Food: classic French
Address: 40 Quai de la Plage 69660 Collonges au Mont d’Or, France
Phone Number: +33 4 72 42 90 90
Guide Michelin: 3 stars
Gault & Millau: 18/20
What I paid: 356 € (‘Menu Grande Tradition’, wine, water and coffee)
Visited: July 30, 2017
When it comes to legends in the gastronomic world, no one can really pair “Monsieur Paul”. Paul Bocuse, now at age 91 is a French legend and his 3-star restaurant, bearing his name, is an institution.
The restaurant itself (a former theatre) is, to my opinion, kitschy and could, in another context, been located in Las Vegas. This is as classical as it could be, shamelessly excessive, with papal chef portraits and rococo interiors, reminding me of a bygone era… People come to the Paul Bocuse restaurant to both enjoy the food and the famous dishes, but also to experience this unique encounter with the Chef of the century.
Just to mention a few (of many accolades), this institution has had three Guide Michelin stars since 1965 and no current restaurant have had it longer. Paul Bocuse is also the founder of the most prestigious cooking completion in the world, ‘Bocuse d’Or‘. Also, probably the very first chef that has created and developed a global brand in the culinary biosphere and no marketing prospect has knowingly been lost (e.g. every definite piece of china or cutlery in the restaurant carries the Bocuse name… nowadays all chefs try do this and sometimes seems to focus more on that, then on the food served in their restaurants…). Paul Bocuse is probably the most decorated chef of all time and the Bocuse family of chefs starts its history already 1765, in Collonges-au-Mont-d’Or, but again, the list goes on and on…
My main interest in visiting the Paul Bocuse restaurant, was to taste his classical dishes (just like everybody else…) and I therefore opted for the ‘Menu Grande Tradition’ and this what we had:
Only one single amuse-bouche was served and it was not anything special.
Scallop of foie gras, pan-cooked, passion fruit sauce:
First “official” course on the menu was a pan fried foie gras of uttermost quality cooked to excellence and perfectly matched with a passion fruit sauce. A very good start, but also probably the best dish, in regards to my taste buds, this lunch.
Truffle soup V.G.E. (dish created for the French President in 1975):
The second course of the ‘Menu Grande Tradition’ was the famous Black truffle soup. The dish was created for the French president, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, in 1975 when Paul Bocuse was assigned the ‘Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur’.
I had higher expectations for this dish. The stock contained celery, carrots, foie gras, beef and a kind amount of black truffle. Even so, the taste of the truffle was pretty bland.
Filet of sole ‘à la Fernand Point’:
Third serving of the menu: Filet of sole with tagliatelle (noodles) à la Fernand Point (the famous former chef at La Pyramide, under who Bocuse once trained). Good quality sole, blameless prepared and served with noodles and a cream- and butter sauce and then caramelized. This was a good dish, but for me, a little bit too stubborn and outdated.
Beaujolais winemaker’s sherbet:
Fourth course was the Beaujolais winemaker’s sherbet. This Cassis and Beaujolais granite was fresh, but nothing special.
Bresse chicken cooked in a bladder ‘à la Mère Fillioux’:
Fifth course: Bresse chicken cooked in a bladder bladder (“Volaille de Bresse truffée en vessie”) à la Mère Fillioux (for two) is a showstopper. The chicken arrives like a cannonball, is punctured, deflated and carved. Fine slices of truffle transform the ivory farmyard flesh into a taste that makes this the best chicken I ever had.
Served with a creamy buttery sauce, buttered rice, turned carrots, green beans, baby potatoes, baby onions, mangetout (a vegetable pea eaten when immature) and morel mushrooms.
A dish from a bygone era, but still a very good one.
We were asked if we wanted another serving and even though I was completely full, I still accepted this offer… The second serving was a little bit lighter and had a very good salad accompanying it.
Selection of fresh and matured cheese from « La Mère Richard »:
Sixth course on the menu: a large collection of both fresh and perfectly matured cheeses. At this stage I was, naturally, even more full (after the second chicken serving…).
Delicacies and temptations
Fantasies & Chocolates
Seventh course: dessert. A great generosity as applicable even here, but I was way too full to go “all in” here. Instead, I foremost opted for fruits this serving (but not entirely). That being said; dessert is a special affair at restaurant Paul Bocuse, with tons of different options to choose from.
This is classical French cuisine in a classical French restaurant. Old school… and the dishes served in the ‘Menu Grande Tradition’ has been on the menu for decades.
Everything tasted good, but apart from the scallop of foie gras dish, which I found superb, nothing really stands out. The dishes are, to a large extent, from a bygone era. For sure tasty but, for me, a little bit outdated and “heavy”. Enjoyable prepared food and a skilled team, but anno 2017, is this really really food on a 3-stars Guide Michelin level?