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“Oh, the Quenelle!”
Review of Cafe Comptoir Abel

Cafe Comptoir Abel
Ranked #84 of 3,383 Restaurants in Lyon
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $22 - $148
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed October 19, 2012

Based on recommendations from Rick Steves' book and David Lebovitz's blog, my sister and I recently ate here to get the taste of a traditional Lyonnais buchon. The atmosphere was cozy, the service prompt, and the food was amazing. For the first course, we had the artichoke salad with foie gras and the salade lyonnaise. Both were delicious and the serving of foie gras was very generous. For the main course, we had the quenelle and the rognons de veau. We had a bit of a lost in translation moment with the rognons. Thinking we knew enough French to use that menu instead of the English one, we unknowingly ordered veal kidneys. The sauce was really good, but the texture of the kidneys was too much to overcome. However, the massive quenelle was enough for both of us. Though a ground fish dumpling doesn't sound very appetizing, it was light and delicate - like a soufflé. So, so good. For dessert we had tarte tatin and mousse au chocolat, both of which were well-executed. I hope to return soon!

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Thank haleyvw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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213 - 217 of 1,061 reviews

Reviewed September 28, 2012

As we were taking American friends to Lyon we wanted them to discover the real Lyon bistro and cuisine. There were 12 of us, on arrival, all of us said “good evening” to be faced by complete silence from every single waiter and Maitre D’. It was so strange, none of us understood the attitude. The restaurant is quaint in a nice part of town. Very typical, cute wooden tables and chairs, our waitress, upstairs, was nice enough but admitted that this was a part time job so she was not really trained to be here. A few reviews here mentioned the issue with cleanliness; I have to say that to us it looked clean enough. The menu has all the typical Lyonnais dishes you expect. We started with hot saucisson and lentils, beautiful, crayfish salad, Lyonnaise salad, etc. All the starters had a very good portion size and everybody was happy. We then moved on to quenelles which were huge and very nice and cream chicken with rice, the macaroni gratin was very nice indeed. We ended up paying 48 euro a head which for Lyon is quite expensive, you can find much cheaper. Avoid the restaurants in the old Lyon as they are real tourist traps but you can find better than chez Abel.
The main reason NOT to go back is the service; they were just awful, rude beyond belief. When we left , we went down to pay and the main door was closed, the maitre D’ just told us to use the other one on the other side, when we inquired about how to open that door he just shrugged and told us to get on with it and never came to help. Nobody said good bye (nobody said hello in the first place). It was just ridiculous, we could not believe it, when we asked him if there was a problem with us or customers he just mumbled something. For that reason I would say AVOID! Life is too short top be badly treated even if the food is good, especially in a town like Lyon which has so many nice and welcoming restaurants. Shame for the cooks that the front of house is so despicable!!

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3  Thank margauxhanoi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2012

Loved the Comptoir Abel, can't really understand the complaints about the place, holes in table etc. Its called atmosphere-90 years of continual trading, this is the kind of atmosphere that New York places like Pastis and Chez Prune are desperately trying to fake!

It's lovely,two dining rooms downstairs and rooms upstairs, it is a Lyonnaise institute and rightly so, I had traditional saucisson with lentils to start, superb, the problem with Lyonnaise food is that,it's so seemingly simple that, if it's not properly done, it's rubbish, this was the best sausage and lentils, perfectly cooked and seasoned, my husband had foie gras on a bed of artichoke heart, sublime.

Then for him, the famous quenelles de brochette,we tested them in every restaurant we went to, they are probably some of the best in Lyon, the texture is incredible, but they come with a mushroom sauce rather than the more traditional seafood bisque and for me- gratinée des ecrivisses, how can I translate that? Cheesy shrimp dish - absolutely wonderful, the only thing that I would hold against them, was that the portions were enormous and rich and the desserts looked wonderful.

Coffee excellent, service charming and very effieceint - and the bill -70 € for two- but we didn't have wine, it's probably one of the more expensive bouchons in Lyon, but definitely one of the best.Definitely going again!



Thank hitchcockblonde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2012

This is traditional rich creamy lyonnais cuisine and it is delicious. The portions are big and the value is excellent all in quaint traditional surroundings.

This place is very popular with locals and in Lyon, the locals know their food.

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Thank BonniewithClyde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 21, 2012

Come here if you want outstanding 'quenelles de brochet', the local speciality. The place is very old world, cosy and creaky. Staff were friendly and helpful. Prices are a little on the high side and the wine list is short. Overall though, atmosphere and good, basic food make it a must visit in Lyon. And those quenelles are really fantastic! Open on Mondays when many places are shut

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Thank Andy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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