You don't have to have degrees in French literature, Napoleonic history, or the life of Ernest Hemingway to enjoy this classic French restaurant, bar, and brasserie located in the St. Germain section of Paris; but they wouldn't hurt either. Lilas is 160 years old this year, and still going strong. It's the kind of institution that only the French can create and maintain; and only the rich Americans can afford, at least for dinner in the restaurant. The service is typically French; which means the waiters are professionals and respond better to educated questions then stupid ones. The food is good, sometimes even very good, but not anywhere nearly great. This place is about history and atmosphere. You can enjoy that over a coffee during the day, as much as you can over a dinner at night. Still, for those who want to experience a classic French brasserie, Lilas is as good as any, and better than most. Dinner, for two, including bottled water (Evian, of course), a fair bottle of wine, a first course of salad or fruit cup, two entres (a gelatin tourraine will cost you about USD100), a plate of macaroons, and a couple of cappucini will cost you about USD 300. but that includes the 19.6% VAT, and service, so its comparable to a superior quality American restaurant.
Favorite Dish: The macaron lilas are Lilas signature end of meal treat. Nobody else does them. In Vienna you have a Sacher torte. In St. Germain you have the macaron lilas. It's tradition.
LA CLOSERIE DES LILAS
La Closerie des Lilas: The favorite haunt of Hemingway, Gertrude Stein and Henry Miller and many, many other artists and writers, the Closerie des Lilas in Montparnasse is a good place to stop for a drink. And when you sit at any of the tables, take a look at the copper plaques with the names of the famous people who have frequented the Closerie over the years. (171 Blvd du Montparnasse 75006 tel. 33-(0)1 40 51 34 50)
I didn't eat here, but I took a picture! Famous literary types used to frequent this place - Hemingway for example.
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