French cuisine is often lumped together into a single category, but the country is rich (and buttery) with regional diversity, and Lyon is nestled right in the midst of the gastronomical action. To taste for yourself, snag a table at Bar Lyon, the South End’s own cozy little bouchon (a traditional Lyonnaise restaurant serving specialties that include pâté, all of the cheese, and lots and lots of sausage). It’s a charming spot that will woo you with its wines and wow you with eastern French comfort food in an intimate room that’s just the right amount of refined.
You don’t need to be fluent to recognize many of the French terms on the menu—preparations like tartare and confit feature prominently. It’s broken into four main sections, beginning with the fun, snacky Petit Plat section, then moving into Entrées (appetizers), where you’ll find salads and small plates. Plats Principal is stocked with hearty entrees that would feel at home in any gastropub, and the highlighted Lyon Classiques section is the main event, featuring regional classics that shouldn’t be missed.
Bar Lyon’s intimate dining room only has 48 seats, with room for another 12 at the bar. It’s a simple space with just a few baroque flourishes—fresh bread sits on an antique wrought iron French baker’s rack, bronze light fixtures illuminate the bar. Clean marble tiles reflect warm light from the ornate chandelier, and between the bustle from the open kitchen and your proximity with your neighbors the room feels lively and upbeat.
Lyon is situated smack in the middle of two of France’s most popular wine regions, Beaujolais and Côtes du Rhône, so you’ll be glad to drink like a local. But wine’s not the only imbibing you can do at Bar Lyon. Local (to Boston, not France) beers and ciders are on tap and in bottle at the bar, and an artful cocktail list adds a creative flourish to the establishment’s well-rounded tipples.
1750 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02118