Stephen Travels

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Le Lyonnais, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Le Lyonnais (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

Under the direction of the head chef, a Lyon native, Le Lyonnais serves up some very fine French cuisine in a wonderfully atmospheric restaurant. Toward the rear, a large panoramic mural of the French countryside sets the tone for a first-rate meal. The high ceiling provides plenty of breathing room, and the long curved bar is comfortably designed to linger over a glass or two of about 50 different French wines. I particularly appreciated the wrought-iron details in the wall sconces and chandeliers, and the trays that supported copper flower boxes of bonsai plants hung on the walls under glassless window panes beneath cloth awnings, giving the impression that you’re actually dining al fresco in a little French village. Everything combines seamlessly, creating an endearing ambience that enhances the meal you’re about to enjoy.

Fork and KnifeTry This: Although the ham and emmenthal croquettes with roasted pepper aioli and béchamel sounded like a great way to start my meal, the soup of the day, a tomato and basil soup with white truffle oil, won out and proved to be an auspicious beginning, much to my taste buds’ delight. For the main course, choose the perfectly prepared filet de porc au miel—a seared pork tenderloin with honey gastrique—that’s accompanied by asparagus and a creamy butternut squash puree. For dessert, you can’t go wrong with either the crepe Nutella with bananas and rum salsa and hazelnut ice cream, or the tarte tatin— puff pastry with caramelized apples and sea salt caramel ice cream.