By Anthony Sudani
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The queue extends to the Place de l’Hôpital, next to the Hôtel Dieu, in the 2nd arrondissement of Lyon. Every day, especially on Fridays and Saturdays, dozens of people line up here, but why? To taste the delicious dishes of the Italian restaurant Casa Nobile.
Casa Nobile has made a golden reputation in the capital of Gaul. The only way to eat their famous pizza or antipasti is to wait patiently. It is not possible to reserve a table. Ugo Lonobile, son of Pierre and nephew of Jean, the two bosses, explains why his family refuses all reservations:
“We took reservations for three years after our opening in 2014 but it was becoming unmanageable. We wanted to make a popular restaurant where anyone passing through Lyon can come. And there, we had arrived at several weeks of reservation in advance. »
“We were asked if there was free pizza or a concert inside”
In 2017, they stop taking reservations. “When we decided to stop, it clashed in the neighborhood,” recalls Ugo Lonobile. From the first weekend, restaurateurs see that a queue of several meters is forming in front of the front door.
At first, people wondered what was going on in the restaurant. “We were asked if there was free pizza or a concert inside.” No, none of that, just a Sicilian restaurant that everyone wants to eat at.
Full in 10 minutes Friday and Saturday
“When we open the doors at 7:30 p.m., we are full in ten minutes on Friday and Saturday evenings. The rest of the week, the room is full in 30 minutes,” he says.
The average waiting time in front of the establishment is estimated at around thirty minutes by Ugo Lonobile. “On weekends, it can reach an hour, even 1h30… It’s a lot of pressure every day. When you wait an hour to eat, it better be good. »
The Lonobile family can’t believe it. Summer and winter, customers line up. “Sometimes, at 9.45 p.m. on Saturday, there are still 50 people outside the door. Knowing that the last customers are served at 10 p.m.
More than 1,000 seats in two days
The organization of the restaurant must be perfect at each service. Whether it’s between noon and two or between 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., you absolutely must not be late.
“As soon as everyone is seated, the dishes have to come out quickly. Then there is a turnover that takes place. The first who have finished eating give way to those most advanced in the queue, and so on. »
The capacity of Casa Nobile is 150 covers. Between Friday and Saturday, they make more than 1,000. The dishes are between 12 and 25 euros. Ugo Lonobile recommends the antipasti, the pizzas of course, but also his favorite dish: the rigatoni in tomato sauce with fennel sausage. ” It’s fantastic ! he salivates.
Excellent products from Italy
Go eat Italian at Casa Nobile -noble house in French-, it’s also going to a restaurant full of life, constantly in motion. Suggestions are presented by a server to multiple tables at once. “We do it theatrically. For example, on the terrace, we present the suggestions once and for everyone”.
All products are fresh, sold directly with producers. Apart from the vegetables that come from nearby, everything comes from Italy. They even have their own Casa Nobile olive oil and the charcuterie comes from Parma.
A word of advice, do not hesitate to arrive before the start of the first service… Otherwise, it is possible to go to Gerland, to Nobile Mare, where the Sicilian family has opened a fish restaurant since February 22nd. And this time, you can book before you show up.
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