Eugene, Oregon, January 11, 2015—THIS IS TRULY one of the Hundred Plates, an elastic but irreducible repertory of dishes without which I would find life much less pleasurable: the salade Lyonnaise, or, as it's called here, "bistro salad": frisée (no other lettuce will do), lardons, croûtons, a poached egg, vinaigrette. The vinaigrette should be cider vinegar, I think, and hot fat from the lardons.
We both enjoyed the dish, and I remarked that it's hard to mess it up, and my companion remarked No, not at all, it's frequently messed up. And in truth you can mess it up if you go out of your way to do so. You can use some other lettuce; you can use bacon instead of lardons, you can overcooke the egg (or even fry it if you're that perverse); you can use an egg that is less than satisfactory. I suppose you could use Balsamic vinegar, or "balsamic": I hope I don't run into that.
But. Not only is this one of the Hundred Plates; we are eating it in one of the Hundred Restaurants, those restaurants we always return to with anticipation, then pleasure, than fond memory. We don't dine here often enough, because Eugene has not often been a logical evening stopover for us. Now we have a grandson living here, so perhaps we'll be visiting more often. I hope so. This is truly a reliable, interesting, immensely comfortable place, with a good wine list, an excellent bar, first-rate service, knowledgeable sourcing, and a fine, professional kitchen.
A Negroni, with Citadelle gin, which I very much appreciate•Marché, 296 East 5th Avenue #226, Eugene, Oregon; (541) 342-3612