Barbette: You know you want it (Amy's take)

By Amy Ledig

Barbette has long been a favorite of my friend group. Last spring, we found ourselves making up reasons to treat ourselves to dinner there. However, if you’re going for dinner, the bill has a tendency to reach disconcerting totals, so one sunny Saturday afternoon I decided to head to Uptown and give lunch a try. With a more laidback atmosphere — as well as more reasonable prices – lunch at Barbette is definitely something to check out.The brunch menu, which is offered from eight a.m. to five p.m. on the weekends, is less extensive than the dinner menu but still offers the burgeoning foodie in search of some tasty weekend fare plenty of options. To get things going, we got the pommes frites. Despite Steve’s unhappiness about the level of salt, I found them delicious as always. The lemon-herb aioli may be the most perfect fry accompaniment -which is saying something, coming from a no-condiments kind of girl. If you’re with less than three or four people, definitely stick with the half order — you will still have a tough time finishing it all off.

During my Café Mac underclassman days, my friends and I would get intense urges to supplement the lack of meat on campus with visits to The Broiler for cheeseburgers, tripling our usual red meat-derived iron intake. Those burgers, while sating the need for meat quite well, have nothing on the Royale with Cheese. Barbette’s take on the cheeseburger is a perfectly seasoned, plump patty topped with caramelized onions and luscious, melty slices of brie that are begging to be eaten. The mixed green salad and waffle fries cut so thinly that they are almost verging on chips balance things out quite nicely. The burger is $12, but I would happily spend that much for this most perfect of burgers.

The dessert course, while adding to the tab, is definitely something worth budgeting for if you have a sweet tooth. The warm chocolate cake is a pretty standard but undeniably terrific version of the molten chocolate cake. Melted chocolate encased in chocolate cake accompanied by a scoop of vanilla ice cream? I’m having a hard time thinking of anything more decadent to perfectly round off a lazy weekend afternoon outing.

While I missed some of my dinner favorites – the fondue and steak frites in particular, although I have a friend who can never resist their intriguing seafood specials – brunch is a much more economical way to get my upscale dining fix. If you stick to just entrees, it’s definitely doable. If you can’t get your parents – or better yet, someone else’s – to treat, hit up brunch at Barbette for some tasty French-inflected cuisine that will leave you feeling classy, and full.