L’Espace Brasserie – Lyon

Following Lucy Vanel’s fabulous site, I took the opportunity to wander the Avenue Victor Hugo for a bit of boutique and antique shopping for a little solo Lyon adventure. Realizing I had not bothered with breakfast and getting quite peckish, the Brasserie l’Espace was inviting for one very specific reason: Jambon Persillé. Now if I had paid attention, I might very well have passed a dozen such bistros and brasseries all serving this illusive dish, but it was not since my time in Los Angeles, and my access to a French ex-patriots Florence & Bruno Herve Commereuc that I had authentic jellied ham with parsley.

At Brasserie l’Espace, it was offered as part of a set lunch that included fish or pork (I chose pork – I had actually been eating a lot of fish lately!), cheese, and dessert for a mere 19.2€, a bargain!  I ordered the house wine that is brought out in a recycled old heavy-bottomed bottle. The jambon was everything I remembered, served with lightly dressed greens, a few cornichons, and a couple of slices of tomatoes.

The roast pork was stunning and HUGE. I probably should not have made up an entire meal of pork products, but I couldn’t help myself. The entrée was fall-off-the-bone tender and swimming in a delectable sauce of caramelized juices which some might think too sweet but for me, was shear perfection. The dish was surrounded by sliced, roasted potates, and roasted leek that was cooked to a wilted perfection (as much as I complain about wanting vegetables with a “tooth,” that really only pertains to green vegetables; members of the onion family are far better suited to long, slovenly caramelization), and a fresh artichoke heart stuffed with ratatouille. I really was in France at last. It is not a dream! This was country French cooking at a pinnacle I had really only read about. Surrounded by business folks and locals, I’m sure I was the only gringo, but with my glass of wine, crust of bread, and contented disposition, I was one of them… As with L’Est, I sat down in the restaurant with one or two patrons already there, and within fifteen minutes, the establishment was filled and I knew I had randomly picked a great spot and heartbroken that the iPhone’s camera failed to save my pictures…

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One Response to “L’Espace Brasserie – Lyon”

  1. Lucy V Says:

    Those bottles are special to Lyon – they are called the “pot lyonnais”. You know, I should finish a writeup I’ve got going on those. The long slovenly caramelization description has got me in the mood to do something with that basket of shallots I’ve got in the kithen. Thank you for the inspiration!

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