As part of the “New impetus for Fourvière”, the Apprentis d’Auteuil carry the social dimension of the project. A restaurant that gives young people in difficulty a chance.
When, in 1819, the English scholar and linguist John Hughes stopped at Fourvière, during a
trip to France, he marveled at the esplanade which, he wrote, “(…) on a fine day, presents perhaps one of the most varied and magnificent sights in the world: and which a person who had only an hour to spare in Lyon, should visit, at the ‘exclusion of any other object of curiosity’.*
At the time, the site had no restaurant (it was not until 1894 that the Gay family had a tavern built at the foot of the metal tower). Today, four catering offers are offered on the hill. Last month, Lyon Capitale sat down at Bulle, the hybrid restaurant between gastronomy and bistronomy of starred chef Guy Lassausaie. We always stay high up, a few armfuls away, to visit La Salle à Manger, on the esplanade, a kind of small square in the village of Fourvière (which, with its 2000 years of existence and its UNESCO listing, attracts, year in and year out, 2.5 million visitors).
The menu piqued our curiosity and whetted our appetite: Mediterranean white octopus à la sétoise, grilled organic pork belly, rice jambalaya, fresh spinach, vegetable tempura with tarragon, quinoa and caper sauce, apples Rhone bios with Imperator curry and crunchy hazelnuts. The banners, labeled “Apprentis d’Auteuil”, have finished convincing us: the restaurant stands out because it is designed to facilitate the learning of young people in a situation of social fragility and allow them to find their place in society.
We sit on one of the tables on the tree-lined terrace. No tablecloth, ocean blue paper placemats. The temperatures lead to prefer a Jura white beer La Rouget, with an assertive character, to the wine (very short and accessible menu). The octopus is here prepared in a pie and seasoned with a tomato sauce, onions, garlic, olive oil, parsley. If the dish lacks a bit of pep and seasoning, the mention is honorable. The vegetable fritter is quite successful, rather airy and low in fat. The tempura starter may be generous, but the pork belly attracts like a magnet. If the rice offers little interest (overcooked, not spicy enough), the pork belly on the other hand is superb. Well cooked, gourmet, crispy and plump (good fat).
The lunch ends with a nice sweet note of an impeccable chocolate mousse, with melodious little finely cut strawberries.
So, will you tell me, is it worth it? A restaurant is certainly a culinary experience, a taste memory, it is also an emotion. Emotion is itself an alchemy of several elements. At La Salle à Manger, it comes from what the plate gives to those who prepare it.
*An Itinerary of Provence and the Rhone made during the year 1819, London 1822.
The dining room
04 28 69 01 50
Esplanade of Fourvière
Chef’s pedigree: Vincent Sableaux, accompanied by a second, Johan, cook who followed the training provided by the Apprentis d’Auteuil in 2020.
Price : menu at €20.50 (starter, main course, dessert) and €24.50 (additional cheeses). Children’s menu at €10.50.
Launch window : from Tuesday to Sunday for lunch and in the evening by reservation. Starting June 9, Tuesday to Sunday for lunch and Thursday, Friday and Saturday for dinner.