PARIS – There are places I go to again and again because there are friends in town or they are a great value or because they are good.
Aux Lyonnais fits all of these bills. Mom is in town and we get the 30 euro prix fixe, each trying one of the two offerings. Our mains are pike quenelles and blood sausage, neither one being the first thing Mom (still an adventurous eater, along with being a prize-winning gardener) would choose.
I’m a little nervous until she bites the quenelle – a fish dumpling that’s decorated on either side with a pair pink-orange of crayfish tails. It’s light enough to be a soufflé cousin happily wading in a sauce of creamy brown butter and fish stock. Mom’s face slackens as the dish does its good work.
My boudin is unadorned; the magic is inside. Our waitress explains that their recipe – they make their own – uses shredded meat from pigs’ feet and cheeks. It’s less common than the apples, onions or tasty bits of fat commonly found in boudin noir from the butcher, but this historic recipe creates a tenderness and depth of flavor reminiscent of beef bourguignon. Yow, yow, yow!
When we arrived for lunch, I told Mom about the value of their prix fixe menu – a particularly good deal for dinner – but aided by good food and wine that bring up stories of family and friends I haven’t heard before, I leave with a new appreciation and another reason to come back.
32, rue St-Marc
011 33 1 42 96 65 04
Globe travel correspondent Joe Ray writes his own blog, Eating The Motherland and contributes to the English language version of Simon Says! the French food and lifestyle blog run by French food critic Francois Simon.