Café Des Federations–Lyonnaise Cuisine

On a small little street in Lyon sits a culinary treasure – Café des Federations. Suggested to us by one of my dear friends in Geneva, Lauren Collins, who is a talented free lance writer for the New Yorker magazine, this restaurant was nothing short of amazing.  IMG_4597The small space is ornately decorated with posters, pictures and memorabilia from the region while the noise carries from table to table as people coo over the delicious Lyonnaise cuisine.

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Lyonnaise cuisine refers to the cooking traditions and practices of Lyon, brought the the region in the 16th century by Catherine de Medici. She brought her cooks to the court and requested that they prepare dishes using the local produce while still leveraging their Florence training. Since then the cuisine has become known across the world and it had since helped put Lyon on the map as the ‘’world gastronomy capital”.

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The common dishes include coq au vin, Lyonnaise potatoes, poached eggs in red wine, pistachio sausage, charcuterie, and Beaujolais red wine.  Sharing a bottle of wine at lunch felt like such an abnormal treat as it isn’t often that mom and I have wine with lunch, much less sip our way through an entire bottle!

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Their lunch menu is quite simple, which after a few overwhelming menus this weekend was a welcome change. The classic menu, which is 19.50 euro per person, included the following delicious dishes:

  • Delicatessen Lyon
  • Caviar de la Croix Rousse
  • Salad of the day (lentils)
  • Rillette herring
  • A hot dish of our choice – Stewed pork cheek, crayfish dumpling and chicken liver

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There really is no way to describe the lunch other than to say that every dish was absolutely incredible in a rustic, French way that left us craving more but too stuffed to think of having another bite. The staff, including the owner, was so sweet and hospitable that we found ourselves laughing and making conversation with them. It didn’t hurt to see that for once we had planned accordingly, thanks to Lauren’s guidance, and made reservations. In the two hours that we sat enjoying our meal more than 40 people walked in, trying to snag a table to no avail.

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When in Lyon, go to Café des Federations. We just discovered that they also serve dinner which will be a no miss destination on our next trip. Until then,  when in Lyon, do not ask questions, do not question the menu, do not think about a diet, but instead indulge and enjoy everything they serve or offer you. It will be incredible and you’ll remember the meal for ages.

Bon appetite!

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Sips and Bites in Marylebone

Greetings from our balcony!

IMG_0449Bo and I have had the most delightful day enjoying the beautiful London weather. It is sunny and about 70 degrees right now, perfect for relaxing on the balcony with a glass of wine, some light appetizers and our iPad which we’ve used all evening to talk with our parents and loved ones.

IMG_0448We are trying to do a good job of ensuring each of our weekends together is balanced. It’s easy to get caught up in the novelty of a new city and living in Europe. But, we’ve promised each other that we will leave time unplanned each weekend for some much needed rest and relaxation. For example, we were busy today from 8-3pm but have been able to relax this evening, ambling around the wharf area, watching the sunset from our balcony, talking to our parents, and cooking dinner in together.

Last night however, we had other plans for our evening which most certainly did not include relaxing at home. Instead, we thought it would be fun to take the tube to Marylebone and spend the evening sipping and tasting our way around our new neighborhood.

We took the Jubilee line from Canary Wharf to Baker Street, which is about a 20 minute ride. This will be Bo’s new commute each day once he moves from temporary housing into the new flat. Bo and I were both spoiled in New York City with very easy, short commutes on reliable lines. Therefore, one of our goals for the new location was that the commute would be pretty easy as we all know that dealing with a long commute after an even longer day is just no fun.

IMG_0356 This is the face of a guy who is very happy with his new commute!

Within 20 minutes we were standing at our new doorstep, ready to embark on an evening of fun! Just a few blocks away we found ourselves ordering a bottle of prosecco at our first location for the evening, Coco Momo. The prosecco was 23 pounds, equivalent to $35.

IMG_0495We spent an hour sipping our bubbly, people watching and dreaming about what our weekends spent in Marylebone will be like. IMG_0357It was a great place to start the celebration. As I mentioned on my Yelp review earlier, we will definitely return for drinks but will not order food in the future. The appetizer dish that we ordered was sub par and over priced.

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Once we finished our bottle of prosecco we spent some time meandering through the boutiques on Marylebone High Street that were still open and wandering down a few of the side streets. Our next stop was The Fat of the Land, a Mediterranean tapas bar that caught our attention by the crowd outside and the unique name.  IMG_0364IMG_0497

We were able to snag a seat outside and quickly ordered the grilled octopus and their drink special, a Pimm’s Cup.  IMG_0365 Pimm’s Cup, a classic British cocktail, is typically made by mixing Pimm’s, a gin based liquor, with lemonade or gingerale. Historically, Pimm’s No 1 liquor is a mix of dry gin, liqueor, fruit juices, and spices. Unfortunately, this girl did not care for it and instead swapped with Bo for his pint of beer.    IMG_0498 I’m surprised the Yelp reviews for this spot are so negative as we had a great experience overall. Our grilled octopus was perfectly seasoned and prepared, the service was very prompt even on a Summer Friday evening, the prices were in line with the rest of the area, and our waiter was very friendly. We will definitely be back for a pint of beer and their outdoor seating!

