Mojita & Bob
3, rue Oberkampf, in the 11th Arrondissement.
01 58 30 88 59. Tues–Fri, noon–3 p.m. and 6 p.m.–2 a.m.
Sat, 6 p.m.–2 a.m.; Sun, 4 p.m.–midnight.
I was looking to reconnect with some friends last weekend after we had all been traveling and running in different directions. It was Friday morning and we hadn’t made a plan for the night yet. We didn’t feel like an elaborate, multicourse French bistro dining experience, but a takeout crêpe wasn’t going to cut it either. That’s when we decided to try out Mojita & Bob, a Spanish tapas restaurant and bar on the trendy rue Oberkampf.
We were able to get a reservation for that night, which can sometimes be a warning sign of an unpopular restaurant. But shortly after we arrived for our 8:30 reservation, the place was standing room only, with every table booked and the bar full. The energy in the minimally decorated, narrow room was palpable. The packed-in Parisian crowd was happy to be out and ready to let off some steam after the workweek.
I was also drawn to Mojita & Bob because of their BYOB policy (unheard of in Paris), which allows diners to bring a bottle of wine for a paltry 5 euro corkage fee. Even if you don’t come equipped, they have a nice wine list as well as some interesting cocktail combinations featuring cucumber and basil or mango and tea. And, of course, their namesake mojitas are at the ready.
While they were opening our wine, we ordered an assortment of nicely priced tapas (3 euros each), which were delivered together on a black slate board. We had grilled polenta, flavored with some Emmentaler cheese and spiced with piment d’Espelette. The sardine rillettes were a salty salad combo—perfect slathered on top of the rustic bread. You can never go wrong in the fried-food category, and neither did we with Mojita & Bob’s zucchini tempura and ham-and-cheese croquettes.
After the tapas, we ordered two mains, including a nicely cooked creamy risotto with salty Parmesan, tiny green peas and bright red tomatoes, which came with four grilled white asparagus stretched gingerly across the top. Our other entrée was a turkey brochette generously scattered with the most sinfully delicious pieces of bacon. Fantastic.
For dessert, we were presented with three jars of mi-cuit (half-cooked) chocolate dusted with piment d’Espelette, which we smelled before we saw. The dish was like freshly baked brownies right out of the oven, and it did indeed have a cakey crust on top. Once your spoon pierced the surface, you were in a rich, chocolate lava heaven.
Our happiness did not end when we got the check and discovered that each of us owed only 16 euros apiece. Bringing your own wine definitely helps, but Mojita & Bob still delivers a fun evening of great food at a great price.
In a nutshell: Mojita & Bob offers a nice selection of well-prepared tapas and mains in a lively environment and won’t break the bank. To save even more money, take advantage of their inexpensive 5 euro corkage fee and bring your own bottle.
Price check: Tapas, 2–3 euros each. Mains and ménus,14–20 euros.
If Mojita & Bob sounds good, you might also like the tapas at Dans les Landes. Read the review.
Dans les Landes
119 bis, rue Monge, in the 5th. 01 45 87 06 00.
Tues–Sat, noon–11 p.m.
Editor’s note: For a gourmet walking tour, check out our DIY downloadable tours.