I like the vibe at Barbette, and the urban-cool look and location of the joint. It's near a lake, it's in a relatively quiet area (except for the weekends) with lots of old homes and trees and just generally feels like a sidewalk cafe in some foreign country you're supposed to backpack through when you're in your 20s.
I came late on a Tuesday to try their french fries, as I'd heard good things about them. The fries ($5) were okay, but not great by any means; some were crisp and some were soft and limp/soggy. Don't they have any quality control on one of their most famous items?
The service was extremely friendly, smart and hip (I believe our server's name was "Ted"---thank you, Ted!).
Supposedly Barbette can also make rudimentary vegan dishes if you call in advance; otherwise, the menu is sadly animal product-heavy, which negates any faith I might have in the place having a creative chef.
Come to Barbette for the atmosphere and drinks, maybe. Probably not for the food.