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La Restauration Rapide

November 22, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

[Sipa Press/Newscom, from WSJ article online]

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal had a piece on the new wave in French food, with the title ‘Restaurant Rapide’ Nation and the subtitle “As France’s frosty attitude toward fast food thaws, master chefs offer up interpretations.” In the article, we learn that

Plenty of chefs in the U.S. and France have opened bistros, brasseries and other relatively affordable alternatives to their Michelin-starred eateries. France’s master chefs now have taken the next step—designing and serving their own takes on fast food. Their interpretations are American-style lunches of salads and sandwiches, often priced as meal deals and packaged to be eaten on the run. …

“Fast food is the sector that is growing the fastest” among restaurants in France, says Claire Cosson, spokeswoman for Union des Métiers et des Industries de l’Hôtellerie, a French hospitality-industry group known as UMIH.

If only we knew. This might have come in handy. But maybe it’s not too late for Joel. He has four more weeks in France and is just an hour away from Lyon, where he can sample the food at Ouest Express:

Until last year, eating the food of Paul Bocuse, one of France’s most celebrated chefs, required a visit to L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges, his restaurant with three Michelin stars near Lyon. Diners there lounge beneath chandeliers and eat spoonfuls of his famous truffle soup—at €80 (about $120) a bowl.

But there’s now a cheaper option in Lyon—twin restaurants run by Mr. Bocuse called Ouest Express.

There are no truffles on the menu at these ultra-modern eateries. Instead, Mr. Bocuse offers hot plates of salmon ravioli for €6.40, and “le César Classic” burger for €9.40, made with local beef and served with a drink and a side or dessert.

Customers carry their trays to tables arranged in a bright, airy dining room or on a sunny terrace—or they take their meals to go. After opening the first Ouest Express early last year, Mr. Bocuse opened a second location last month in Lyon’s Part-Dieu district downtown. Planning has begun for a third.

Or perhaps Joel could get back up to Lake Annecy to eat at the restaurant featured in the photo at the top, Marc Veyrat’s Cozna Vera.

(What did we eat in France? More on that, perhaps, in another post.)

Categories: Food, Restaurants
  1. ljkarst
    November 22, 2009 at 10:06 AM

    Ah, but you’d never see glasses of wine along with the meal deal here in the U.S. Tant pis…

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