Finally, around 9pm we decided it was time for a proper dinner and ended our evening at Fish Works Seafood Cafe. Bo and I are huge seafood fans so the first time we saw this restaurant during our flat search and heard that their fish monger inside is even better, we knew we’d be trying it soon. IMG_0500

The restaurant focuses on a pairing seasonal, fresh seafood with equally as fresh produce. Everything on the menu sounded wonderful so we spent a few minutes reviewing the menu while we sipped on a glass of pinot grigio. IMG_0499Since we had already had two appetizers, we decided to share a few dishes versus ordering our own meals.  Overall I would say that we were amazed, if not blown away, by the sea bass main course we shared, the sea bass. But, we were underwhelmed by the appetizer (hand picked crab on toast) and pasta course (linguini with clams). They do fish very well and we should have just stuck with seafood all night, in its purest form.

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You’ll also notice in the above picture, that there is a green side dish. That my friends is mushy peas. Mushy peas is a traditional English side dish that is most frequently served with fish & chips. It is dried marrowfat peas which are simmered with sugar and salt after being soaked in water overnight. In the past two weeks we’ve both fallen in love with this side dish!

So there you have it, our first evening in Marylebone together, sipping and tasting our way through the small streets.

Question: What is your favorite way to discover a new neighborhood?

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La Esquina NYC and A Giveaway

Good morning! Waking up this morning was quite difficult as last night we had a wonderful date night with Frank and Melissa. They made reservations at one of their favorite restaurants, La Esquina! Bo and I have talked about enjoying one last Mexican meal before we leave as we think finding delicious Mexican will be quite difficult in London and Geneva. La Esquina Brasserie definitely delivered! Even though the restaurant is 8 years old, based on their packed house on a Monday night they are clearly doing something right still.

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I couldn’t resist ordering their classic margarita, El Macizo Margarita! It was the perfect mix of salty and sweet due to the orange juice!

La Esquina Margarita

We ordered a number of small plates to share during the course of the night including their street corn, ensalada mixta, ceviche, rice & beans,  and pescada taquitos! We avoided the more expensive main course items which worked perfectly.  We left the restaurant 2 hours later happily full and didn’t break the bank.

La Esquina Dinner

Now, in other fun, as promised with my Instagram followers, I want to share a fun giveaway with you all! I love workout DVD and know that I will start using them even more in Geneva, however when packing this weekend I found that I have a few duplicates! I wanted to share the collection with one lucky reader who will be able to use these and enjoy inside workouts this summer during the hottest of days or this winter during the snowy, icy days!

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One lucky randomly selected  reader will win all 8 DVDs including 4 Physique 57 and 1 Exhale Core Fusion DVD!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! 

To enter, leave a comment on this post about your favorite workout DVD or online workout you have done previously.

For 3 additional optional entries you an do the following!

  • Like A Healthy, Happier Bear on Facebook
  • Follow me on Twitter and leave a comment here stating that you are now following.
  • Tweet about the giveaway making sure you use @healthyhappier in the Tweet and then leave a comment on here letting me know.

A winner will be chosen on Thursday July 11th at noon! Good luck! Also, this giveaway is open only to U.S. residents

 

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Running, Eating, and Drinking in Cincinnati

Good morning! How are you guys feeling this morning? Did you race? It seems like lots of people are celebrating PRs this morning which is so fun! I can’t wait to read lots of race recaps from Euguene, Big Sur, Nike Women’s Half, and more!

Things around here have been a little slower than normal this morning since we were out quite late last night! Our evening started with a dance party and didn’t end until 3am!Amy ashley dancing

Yesterday kicked off with the Active Water 5k in Fern Bank Park. Amy and I were hoping to secure a new PR but unfortunately, this 5k was definitely not official. There were less than 30 runners and it not only started 15 minutes late but we also realized that the course was not mapped well nor was there a time clock. We almost left after showing up but decided instead we’d support the local high school group’s fundraising efforts and push ourselves to run the fastest 5k we could.

IMG_8197 IMG_8198IMG_8204 IMG_8207 The course ended up only being 2.95 miles long but we enjoyed running along the river and taking in the scenery while pushing our legs! We were both sad that this wasn’t officially timed and therefore won’t go down in the record books for our 5k PR but I’m definitely on the search for a 5k in NYC this month! Anyone want to join in the fun?

We spent the rest of the day eating, drinking, shopping, and exploring Cincinnati’s different neighborhoods.

Teller’s of Hyde Park: A delicious brunch spot in an old bank complete with a dining room in the old vault! Each of us loved our meals which included the warm hazelnut encrusted goat cheese salad, grilled chicken sandwich on pretzel bun, and the lobster po boy!

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Cock & Bull English Pub in Hyde Park: Great outdoor seating right in the middle of Hyde Park! Their food is supposedly delicious and they have more than 60 beers on tap! We loved taking advantage of their make your own beer flight! IMG_8222 IMG_8224 IMG_8226Kaze in Over the Rhine: Miraculously we were able to score a table for 4 at this Japanese gastropub and sushi bar! Most other restaurants had a long wait but we hit this restaurant at the perfect time and were able to enjoy some delicious cocktails, their special sushi rolls, a few appetizers, and their halibut special that melted in our mouths! Amy Ashley at KazeIMG_8269 IMG_8270

Senate Restaurant & Bar in Over the Rhine: While we couldn’t make it in for dinner due to a two hour wait, their cocktails and desserts were amazing! We enjoyed an order of beignets with our cocktails and were floored by how delicious they were! I think the secret is the pretzel sugar dusting!IMG_8276Needless to say we had an amazing time in Cincinnati yesterday and are enjoying a morning mimosa with our homemade blueberry pancakes! Have a great Sunday!

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