Sherman's Food Adventures: Brasserie Georges

Brasserie Georges

With all the choices for dinner in Lyon, we decided to hit up a historical one in Brasserie Georges.  Operating since 1836, this expansive dinning hall has served some pretty famous people.  There are even plaques attached to the seats commemorating their visits.  Another reason we decided to dine here is that it is one of the few places with continuous service.  That means we could have an early dinner at 5:30pm.  Most places do not open until 7:00pm.

After being seated at one of the seemingly hundreds of tables, we set down to ordering.  We did so in French and our server seemed to understand us.  One of the first dishes to arrive was the Piperade with poached egg, basque-style sauce and Serrano ham.  This was like an eggs benedict of sorts except for the base being peppers and onions rather than a bread or other carb.  This was rather rich and filling due to the velvety sauce and soft-poached egg. 

Next, we had the Terrine of Pork & Chicken Liver with porto and a side salad.  This was a quite a big slice and it was more than enough for my son as he had this as a starter for the Menu Lyonnais.  As you can see in the picture, this was quite rustic with discernible chunks of meat and fat mixed in with the liver.  It was definitely meaty and aromatic while being sweet.  We could definitely taste the port wine, but it stayed mainly in the background.

One of the most delicious, yet inconspicuous dishes of our meal was the Rockfish Soup with a side of rouille and croutons.  This was so flavourful and concentrated with the aromatics of saffron.  It was naturally sweet with some background fennel notes. Almost a bouillabaisse except without the shellfish. Naturally, we found some creamy rouille on the side that we could spread onto the croutons and dip into the soup.  So much aroma and textures!

For my son's Menu Lyonnais main dish, he chose the Local Pork and Pistachio Sausage in a white wine sauce served with mashed potatoes.  This type of sausage is a Lyon specialty (as we also had at Muzette).  This was also under-the-radar tasty where the sausage was plump, full of meat texture and juicy with the nuttiness of pistachios.  The white wine sauce was lightly creamy and cooked down properly.  It went very well with the starchy, yet smooth potatoes on the side.

Next, we found more of the flavourful summer veggies of the piperade accompanying the roasted Tender Pork Breast with rosemary.  This piece of pork featured crispy skin that stood up to the jus.  It was aromatic and nutty.  Underneath, the pork was not overly fatty with plenty of tender meat.  Definitely got the woodsiness of the rosemary, but not strong enough to take over the natural sweetness and umaminess of the pork.

My daughter had the Grilled Fillet of Sea Bream with herb vinaigrette, roasted eggplant and tomato.  Texturally, this dish was pretty much uniform, but it wasn't a problem though.  The eggplant was tender but not mushy while the tomato added a bright acidity.  The sea bream was cooked perfectly being moist and flaky.  With an herbaceous tanginess, this made the dish more bright than it appeared.  The olive oil added even more butteriness to the fish.

For myself, I went for the Veal Calf’s Liver with wine vinegar and shallots.  This was a big piece of lightly floured liver that was cooked to a medium-rare.  Hence, it was still juicy and a bit gamy-tasting in the middle.  However, I'm all about that flavour, so it was great.  It ate fairly tender except some of the less cooked portions.  Keeping things from getting too heavy, the sauce was almost like a gastrique where it was acidic but had a touch of sweetness. 

Served on the side of my veal was some Cheese Penne that was a bit dry, but was okay after I mixed it with the cheese sauce.  I originally wanted some French Fries and I totally forgot to order them.  So I decided to use my rudimentary French (that I used to order in the first place) to add them to our list of dishes.  Our server nodded in understanding, so I guess I did okay?  Well, the fries were good, being hot and crispy.

Onto dessert, we had the Frozen Nougat with candied fruit and red fruit coulis and the Macaron with fresh raspberries.  Really enjoyed the frozen nougat as it was like a semifreddo where it was creamy but slightly firm.  The candied fruit added both texture and sweetness while the pistachio provided nuttiness and texture.  As for the giant macaron, the shell was pretty good with a crisp exterior that shattered into a soft and chewy centre.  Inside, the raspberries provided tartness to balance the sweetness.

One final dessert belonged to my son's Lyonnais Menu with the Crispy Chocolate and Praline Cake.  This was really chocolate mousse with crunchy and sweet pralines inside.  The mousse itself was creamy and rich with purposeful sweetness.  Loved the velvety dark chocolate ganache on the outside.  Overall, the meal at Brasserie Georges was solid and well-priced.  Sure, it wasn't the best food I've ever had, but it was consistent across the board.  That suited us just fine.

The Good:
- Lots of choice on the menu
- Consistent across the board
- Reasonably-priced

The Bad:

- Expansive dining room has its appeal, but for those looking for a quiet meal, this ain't it


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