On the evening of our visit to the Louvre and Montparnasse, we decided to have dinner at Les Deux Magots, a famous café in the Saint Germain des Prés area.
We left our apartment after 9 pm, and went to the Cardinal Lemoine Metro station, from which we took Line 10 to Mabillon - five stops in the direction of Boulogne.
We came up out of the station onto Rue du Four, and walked a short block to Boulevard Saint Germain. There we turned left and walked about three blocks to the café. On the way, we passed the typical 5-6 story Pqris buildings with shops on the ground floor and apartments above. We also passed the historic church (aren’t they all?) of Saint Germain des Prés.
The café was on the northwest corner of the intersection of Boulevard Saint Germain des Prés and Rue Bonaparte. We were quickly seated at a table in a glass-enclosed terrace.
Les Deux Magots
Area where we were seated
Les Deux Magots (http://www.lesdeuxmagots.fr/index.php and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Deux_Magots) was once a rendez-vous for the literary and intellectual elite such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvois, Albert Camus, and Pablo Picasso, and young writers like Ernest Hemingway. Every year since 1933, it has awarded a literary prize for a French novel.
The business was originally a silk shop and took its name from a popular play, Les Deux Magots de la Chine (The Two Figurines from China). It moved to its current location in 1873 and became a café in 1884. In 1972, the terrorist Carlos the Jackal carried out a grenade attack against the café; killing 2 and injuring 34.
The Chinese Figurines
When we visited Paris in 2006, we had dined at Café de Flore on the next block.
When I had originally checked the café’s menu at its web site, I had seen that it included a selection of sandwiches that I thought would be acceptable to my grandchildren. I had not realized that those sandwiches were not served at the peak of the dinner hour - between 9 pm and 1130 pm. The web site has a separate dinner menu.
My grandchildren both chose the same dish - penne pasta with basil and tomato for €16 each. One of them had an Orangina for €6.20 and the other had a coke for the same price.
My meal was very nice. I started with layered tomato and fresh goat cheese (Millefeuille de Tomates et Chèvres Frais) for €13. Then I had roast rack of lamb with herbs and homemade purée (Carré d’Agneau Rôti aux Herbes, Purée Maison) for €30. For wine, I had two 18 cl glasses of Saumur Champigny for €7 each. The food was superb and the wine very nice.
My Millefeuille de Tomates
The total price came to €98.40 ($141.70). Our waiter was efficient, but cold, unlike some of the very nice waiters who had served us. We left the restaurant about 11 :30 pm, and returned to our neighborhood using the route by which we had come.
Instead of turning onto Rue Rollin toward our apartment, we crossed Place de la Contrescarpe and walked to Alberto’s gelato shop on Rue Mouffetard. My granddaughter had a cone with After Eight Mint and Chocolate, and my grandson had a cup of After Eight. I had a cone of Cinnamon and Tart Lemon (Cannelles & Tarte Citron). Delicious as usual.
We arrived back at the apartment some time after midnight.