How is it possible to combine the savoir-faire of a Michelin-starred chef, the conviviality of the typical French brasseries, and a check that won't require you to remortgage your house?
While this would be called pretty much impossible anywhere else in the world, in Lyon, this dream combination has a name. It's called the Nord-Sud Brasseries by Bocuse - yes, as in Paul Bocuse, one of the world's most celebrated chefs.
Back in the 1990s, the entrepreneur chef decided he wanted to offer the locals a more original, modern, and accessible dining option in the heart of Lyon. That's when Brasserie Le Nord opened.
You can imagine the popularity of such a place. Fine dining without the icy atmosphere and hefty bill was a dream come true. It doesn't come as a surprise that the Lyonnais were in love with this new trend, and wanted more. Bocuse listened, and acknowledged. He wanted more too.
And hop, Brasserie Le Sud was opened, on Place Bellecour. This one is dedicated to all things Mediterranean, festive, and fresh. And very soon after, Bocuse also opened L'Ouest, an ode to the overseas French Territory cuisine, and then l'Est, an exploration of the hearty home-cooking traditions.
I've been to all four, and without a doubt, my favorite is Le Sud. A delicious tartare de boeuf with a crisp glass of rosé makes for the perfect evening out in Lyon, without breaking the bank.