Cafe Barbette: Bistro/Cocktail Bar. LOCATED: Uptown; 1600 West Lake Street. (tel. 612-827-5710); at the intersection of Lake Street and Irving.
As one of the only spots in Uptown with a full-fledged sommelier, you can expect that their "guiding philosophy" of using organic and locally-produced ingredients whenever possible will be properly complimented. From the petite colored-glass lights hanging from the ceiling to the rotating gallery of art that graces their walls, the term "organic" is well-suited to describe the Cafe's ambiance as well. Along with unique open-sided booths lining one wall, stand-alone tables, and "community rounds" at both ends of the bar, Cafe Barbette's clientele is notably eclectic as well. There is nary a time when you're likely to find yourself alone. From early morning coffee seekers to late-night revelers, Barbette's atmosphere offers everyone a comfortable respite.
Specializing in French delicacies, beautiful soups and salads, it is Croque Monsieur and Madame that lead their authentic lunch-time fare. It is, however, their offering of organic French-style Crepes that stand out. Highly sophisticated and well thought-out, their dinner menu offers a grand array of tasty mouthfuls, and their late-night menu remains unmatched in Uptown.
It is, however, the broadly-eclectic assemblage of customers who choose to make Barbette their social-haunt that may have the greatest appeal when musing about your evening's direction. While pleasing by the light of the day, there is something distinctively casual about how Barbette's unique combination of ambiance, service and clientele that makes your evening's visit especially relaxing. For those of you who have yet to discover this particular gem, one visit to Barbette will bring you to the realization that it is entirely possible to leave town without taking more than a few steps outside your own door. Step inside... your passport to Paris awaits.