Restaurant review: Lyon – The New York Times


And here’s the same stir-fried stingray strawberry you’ll find in many restaurants across town, perfectly fine even if a little sleepy under its brown butter sauce sprinkled with sage and capers. Also a medium flavor molded steak tartare, to which more heat could be added easily. There are well-cooked scallops and mashed sweet potatoes. These are gentle enough to cushion the blow if you fall asleep in the middle of a meal.

Lyon needs a small quiet pitfall in place of these. The roast chicken that you could get at Quatorze and still get at Bar Boulud, for example, would do the trick. Simple food that grabs our attention without looking for it, or needing it, which is why we go to restaurants in l’Aigle Lyonnais, after all, why bistros have exploded, why people cherish the casual harshness of the real cork .

François Latapie, a former partner of La Goulue on the Upper East Side, opened Lyon last year, in the space some will remember from its dark, railroad past as Café de Bruxelles. (Chris Leahy is the chef, bravely carrying out Mr. Latapie’s wishes.) The space is beautiful. Roman and Williams, the company that designed the room, ordered oak panels and detailed trim throughout the dining room, which runs along Greenwich Avenue, and placed enough slate planks and custom cabinets to have a carpenter finish in health insurance for months. . The downstairs toilets are lined with classic French cartoons.

It is a wonderful place to eat. Tables are set with red checkered napkins, waiters and waitresses dressed to match. Each is more beautiful than the previous one, worse in English, charming for that. They serve Beaujolais quickly, with gruff friendliness in small hard glasses, cold like a child’s morning cup of milk.

The restaurant is warm and welcoming, already more of a neighborhood draw than a publicist’s business, with celebrity sightings limited to Michael Moore and one or two war reporters. You might see young professionals cornered in a corner catching up (“Are you moving to Elkhart? Where is it, Illinois? Indiana?”) Or literary people polishing their glasses in pairs, talking about art. No less than three tables one recent night were full of women eating salad and talking about economics, everyone drinking wine.

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