NileGuide Expert Says:
For quirky surroundings and good food and drink, this is a real win.
Calle Compania de Jesus 2799, Santiago, Chile
(2) 2682 5243
NileGuide Expert tip:
Come early or call ahead for reservations, or be turned away from this mid to upscale Santiago favorite.
Boulevard Lavaud is the name of the restaurant above the Peluquería Francesa, which is, in fact, a functioning traditional barbershop where men come to get a shave and a haircut. But beside the barbershop is a restaurant/bar in an old restaurant that is unlike any other in the nation's capital.
The restaurant is flanked, filled, and otherwise decorated with photos, mirrors, tiny and large antiques and many tables to choose from, in both the smoking and non-smoking section. Drink selections include the traditional pisco sour, and many variations, a broad wine selection and other drinks. There are individual plates of food, including crab-filled crepes and other meat and seafood options and several large platters of food to share, and different types of ceviche.
The atmosphere in the restaurant is refined without being stuffy, and most of the crowd is 30 and over, with foreigners and Chileans alike. It's quirky and fun, and a good place to while away the hours while eating and drinking well. There is no ambient music, so it's easy to have a conversation, though large groups occasionally fill up some of the upstairs rooms. From about Thursday and on, it makes sense to make a reservation, because everyone else does, and the restaurant fills up. If you promise not to stay long, arriving at 8 might assure you a table, but from 10 and on, expect to be turned away unless you've called in advance. The menu has a map of the neighborhood with points of interest and no one will mind if you take it as a souvenir.