Best bar d’auteur of 2018
Combat, the former pseudonym for this section of Belleville, is now the standard-bearer for successful bars. Owned and run by Elena Schmitt and Margot Lecarpentier (ex-Experimental Cocktail Club), and located between a Thai restaurant and a Chinese wholesale shop, their bar isn’t lacking any (whitewashed stonewalls, a green boudoir, a tiny terrace on the downward sloping sidewalk), and the cocktails prepared by Elise Drouet, who used to work for Experimental as well, are more than just feminist creations: a lovely Norrebro that plays with vinegar and acidity (Rittenhouse rye whiskey, Pimm’s liqueur, cherry liqueur, elderberry vinegar, grapefruit juice, €11), an unusual Rhydypandy that strikes a balance between fruity flavors and anise (Ocho tequilla, Drouin pommeau, fennel juice, lemon, maple syrup, €12), plus mocktails upon request (€7). As for the bar snacks (€7-8), there’s an excellent Rodolphe Paquin pork terrine, Trouvailles and Terroirs aged gouda or artichoke hearts stuffed with Piedmont hazelnuts, capers and cherries. // A.B.