Four of us decided to try Belleville on Saturday at 7:00 PM, pretty close to prime time. My wife and I had been there several times but it was the other couple's first visit.
The meal was about as good as it gets. No service problems, good food, and a nice wine, all in a very atmospheric bistro setting.
I had called ahead for reservations a few days earlier and they had saved us the very nice table for four in the corner near the entrance. The only downside to that table was that a large party (maybe 10 with kids) came in later and were seated next to us. They really weren't too bad, but we went from normal conversation to not being able to hear each other. OTOH, Belleville's interior amplifies sound so whatcha gonna do?
I selected a Raymond Cab ($39) as the wine, but the waiter said they were out, making me think "...uh oh...", but not at all. I asked him for something similar and he came up with a very nice and fruity Rhone varietal (forgot the label) for $38 that we all liked a lot.
My wife had the French Onion soup to begin and then had a cheese platter as her main course. I had the tomato/fennel soup (daily special) to start, and then I had the duck. We didn't taste the other couple's orders, but they said they were very good, which is what we thought of ours.
The only thing I thought was below par were the profiteroles, of all things... I didn't care for the puff pastry they use. But other than that the meal went without a hitch.
Place was crowded with every table occupied and a line at the door, but our waiter didn't miss a step.
I've read some earlier posts about the poor service at Belleville, but that wasn't the case Saturday night.