The plant-based menu of the Café Epicerie
Within La Cour des Loges hides the Café-Épicerie, an upscale bistro which owes its name to the very history of Vieux Lyon, crossroads of the spice trade in the 16th century. A long steel counter, exposed stone walls,… the refined and contemporary decor of the Café-Épicerie brings a touch of modernity to this place steeped in history.
On the menu, a dish of vegetables and small spelt catches the eye. Around this theme, the Chef builds a 100% plant-based, local and seasonal menu, according to his inspiration.
As a starter, grilled green asparagus with pea cream, hazelnut oil and meadowsweet emulsion with almond milk. The crunchiness of the asparagus and the softness of the cream create a play of textures that will not leave you indifferent. The floral taste of the Meadowsweet and the combination of green and white colours remind us that we are in the middle of nature and bring sweetness to this start of the season.
We know what happens next, but let’s take a closer look. Vegetables and spelt with wild herbs and wild garlic. Here, we find again the green and white colour association, but in a different tone. The herbs add pizzazz to the cereal and are ideally found as if they had been made for this dish. The small spelt is crunchy and delicate, it blends perfectly with small vegetables cut with finesse. A play of textures for a taste that stays in the mouth and a memory of flavours that evaporates naturally over time. The dish is available à la carte and varies according to the seasons.
For dessert, a roasted pear is prepared with an insert of “homemade” hazelnut spread, pear sorbet and roasted hazelnuts. All accompanied by a fleur de sel chocolate tuile and a coconut chocolate coulis. A tailor-made creation, which brings a balance between fruit and chocolate, mixing melting and crunchy textures. Here each element has its place and is complemented, for a gourmet and light dessert at the same time.
A committed Chef
Chef Anthony Bonnet makes a point of honour to the origin and quality of his products. For him, cooking is above all a story of people and products.
The vegetables come from Abbé Rozier’s farm (Ecully) where he goes regularly to pick, depending on the seasons, white squash from Lyon, perpetual celery, tomatoes … The place is a bit like his garden, which does not prevent him from having his own, in the Monts du Lyonnais.
The oils are those of Julien Maras, a cereal farmer who produces organic oils from the region ‘Le Moulin de Julien’.
As for chocolate, the Chef is happy to collaborate with Maison Bonnat (a roasting chocolate maker from Lyon). An artisanal, natural and top-of-the-range chocolate, essential for obtaining great cocoa vintages. A collaboration that allowed the creation of unique chocolate around tea, developed by the Chef and the Chocolatier.
Anthony Bonnet encourages the preservation of nature and biodiversity. For him, it is important to use what nature gives us and what the product offers us to work the dish in a global and coherent way, without artifice.
A cuisine looking to the future
For Anthony Bonnet, it is above all about starting from inspiration and emotion, telling a story and not necessarily wanting to reproduce what already exists. Plant-based cuisine is a great opportunity to meet challenges and open up possibilities.
The Chef has a cooking philosophy that embodies modernity: a cuisine that must please everyone, that must be attentive to nature and open to the future.
Thus, the place opens up to a certain contemporaneity through current dishes that have a story to tell. A sweet mix of old and new, a sign of a possible association between the past and the future.
Translated by Malvika Kathpal