Dining Review: Le Boeuf d’Argent – Lyon, France
Our final meal in Lyon! On an already delicious trip, pressure was high to keep the incredible food coming and end on a high note. Picking out restaurants for Lyon was an overwhelming task. There are over 1,500 places to get food in Lyon so narrowing this down for a four day stay was very difficult. So far, we have done a good job and I had a gut instinct that Le Boeuf d’Argent would no disappoint.
We arrived at our reservation time to a packed restaurant – already a good sign! The cave shape interior was transportive like we were taken away to somewhere remote.
Unlike most of our other dining experiences, the places was ran by two older women – our Lyonnaise mothers for the evening. We would catch glimpses of the chef as he brought out the dishes ready to be served – he was older as well. This was not an up and coming young chef trying to prove himself. This was an established veteran doing his thing.
There are several choices for dining at Le Boeuf. There is the typical a la carte and then two different pre-fix options – the Discovery Menu and the Passion Menu – and finally the Temptation Menu which was a chef’s tasting.
After a long assessment of our options, I chose to do the Passion Menu and Kevin chose the Discovery Menu.
Since we have had a lot of white wine on this trip, we went with a red bottle this time – Languedoc 2016. Easy drinking wine here.
Look at how cute these are! The one on the right was a mushroom and parsley puree in the shape of a mushroom. The one in the glass was certainly not what we expected – it looks a milkshake! It is crayfish puree soup topped with a crayfish foam and it was way more impressive than it should be as an amuse bouche. It could easily be its own dish. We both really loved this one!
Foie gras, sweetness of mango and passion
When they put this down, I was caught off guard. “I hope you like cigar” as she put the plate down. Well I don’t and I actually despise them. The menu said nothing about a cigar! If anything it made for a fun photo.
But in all seriousness, I took one bit and feel instantly in love. I don’t even know what the cigar paper was made of – like a cookie consistency – but the foie gras with it was just perfection. I could not exclaim enough how much I loved this dish and wanted five more cigars to nom on. The mango was a fun contrast to add some sweetness but I really didn’t need it because I loved every bit of the cigar as it was. Such a creative way to showcase foie gras!
Creamy pumpkin with Foie Gras butter and roasted cashew nut nugget, organic egg yolk and scum with bacon
Such a colorful bowl! Kevin really enjoyed this dish. The pumpkin allowed for a creamy texture and the addition of the foie gras in this capacity was different than the other times we had it this trip. This place clearly knows how to work with foie gras. The egg yolk in Europe is always so much more intense than what we are used to at home. And while “scum with bacon” may not have been the most literal translation, the saltiness cut the sweetness to balance the dish.
Pan-fied Langoustine with Yuzu, Small Zucchini and its Flower
This plate was a piece of art – just look at all the flowers sticking up. The three pieces of langoustine were amazing – perfectly seasoned and cooked. The zucchini flower had a langoustine puree inside so no complaints on having more langoustine. In the middle was a bed of zucchini but there was more to it, like onions or leeks, but I am sure that there was lots of butter as it was delicious. Another perfect dish by Le Boeuf.
Trout from Ardeche, Small pieces of Chestnuts and Honey of Acacia
A solid fish dish here but what really stood out were the potatoes. Can’t really say why, just Kevin’s preference but it was a clean plate in a matter of minutes. I do not think I even got the chance to try it!
Fresh White Cheese (thick yogurt) and cream with its red fruit coulis
The presentation of dishes here was so entertaining – this was served in a wine bottle. Since Kevin’s tasting only came with a cheese or dessert and mine came with both, we split this cheese course. Like our meal at Bocuse, this white cheese was very intriguing to us. More of a yogurt consistency, this cheese paired with the cream, sugar, and this is case fruit sauce was just delightful. Somehow it was not heavy as dairy products are back home – something about getting it directly from the source untouched.
A sorbet palette cleanser arrived next but we barely got one spoonful in before the desserts arrived.
Chocolate and hazelnut dome, praline heart and chocolate feather
Oh my chocolate – finally a chocolate bonanza. Each of the three little nests was whipped chocolate and a hazelnut on top. The feather was simply pure chocolate – no complaints there. And these domes were a chocolate ganache filled with a hazelnut jam in the middle. It was decadent and it was wonderful. Loved everything about this dessert.
Grapefruit and rose on her shortbread and honey flower crumble
While Kevin nor I are big grapefruit fans (something about our Italian grandmothers and the grapefruit spork…), our server spoke highly of this dish so Kevin took the risk. Definitely scored points on the presentation – just beautiful! The grapefruit sorbet was more palatable than anticipated (grapefruit can be so tart). The arrangement of various creams on the outside of the plate were all amazing. The orange one had a buttercream consistency while the others reminded us of a whipped cream of meringue. One of them tasted just like a rose (or what you would expect a rose to taste like!) but in a good way.
Just when we thought we were done a final dessert round came out from the kitchen.
One was a white chocolate mousse with hazelnut topping and a raspberry and the other was a pear in a gelatinous liquid. It was difficult to explain that pear one as it was an interesting texture but the white chocolate was great.
And just like that the meal concluded. We had such a lovely time getting to know our Lyonaniase mothers and get the chance to meet the chef as well. Certainly did not expect such a creative meal with artfully crafted dishes. I felt so lucky to have found this place as it was truly a wonderful evening full of delicious flavors. What a perfect way to end our gastronomic journey through Lyon. I know there are endless choices to dine in this city but I am happy we stumbled upon Le Boeuf d’Argent.
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