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La Rotonde Montparnasse, Paris

April 11th, 2009 · No Comments

La Rotonde Montparnasse Paris 1 La Rotonde Montparnasse Paris 3 La Rotonde Montparnasse Paris 2 La Rotonde Montparnasse Paris 4
So La Rotonde is one of the Parisian institutions of Montparnasse – its list of famous figures of the 20th century that have drunk (and probably been very drunk), eaten, and discussed the meaning of life behind its doors would make up most of the early 20th century Who’s Who of the literary and art world.

However, La Rotonde is also a Bib Gourmand and so this means ‘good food at reasonable prices’ – we went to check it out. It lived up to its name, but lumping a restaurant like Fish La Boissonnerie (also a Bib), does the latter restaurant a grave disservice. It’s food was good, and reasonably priced, but not quite the kind of place that you’d go there because you really loved the food.

La Rotonde is in the category of red-velvet and brass bistros/bars that line Boulevard Montparnasse – like Le Select and Le Dome – it’s also in good company with Les Deux Magots and the rest of the writer/painter absinthe-swilling establishments. The waiters are in the black vest/bow-tie/white apron, you get your food within about 5 minutes, and the patrons are a good mix of locals and tourists, out for lunch, the latter group trying to experience this characteristic Parisian experience.

The food? Well, it was good – not the best croque madame that I’ve ever had; D had chicken that was actually very good, if a bit over-sauced in a very tasty herbed cream sauce. But the location, atmosphere, incredibly fast service – no complaints, and probably something that has to get checked-off in everyone’s list – lunch at a classic, famous Parisian bistro.

Our only complaint – the alcohol prices. 9€ for a pint of beer (Kronenbourg, no less) is highway robbery. Life and business is expensive in Paris, and I’m sure that more than a few folks come to La Rotonde, aware of its famous past, and have one, two, three…and more glasses of wine, and while away the evening with a friend or lover, discussing the meaning of life, thinking that maybe they too could be a Hemingway or a Fitzgerald. And if at the end of their meal, having had this unique, exhilarating experience, the owners of La Rotonde have made an obscene profit on the alcohol (to support their likely obscene expenses), then it’s probably a fair trade – perhaps the price of dreams is just included in the price of a glass of wine.

Recommended for the atmosphere/ambiance.
La Rotonde
105 Boulevard Montparnasse, 75006 Paris
Tel: +33 01 43 26 48 26

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Tags: Bib Gourmand · Bistro · France · French · Paris

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