using the term.
Typically, the emphasis in a bouchon is not on haute cuisine, but rather, a convivial atmosphere and a personal relationship with the owner.The tradition of bouchons came from small inns visited by silk workers passing through Lyon in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Another bouchon, Le tablier (the apron), in Vieux Lyon.
According to Le petit Robert this name derives from the 16th century expression for a bunch of twisted straw. A representation of such bundles began to appear on signs to indicate restaurants, and by extension the restaurants themselves became known as bouchons. The more common use of “bouchons” as a stopper at the mouth of a bottle, and its derivatives, have a different etymology. [from wikipedia]
Posted in food and drinks, restaurants, Rhone, tips, travel and places, travel tip Tagged with: bouchons, Café des fédérations, france, french, lyon
“Perhaps nothing symbolized the American team’s efforts at the Bocuse d’Or better than its beef cheeks. At the world’s premier chef’s competition, which ended on Jan. 28 in Lyons, France, the Estonians transformed the cheeks — a required ingredient this year — into pot-au-feu, the Brazilians stuffed potatoes with them, and the Malaysians spiced them up into rendang. But the U.S. competitors, 28-year-old Timothy Hollingsworth and his assistant, Adina Guest, braised the meat until it was silky, set it on a tiny round of baby turnip, and topped it with a floret of broccolini. Smuggled through customs, the vegetables came straight from the garden of the famed French Laundry restaurant in Napa, California, where the two chefs work, and gave the presentation a delicious, locally grown flavor that could only be American. Sadly, in a context where extravagance and adherence to the rules of classical cooking take precedence, that might have been part of the problem.
From the heavy presence of seafood mousses to the cheesy compliments the MC paid the female judges, the Bocuse d’Or is nothing if not French. But because it is also a kind of culinary Olympics, with teams from 24 different countries competing over two days for a gold trophy that brings prestige and a $26,000 prize, the contest is imbued with national rivalries that extend from the fans in the bleachers to the flavors on the elaborate platters.
In fact, for the young chefs who compete in the contest — founded by revered French chef Paul Bocuse — navigating between the desire to demonstrate the glories of their national cuisine (to say nothing of their own creativity) and the wish to please a jury that tends to favor the classic French style is precisely the challenge. “If you’re playing soccer, you can’t use your hands,” says Antonio Saura, a Spanish filmmaker whose 2007 documentary El Pollo, el Pez, y el Cangrejo Real featured the competition. “The Bocuse is the same way: you have to play by their rules.”
Those rules are … ” continue reading
Posted in articles, cultural differences, events, food and drinks, news, people, Rhône-Alpes, Rhone
Telephone Booth Aquarium in Lyon
This incredible aquarium, made from an old telephone booth in Lyon is a beautiful study in recycled arts. Made by Benoit Deseille and Benedetto Bufalino, the project came about from le festival Lumières de Lyon, the annual arts festival. It’s been around for a couple of years, apparently. I just stumbled on it via technorati. Now I want to go see it myself. I wonder if they are frozen right now. I wonder if they removed the fish before it started getting too cold…
tags: france, french, cabine téléphonique aquarium, telephone booth aquarium, lyon
Posted in art/culture/design, daily life, Rhone, travel and places, travel tip, weird
I wish they had these organic raw milk vending machines in my area, but these are in L’Arbresle situated in the Rhone region, not far from Lyon. The vending machines operate 24/7 and are found in 3 communities nearest a Champion supermarket.
Bring your own container to be filled or use one that is available at the vending machines. One liter costs 1.10, which I think is a great value. The milk has not been treated in any way and is simply stored at 3°C. 300 liters are stored per day, and the container is thoroughly cleaned and filled every morning. You can also get raw organic milk at the farm directly: Le lait de la ferme.
Le Lait de la ferme
Contact: Gerard Gayet
69930 Saint Laurent de Chamousset
Tél : 06 80 42 92 44
Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
tags: france, rhone, l’organic raw milk,vending machines, l’Arbresle, Gérard Gayet
Posted in cultural differences, daily life, environment, food and drinks, health, news, products, Rhone, shopping
Starting July 17, 2008, Air France offers nonstop flights between New York – JFK and Lyon, France. Delta will operate this new service, following a very convenient schedule on a comfortable Boeing 757-ER aircraft.
JFK to Lyon
Flight AF8987/DL174, departs 4:30PM and arrives 7:05AM (next day)
No flights on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Lyon to JFK
Flight AF8992/DL175, departs 9:30AM and arrives 12:15PM (same day)
No flights on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
*Remember to visit Les Halles de Lyon, perfect for the foodie traveler.
tags: france travel flights to lyon flights to jfk air france
Posted in news, Rhone, travel and places, travel tip