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Review of Le Lyonnais

Le Lyonnais
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Ranked #116 of 2,204 Restaurants in Pittsburgh
Price range: $5 - $30
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Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Business meetings, Bar scene, Large groups, Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cross street: Tenth St.
Transit: yes
Description: “French comfort food”. These three words may not seem like they belong together but they do here at Le Lyonnais. Our concept is one of simple, affordable, yet delicious dishes inspired by time honored recipes from my hometown of Lyon some of which have been in my family for generations.
Reviewed March 27, 2011

We were in Pittsburg for a concert and wanted a special meal for our second night.. We reviewed restaurants in our area on trip advisor and selected Sonoma. Just a treat. We enjoy wine and took advantage of the tastes. That's a 3 ou. glass. My husband had 3 and I had 2. A great way to try new to you wines. The servies was spot on. Two waiters, a bus person and server. Our waiter; Sid; was well versed in the wine and menu selections. Four differant breads served with great dipping oil. There are a lot of ways to order. We shared a salad my husband had the pork as a regular entree and I choose from the pick 2 or 3. Crispy duck and filet with magic sauce. Also had their home made ice cream for desert. A memorable evening.

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Thank katherinesI9996NJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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490 - 494 of 546 reviews

Reviewed March 9, 2011

Pros: good to excellent food, large wine list, some regional or specialty beers on tap
Cons: service

We were a party of 3 that arrived about 7:30 pm on a Tuesday night. The restaurant had several empty tables & some small and large parties (6+) so I'd say they were busy. The wine bar was completely vacant.
The first two greeters said "Hey Guys" to our party of one woman and 2 men. We were seated after a short wait and given menus, but no wine list.
The waiter presented himself and explained the menu and announced all the specials were "86-ed." I was rather surprised being it was still so early. He then disappeared for about 15 minutes leaving us to peruse the menu and wonder why no wine list. When my husband ordered the local Jamison Farm lamb osso bucco he said' "Oh didn't I tell you? The lamb is 86-ed." He disappeared for a couple minutes and came back to apologize again saying, oh we DO have the lamb.

Another waiter gave us glasses of water. Literally handed very full glasses of ice water to us across other seated patrons. yikes.

We then waited for quite a long time for our first courses and THEN we were asked if we wanted something to drink. A wine list was presented and the guys ordered beer on tap. My wine was delivered but they beers were not. After 10 or 15 minutes the first waiter came and announced that the keg for what they ordered was "kicked." They eventually substituted another similar beer. At this point we were approaching an hour with no food and so far no beer. Only a glass of wine.
The water waiter appeared with bread-oat bread and ciabiatta. One slice per person of either, and an offer of herbed olive oil which was shaken in a bottle with the busboy's thumb over the dispenser. (ICK.) Inexcusable.

I ordered the Sonoma Salad which was to be: Mesclun and Romaine, Asian Pear Julienne, Point Reyes Blue, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Dijon Vinaigrette. What I got was a generous serving of fresh greens and about one tablespoon of small diced tomatoes in the bottom of the bowl. NO pear, NO blue cheese, NO bacon. The men liked the vegetarian onion soup and the Fisherman's chowder. A waiter came by and asked if we were "done working on that." Awful.

The entrees were described by the guys as excellent ( the Lamb osso bucco and the mixed grill with filet and tuna and Asian stir fry vegetables.) My Cioppino was very good if over priced for the actual contents. The seafood was fresh. It was very spicy with no indication on the menu that is was so spicy. Good thing I like spicy. It had one piece of fish which was thick and hard to cut and too big to pick up and eat in one piece. There were 3 small shrimp and about 6 mussels and one clam. There was also a huge lobster claw which was difficult to mess with. I could have done without that and had more shrimp. The way the veggies were cut in long thin julienne pieces made it difficult to spoon even with the soup spoon. Would have been nice to have more than one thin slice of ciabiatta with it.

We were ignored by the server for the remainder of our meal and well after. When he appeared he acknowledged he had disappeared & sort of apologized. Instead of dessert which was not offered (were desserts 86-ed?) we ordered one tawny port, one grappa and one amaretto. After 10 minutes the waiter returned with the port & grappa and a smidge of amaretto in one glass - the preferred amaretto was "out" and comped with another brand.

We believed that despite being busy the servers under-manned or over-extended, or both. From start to finish it took 2 and one half hours. Now we were not in a hurry. The waiter asked us if we had a show time or time constraint when he fist greeted us and we said no, but really, 2-1/2 hours is excessive on a Tuesday night when we ordered nothing but regular menu items. What is Saturday night before a show at Heinz Hall, or during a convention like?

Is there really an excuse for being out of ALL specials by 7:30? Given that the waiter thought the lamb was out ( and it is a regular menu item) maybe he was wrong about the specials too.

The waiter clearly was not up to date on what was available. It is possible that the rest of the staff is also poorly trained and didn't inform him.

This is a well known restaurant and wine bar in a busy part of town, right near the convention center and cultural district. As such, it has a built-in patronage so there is no excuse for this type of service but maybe they think they can coast.

All that said I'd go back one more time to see but the service issue is consistently brought up in reviews at Yelp and Open table and elsewhere. despite that I'd say give it a try.

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1  Thank BurghGirl71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2011

As a business traveller (on an expense account) and eating alone, I decided to sit in the bar area. I thought it would be faster more convenient. I sat at one of the bar tables and waited 10+ minutes before anyone even took notice of me. I watched while servers attended to tables all around me, but completely ignored my presence. I finally placed my order for 3 of the tapas dishes. Two of them came out within 15 minutes, but I was waiting on the 3rd for another 15-20 minutes. Obviously something was wrong. The bartender who was tending bar and waiting on tables in the bar area was overwhelmed. When the 3rd dish finally did arrived, I sent it back since I had long since lost interest. Food was expensive (relative to other top-tier restaurants in the neighborhood) and average. Not impressed and would not return. Sorry.

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Thank businesstraveler2031
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2010

After being to Sonoma a few times, I must have ordered the wrong items after reading some of the reviews. The wine list is large but the food was very average. The only difference between the food here and a chain like Max and Erma's was they tried to put on a decent presentation. Good bar scene however if you are looking to just have wine.

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Thank WVFoodFan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2010

I have dined here for a few years. First when visiting Pittsburgh for business and since as a resident downtown. The menu has a lot of options. Full dinner for a nice evening out, or a tapas menu of small dishes if you want to make it a short stop on the way home. Great wine selection! Ask for the special wine list of reserve wines if you can afford a bit more. They have turned me on to more than one wine that I went out and purchased afterward. The downside...sometimes food, sometimes service. Seems to have staff turnover problems and that leads to mistakes by new servers in training. If you have a good experience ask for their name and when you are reserving your table ask if the are serving that night and ask for that person to be your server. I have had several great meals here, but I have also had some that were not to my liking, overcooked and over seasoned. Last time I had their trio of Duck and it was superb. They also have a dedication to local and organic. Leave room for dessert and an after dinner drink. The desserts are innovative and the drink list is ample. I love Armangac but rarely find it on drink menus, but Sonoma Grill has it!

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Thank PghDiner8566
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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