5.1 The Brasserie Barbès, 2 Boulevard Barbès in the 18th, (telephone yes, 01.47.70.30.89, but useless since when we showed up after I'd made a reservation 4 days ago the guy at the desk looked blank & said they don't take reservations), open 7/7, (Metro: Barbès Rochechouart.) We chose to be seated on the second floor, featuring a painting of Monsieur Armand Barbès (1809-1870) or the Abbesse Marguerite de Rochechouart (1665-1727) in drag - just kidding, the staff didn't know who it was of.
Reassuringly, the team of Jean Vedreine (Sans Souci & le Mansart) and Pierre Moussie (Chez Jeannette, le Floreal, where one of our terrific waitguys, whom I recognized, came from) did a wonderful job renovating what was a burned out, miserable, cheap store (Vano) opposite Tati and the newly renovated Louxor but smartly left in place the guys across the street selling everything from cigarettes (counterfeit, I'm told) to all sorts of drugs (genuine, I'm told) who scattered the moment the cops showed up, only to slink back after they'd gone East.
Finally assembled and confronting the carte, we ordered rather defensively I thought.
As firsts, our friends from just up the hill ordered the crusty egg with Conte cream and the beets with fresh cheese (both unexciting) and Colette had the very bland carpaccio of bar and I the cromesquis of chorizo (unpictured), not dazzling but the best of the lot.
Then, after a LONG WAIT (OK it's only been open three days) for the mains - Colette had really boring shrimp cooked in a nut/bread crumb batter; my old pal from the East and I had the miserably over-cooked double lamb chops (sad because the product was good) Lest you think I'm picky, I ordered mine Bleu/Blue. Our friend from farther north had a medium sized slice of liver (unpictured), the best of a bad lot.
We shared the desserts and they were good! a chocolate tart, a millefeuille of caramel beurre sale and my favorite - a chou with pralines and almonds that were carmelized.
Our host insisted on paying the bill, in return for kindnesses long-forgotten by me, but Colette stole a look; with 2.5 bottles of wine, no bottled water and 4 coffees = 180 E. It was very noisy = 86.2 dB = the level at the Deepavali festival in Tirupur city, India (55 is their acceptable level).
Go? Well, if you're wearing a baseball cap or hoodie and are pushing a stroller, go with the Bobo's; otherwise,I have no advice.