Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Lyon, France: I HATE Chestnuts, But I LOVED Le Comptoir des Marronniers

Le Comptoir des Marronniers
8 Rue des Marronniers 
69002 Lyon
Metro: Bellecour
Phone number: 04 72 77 10 00
Prices: €€€

I have no idea why this place rates just 3.5 stars because it was one of the best meals I have ever had for under $100 (€78 or $87.15 for two, including tip, to be precise). The name Le Comptoir des Marronniers literally translates to "the counter of the chestnuts" although I could not find a connection between the nut and the restaurant.
On a narrow cobblestone street just one block east of Place Bellcour's giant, blue ferris wheel, you will find a rustic, yet charming bouchon Lyonnaise with wood beam ceilings and knick-knacks de cuisine scattered around the rather large dining room. The service was impeccable with a friendly maître d'hôtel who took our reservation earlier and seated us upon arrival, a semi-friendly waiter, and his two very jovial and efficient assistants.





When in France, or in this case Lyon, I always try to eat like a local. We started with a regional delicacy called Cervelle des Canuts ("brain of the weavers" - €5) and a 45cl bottle of Côtes du Rhône AOC (€12). It is really not brains, but a local soft cheese mixed with herbs to be spread upon bread and eaten with the accompanying sliced dry sausage (think salami) - YUM! The baskets of fresh, sliced, crusty bread seemed endless and the local wine was also quite good, an excellent value at just $13.60.


I had the four-course Menu Marronniers (€36), starting off with six Escargots Belle Grosseur followed by the Bevette de Black Angus Sauce au Poivre Vert, the Demi Saint Marcellin Affine, and then a Fondant au Chocolat au Cœur de Caramel Beurre Salé. The escargots (snails) were delicious, especially when accompanied by some fresh, crusty bread to mop-up the excess butter, garlic and parsley sauce. The sole faux pas of the evening (and the only reason they did not receive my top rating) involved my steak, which I had ordered to be cooked "medium". Gordon Ramsey would shit a brick, but I could care less, not finding blood all over my plate all that appetizing. Aside from all of the blood, my medium-rare steak was tender and flavorful and the peppercorn sauce (which came on the side) divine. The accompanying potatoes au gratin were crispy outside and soft and flavorful inside, and the sautèed veggies tasty. The local Saint Marcellin cheese was creamy and rich with a bite reminiscent of bleu cheese, only milder, and easily spread upon the two slices of bread also on the plate. As if all of that were not enough, my chocolate lava cake oozed its warm, creamy center as I cut into it and the salted caramel and whipped cream were just enough to optimize the overall flavor of the dessert.






My wife had the three-course Menu Lyonnaise (€20.00), starting with Lyonnaise Salad, a mix of seasonal greens, poached egg, thick chunks of bacon and croutons, then the Pork Breast Fondant in a "crispy" sweet or sour sauce, and, finally, a Praline Tart with praline ice cream. The salad's poached egg properly oozed its yoke all over the bacon and lettuce, the combination of which were delicious. Her center-cut boneless pork chop, coming with a unique, mild sweet and sour sauce, was also quite tasty, having been sat atop two boiled new potatoes and more of the savory cervelle des canuts cheese - a perfect combination. One of the highlights of the night, of which there were many, was her praline tart and praline ice cream, both of which were fabulous.



Taking about two hours in all, the meal was delightful, the service impeccable, and the ambiance perfect for our first meal in Lyon, the culinary capital of France, if not the World ... HOOAH!

CombatCritic Gives Le Comptoir des Marronniers A Nearly Perfect 9 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!

Nine Bombs Equates To:

Translation for Civilians: "U.S. Marine Response To A Verbal Greeting Or As An Expression Of Enthusiasm"

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Title: Lyon, France: I HATE Chestnuts, But I LOVED Le Comptoir des Marronniers

Key Words: Lyon, France, chestnuts, Le Comptoir des Marronniers, comptoir, marronniers, bouchon, Lyonnaise, Place Bellecour, bellecour, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu,  review, Yelp, Zomato, Google


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