The Clown Bar

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You better book at Le Clown bar, because, even for lunch, the ten tables are constantly full. With my elegant girlfriend straight out of the posh seventh arrondissement, we were slightly looked down at as the « Bourgeoises trying to have fun with younger people ». And the first waitress we had, did not hide her displeasure at taking our order. Or rather she made a point not to take our order for a good fifteen minutes. But we had enough gossips to exchange, to not bother too much.

And we calmed down, when a series of charming young men paraded around us, with the most delicious plates I’ve had in a long time. Forks and knives are out of sight, as they stay hidden in a special drawer, built in the table. Very swift…So be ready to suffer a bit and you will reach a sort of gustative Nirvana.

The bulots panés (fried whelks) are fabulous

The bulots panés (fried whelks) are fabulous

Le clown Bar was founded in the early 1900’s for the public of Cirque d’Hiver next door. I don’t particularly like circus and have not been there since the very trendy wedding of Fabienne Servan Schreiber and Henri Weber ! But the clown theme gives the bar a beautiful fun feeling, especially since the ceramic decor from Sarreguemines is listed.

I ordered fried whelks which were light and crispy and my friend cockleshells marinières. Followed by scallops with watercress sauce and urchin, foie gras with smoked eel and mushrooms. Then I indulged in Pontoise cabbage (perfectly cooked and fresh) with mackerel and pigeon with garlic. All portions are fairly small and come straight out of the tiny kitchen where two chefs jungle with the food. But I did choose a light dessert of vanilla (fabulous) and caramel (strong) ice cream. While Sophie picked a beautiful lemon tart that looked like a fried egg sunny side up, a real work of art ! Of course the chef, Sota Atsumi, is Japanese and adds his subtle talent to French recipes. He changes the menu constantly so do not expect to find exactly the same dishes next time! The whole meal was a very good surprise.clown-bar

I was not impressed by the gamay with no personality nor was I tempted by their alternative wines. The average bill is from 40 to 65 euros and well worth it. (01 43 55 87 35)

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