Lyon, with its Roman roots and connection to the textile industry, offers a mix of traditional and trendy. Here, WWD outlines some highlights for after-hours during the Lyon, Mode City fair.
For that one-of-a-kind fashion find, a stroll through the Thiaffait passage is a must. This former silk-producing area now houses the “Creator’s Village,” 10 atelier-boutiques showcasing some of the city’s designers. Boutiques are open Wednesday through Saturday from noon until 7 p.m.
Passage Thiaffait, 19 Rue René Leynaud, 69001; Tel: 011-33-4-78-27-37-21.
Jazz on the Rocks
The National Opera House’s summer festival, “Péristyle,” runs through Sept. 8. Catch one of three free nightly jazz concerts, at 7, 8:15 and 10 p.m., staged in the opera’s snazzy forecourt bar. The main building, designed by Jean Nouvel, is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Guided visits in French or English are available on Thursday and Saturday evenings.
National Opera House of Lyon, Place de la Comédie, 69001; Tel: 011-33-4-72-00-45-48.
For a touch of historical Lyon, head for the “Old City” (Vieux Lyon). In the shadows of the Roman Fourvière Basillica, the area’s winding cobbled streets, lined with colorful Italian Renaissance-style architecture, are great for sniffing out traditional souvenirs. Find handmade pottery at the Sunday morning market at Quai Romain Rolland, or textiles, glassware and marionettes at Disagn, which also holds puppet shows. To satisfy a sweet tooth, stop for coffee and chocolate at Voisin, an authentic chocolatier that sells the “coussin” of Lyon, a specialty blend of cocoa, curaçao and blanched almond indigenous to Lyon.
Disagn, 6 Rue Saint Jean, 69005; Tel: 011-33-4-78-37-01-67.
Voisin, 24 Avenue Joannès Masset, 69009; Tel: 011-33-04-78-64-02-02.
For upscale dining, consider Nicolas le Bec. Recently awarded two stars by the Michelin Guide, this restaurant and its celebrated young chef of the same name offer French culinary classics in an haute design environment. Rabbit cooked in tobacco leaves and Brittany cod in seafood stock are among dishes on the current menu, which changes monthly. The restaurant also features a smoking parlor and a private room that can accommodate as many as 12 guests, with a mirror that allows diners to peer into the kitchen.
This story first appeared in the July 16, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Nicolas le Bec, 14 Rue Grolée, 69002; Tel: 011-33-04-78-42-15-00.
Once owned by Paul Dzeyfus, a legendary pétanque player, Chez Paul offers home-cooked Lyonnaise cuisine. Its red-and-white checked tablecloths and knickknack-lined walls lend a home-style ambience. The restaurant’s owner, Josiane, cooks up hearty specialties such as veal liver with parsley, braised beef and sausages from the region.
Chez Paul, 11 Rue Major Martin, 69001; Tel: 011-33-4-78 28-35-83.
The Inn Crowd
For a hip eatery with authentic decor, try the Brasserie des Brotteaux. This Art Deco-style bistro, a hot spot for Lyon’s fashion crowd, has hand-painted moldings and mirrored walls. It was featured in the 2003 French comedy “The Cost of Living.” A red tuna steak from the African island of Réunion is a summer special; house specials include steak tartar and filet of duck in honey sauce. The restaurant has a lengthy wine list, and Champagne and raspberry coulis is the house’s star cocktail.
Brasserie des Brotteaux, 1 Place Jules Ferry, 69009; Tel: 011-33-4-72-74-03-98.