One of my spies told me months ago that he had seen a couple of waiters from Le Chateaubriand refurbishing an old café on the rue Oberkampf. The new place opened three weeks ago as Aux Deux Amis, and I went yesterday to try it out.
At night, they were serving really nice natural wines by the glass or by the carafe (the Verre Volé cave is across the street), plus a board of Spanish-leaning tapas. The only tortilla that I've ever enjoyed outside of Madrid was on offer for 3.50, along with oeufs mayo, white asparagus in vinaigrette, burrata with green asparagus, Iberian jambon and chorizo, a dish of cocos (white beans) and chorizo, a dish of duck hearts, etc.
The scene is scruffy east side Paris (i.e. jeans and Converse) and the music ranged from old-school hip hop to the soundtrack of Dirty Dancing.
This is exactly the kind of place that's needed in Paris right now: flexible, modular, inexpensive, fun. It fills the same niche as L'Avant Comptoir, which has now become so packed that it's almost impossible to go.
I came home last night from Aux Deux Amis and saw that John Talbott had tried it for lunch:
Pictures from my own visit are here:
Aux Deux Amis
45 rue Oberkampf, 75011
Tel: 01 58 30 38 13