French People Watching
Every summer, when the French visit the countryside, the streets of Paris are filled with tourists soaking up sun and having fun at outdoor bistro tables. Basically, the French have two options when eating out: the restaurant or the brasserie. Forget about the 5-star French restaurants, because they are strictly for the rich. So much for the French.
Fast forward to Tokyo and enter the brasserie. "When I opened the first brasserie in New York, people knew only expensive French restaurants," says Philippe Lajeunie. "We do not pretend to provide culinary delights, we just provide good food," continues the man who changed the landscape of French cuisine abroad. With three successful Brasserie Les Halles under his apron (New York, Washington D.C., Miami), Lajeunie has chosen Tokyo as his fourth location, and with a good view of this citys version of the Eiffel Tower to boot.
At Brasserie Les Halles you get lots of space, walls that open during fine weather, and tables that spill onto the streets. It is here that you can soak up some sun, while worshipping a cappuccino, or enjoy the evening breeze with a cool Kalua Milk. Of course Les Halles offers all the usual trappings that one would expect from a French brasserie, such as a wide selection of appetizers, sandwiches, salads, and main courses -- not to mention the 60+ wines and champagnes.
The concept of the brasserie is casual atmosphere, good but reasonably-priced fare, and uncomplicated service -- so nobody will give you a nasty look if you dont wear a starched shirt, and you wont have to go through half an hour of ceremony before the first morsel of food arrives. Perhaps it is this concept that results in making brasseries a place where a company president and a mason (if there were any gaijin ones) could sit at adjacent tables, as a matter of course. You dont come to Les Halles to see and be seen, but to occupy an open-air table and watch the Roppongi traffic go by. This is called French People Watching, and it works as well at Les Halles as it does on the Champs Elysees. With its location and charm, Les Halles is bound to be the place this summer.
One final note of significance: Les Halles is located in the Axis Building, which in itself is worth a visit, as it houses some interesting shops and galleries.
11am - midnight (last order)
Axis Bldg, Gaien Higashi Ave
5-17-1 Roppongi Minato-Ku