• Les Bouchons de Lyon - Le Sathonay

In the beautiful city of Lyon, food is not just a culture, it is a history.   As the first bourgeois town in France, stemming from the successful and unique silk trade, the Lyonnaise developed fine tastes and cuisines as early as the 1800s.  The ‘bouchon’ is one such invention.   Decorated with red and white checked table clothes, cute French trinkets and traditional wooden furniture, the bouchons grew to popularity in the late nineteenth century when the silk workers would stop for a meal in the early hours of the morning after work.  The food must be homely, as must be the service and atmosphere.  With a few days in Lyon, trying a genuine bouchon was on the top of our to-do list.

Le Sathonay is located in the picturesque, square with lively bars and restaurants in proximity.  We arrived early to an empty restaurant, but were assured by recommendations for this particular spot.   The interior was dark, but it held the essential decorations (like collections of ornamental pigs and vintage posters).  The set course menu is good value and includes an entrée, main and dessert – all in the home-style cooking.

Ordering a ‘pot’ of wine is essential to any authentic bouchon experience.  The pot is typtical to Lyon and includes 46 centilitres of wine.  Ours was of local Rhone viogner and was an enjoyable drop, fresh without being overly complicated.

My entrée, as a vegetarian, was goats’ cheese salad.  The cheese had been wrapped in pastry and baked.  This was served with simple greenery dressed with a mustard vinegarette.   The pastry was warm without wilting the salad.  It was a typical, simple, French dish done well.

Main was also cheese dominated for me; a gratin of ravioli in the French style (small pasta filled with cheese and spinach, baked with béchamel and cheese on top).  This was intense after the cheesy entrée but again was a typical, simple, French dish done well.

Dessert was a choice of crème caramel or praelene tart.  Lyon’s red praelene tarts are famous country-wide.  It was sweet with uneven pasty and filling, proving it really home-made.

Our bouchon experience at Le Sathonay received the authentic tick.  What I liked most was the no-fuss attitude, allowing you to relax and really enjoy food and wine that is simple and delicious.  

Le Sathonay
34 Rue Sergent Blandan
69001 Lyon
+33 4 78 98 73 59