Here’s to a little country magic amid the concrete jungle! After earning his stripes at Loiseau Rive Gauche in Paris, the talented Maxime Laurenson has settled down in the center of Lyon, bringing his chef’s toque and knives in tow. You’ll now find him at a joint called Rustique (exposed stone walls, oak floors, walnut wood tables), where the born-and-bred Auvergne chef elevates rustic cooking with some beautiful, carefully-sourced goods. The night we went, his brilliant eight-course menu included: a few gentle Puy lentil preparations – petit salé, chips and mousse; toasted bread with smoked hay butter; a lovely egg yolk cooked in its shell with a moussey coffee cream and finely ground porcini mushrooms from the Haute-Loire department; Savoyard escargot with hazelnut and broccoli; incredibly tender trout from the Isère River, with a sorrel purée, fermented cabbage, roe and oxalis; delicate dualist pigeon (thighs and breast) dry-aged over hay and then grilled to golden perfection on the BBQ, served with dauphine potatoes, onion purée and giblets, plus an Antésite jus with anise notes; before a stunning dessert composed of almond milk sorbet with apple-quince compote and meadowsweet liqueur, followed by a combo of smoked chocolate / crème caramel with peaty whiskey – the epitome of rusticity! // Adrien Simon
FEELING THIRSTY? There’s a superb regional-naturalist wine collection to explore: a Fleurie from Laura Lardy (€7 a glass), a Roussette-de-Savoie from Nicolas Ferrand (€8), a Côtes-du-Rhône red from the Domaine Gramenon (€43 a bottle), a Savoie blanc from Belluard (€70)…
PRICE: Menus €56 (eight courses) and €68 (10 courses). Food and wine pairings €28-38.