First contact with “Le Guide Michelin”

During a business trip to France , if you are welcomed at the entrance of the hotel or restaurant by this smiling face it can only mean that meal will be great.

This time I had a  trip to the south of  France with two colleagues.  We were visiting a couple of customers, one in Macon and the other in Bourg Argental.  We wanted to spend the night in Lyon but a congress or an exposition had made impossible to find a hotel room in that city.  I was sad because every time I go to Lyon, the business trip meal experience is fantastic.

My colleague “F” and I landed at Saint Exupery airport, the sales guy “C” had to pick us up one hour later so we decided to drink something and discuss about the project while waiting.  Close to the gate was a subsidiary of “La Brioche Dorée” [1]  a chain of coffee and bread stores.  As usual I could not help having my orange juice coffee with milk and croissant waking up trio.

“C” arrived, we got in the car and we still had to drive for a couple of hours. Before our first visit we stopped for lunch at La Casa[2], some kind of Steak-Tex-Mex-Turkish-Indian restaurant.  It’s funny how globalization together with marketing can influence a restaurant business model.  I ordered the Turkish kebab meat/curry chicken mix with onion rings.  For that category of restaurant the flavor was really good, and ambient music was great, a nice selection of  Salsa, Merengue and Bachata!The visit to the first customer went well.  We took the road again, now in direction to our hotel which was two hours away.  Unfortunatelly the traffic was heavy and we reached the place later than expected but on time for dinner. The hotel that “C” had booked was in Tournon-sur-Rhone.







We were so tired when we arrived that we decided to have dinner at the hotel because we noticed they had a restaurant. During check-in we did not really pay attention to the place because it was not particularly “calling”.   At eight we met and sat at our table.  The waiter brought the menu.  Then we started to realize that we were going to have a nice meal.  The choice of regional specialties was wide but not huge; “C” commented that this is a good indicator when looking for cooked in the moment food opposed to unfrozen in the moment.  After a quick look to the menu and to our wallets we decided to go for the 32€ plus wine dinner.

The picture of the menu is not that nice but you can still read the different specialties proposed.  We all took the same combination, first a Cassolette of  “Raviolis de Romans” and its “gambas” (shrimps).

The wine recommended by the restaurant for that plate was a Crozes-Hermitage Blanc, domaine de Chomel[3] Very good combination, with this first course we confirmed that this was very good restaurant and enjoyed a great level of cuisine.

As a second course Filet of pheasant with mushrooms, this time the recommendation was a red wine, a glass of Saint-Joseph rouge domaine Courbis [4].  Here also both were perfectly combined and the strong taste of the pheasant and the sauce was harmoniously completed with the tasty wine.

We were in one of France’s chocolate regions, the local brand is Valrhona [5]  besides “C” who decided to take a Fondant, we tasted the white chocolate with a Muscat de Beaumes de Venise [6].  I’m not used to white chocolate, that’s why I decided to go for that one, I did not regret.

It was only when we were living that we fully understood why dinner had such a nice level.  We saw on the door the recommendation of the Michelin guide and a nice metal shield on the front wall of the hotel with the name of Maître Restaurateur Lucien Couix [7].

We did not sleep in Lyon that time, the hotel rooms we found were smaller but the “Cuisine” was huge.

The next day  breakfast was normal let’s say, in fact I had taken so many pictures during the  dinner that I did not want to annoy my colleagues in the morning by flashing on my croissant.

After the visit “C” took us back to the airport and said goodbye.  It was Lunch time again; from another visit to the city I remembered that the local football club the Olympique Lyonnais had some kind of restaurant franchise in the airport.  I suggested that option and “F” was more than happy to try.  The restaurant is like some kind of club location with the colors of the Team on every wall and on every napkin.  The place was crowded but we were guided to a table without having to wait too long.  The menu had many nice specialties from the region.  One of those is the Salade Lyonaise.  It’s not the kind of salad you eat during a diet but to compensate that fact we ordered also a big bottle of Perrier with extra bubbles.

That was the perfect epilogue for that trip.

As usual here some links for you:

[1] La Brioche Dorée

[2] La Casa Pizza Grill

[3] Crozes-Hermitage Blanc, domaine de Chomel

[4] Saint-Joseph rouge domaine Courbis

[5] Chocolats Valrhona

[6] Muscat de Beaumes de Venise

[7] Maître Restaurateur Lucien Couix

[7'] Maitre Restaurateur

[8]Le Guide Michelin



Mario Alvarez

About Mario Alvarez

On regular business trips since 1998, I was lucky and unlucky to eat at the best and not the best places in The Nafta Region and Europe while on the road.
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2 Responses to First contact with “Le Guide Michelin”

  1. Ajungilack Ajungilack says:

    It was a great business trip with “C” and you! Thank you for this time we had in France!

    Greets “F”

    • Mario Alvarez Mario Alvarez says:

      Any time, it’s always nicer to have a business trip meal together with colleagues, it makes the experience more enjoyable. It’s more than Team Building, it’s Team Eating :-)


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